Why this diet fad is a waste of time
By Katie Czenczek, News Editor
I’ve worked as a lifeguard for about four years now. In my time, I’ve heard every diet myth be passed around the break room like dinner rolls at Christmas. What can I say, we’re a superficial bunch that packages these quick-fix diets as “healthy practices.” Really, we’re just finding a way to binge-drink on weekends but maintain those ripped washboard abs every lifeguard seems to have.
This year’s fad is the keto diet.
I’ve had many gripes with diets over the years—the paleo one in particular really got to me—but the number of times I’ve seen failed attempts to lose weight via keto has prompted me to share my frustrations here. It’s just too restrictive and there are better ways to lose weight.
To make it clear, I’m not against people trying to practice better eating habits or those looking to fit into those jeans from high school that hug your hips. I just don’t see what keto has against carbs.
The premise is to practice a low-carb, high-fat food intake. You’re supposed to cut out bread, fruit, desserts, and anything that really tastes good. You’re still able to eat salami and coat everything in a thick layer of butter.
Overall, it doesn’t sound too batshit. Like most diets, the idea is to cut back on things that people eat way too much of: Carbs and sugars. The only problem with this is that you also end up cutting out many vitamins and nutrients that keep the body healthy. I also think a diet with an emphasis on meat is a one-way trip to high-blood-pressure-land.
If practiced correctly (which is rarely the case because who the hell can survive on less than 50 grams of carbs daily?) the body goes into a state of ketosis. Our bodies burn off carbohydrates, but when strictly limiting the amount of carbs, the body will then burn off fat reserves to make up energy.
This is what leads some people to go through what has been cutely nicknamed a “keto flu.” They can experience light-headedness, poor sleep, extreme fatigue, and other symptoms that to me sound a lot like when you don’t eat enough food and then stand up really fast. Insulin levels drop very low in ketosis, which also makes this diet very dangerous for diabetics. However, when those brave souls make it through the initial sickness, results show up pretty quickly. It turns out that it’s easy to slim down without exercise.
Then what? Back to eating poorly just to return to your original weight. The diet does work for some people, but it is not for everyone. People who are breast-feeding or those taking high blood pressure medication should not go on this diet. I’d argue that it won’t work for most.
The US News and World Report ranked the top 40 diets for 2018 and keto tied for last place. The score was based on whether the diets promote weight loss and are healthy. It ranked 2.8 out of 5 for weight loss and 1.6 out of 5 for health. Folks, it’s just not a good idea.
The health experts also don’t know what the long-term effects are, since it’s only come onto the scene in recent years. Some research has indicated that it could be bad for your liver and that the lack of vitamins could have a negative impact, though the verdict from the health community is still inconclusive.
If you still want to try the diet, all power to you. Me, I’ll stick to testing out the Mediterranean diet the next time I think about changing my eating habits.