Does the Keto Diet Actually Work?
There’s always some new diet touted as the
one that will give you a celeb body in two
weeks, and Keto Diet is currently making the
But what is Ketogenesis?
Did someone say Sega Genesis?
Ketogenesis has a super scientific name, and
a lot of science behind it… which is probably
why people use the shorter name for the diet: Keto.
Keto is a cutesy term for ketosis, a process
where living things break down fats to sustain
life — it usually happens during starvation
or out of control diabetes.
But artificially putting your body into a
ketogenic state is growing in popularity.
The Keto Diet is basically, a temporary food
restriction program that is high in saturated
fat and almost entirely cuts out carbohydrates.
Suggestions include having bacon with everyday,
meat at every opportunity, and SIDES of veggies
… but like three leaves of lettuce or AH
And meal suggestions often include using both
butter and olive oil.
I mean, I like a tasty meal but that’s just
making my arteries hurt thinking about it…
And some follow this diet for months or years
at a time!
But let’s back up and explain some simple
Your brain and body run on glucose, a simple
Glucose is made from lots of things, but a
big source is carbohydrates.
Once carbs are converted to glucose it enters
the bloodstream and can either be used immediately
Stored, if you’re eating more calories than
you’re burning, can mean as fat.
People see the Keto diet as a way to cut out
carbs, and thus sugar storage, removing a
source of fat from the body…
Except that doesn’t actually happen.
Even without carbs coming in, the body needs
glucose, so once glucose drops to less than
100 grams, the body enters a ketogenic state
— none of this is news to Keto Practitioners,
but really for everyone else…
The brain needs glucose, glucose is The Precious
and we wants it!
“Ketogenic” comes from ketone bodies.
They’re another source of cellular fuel,
not the body’s preferred fuel, mind you,
but an alternative supply for vital organs.
This is like an emergency backup system for
The ketogenesis kicks in when your body is
starved of glucose, starting a lipolytic process.
Basically, it breaks down fat.
Glossy Keto Instagrammers rejoice!
Except, the keyword in there is starved.
Creating ketone bodies to replace missing
glucose is what your body does as a response
And people are still willing to try the diet!
Which can be dangerous.
Carbs typically account for about 50 percent
of a balanced diet.
If you tell someone to replace those calories
with proteins and fats, people can end up
eating too much protein and fats from processed
That paired with few fruits and vegetables
is a recipe for ill health.
Plus, Lots of red meat and fatty, processed
foods have been linked to heart disease, kidney
problems, and even osteoporosis.
Some people experience nausea, vomiting, and
constipation on the diet.
But they also do lose weight!
The problem is, like with all fad diets, the
weight loss doesn’t last.
As a former personal trainer, I suspect it’s
the initial cutting out bread that kickstarts
Cutting out this common source of simple sugar
is every trainer’s first comment.
But fat has an evolutionary purpose, it is
the buffer from those ancient days when we
couldn’t just walk over to the store to
pick up food.
So once you stop Keto, you’re likely going
to gain weight again as your body tries to
protect itself from starvation.
There is some research that says a longer-term
stint on the Keto diet can help with weight
loss and cholesterol management.
But that’s in a study with supervision.
It’s a hard diet to manage alone.
Interestingly, there are significant health
benefits from following the Keto diet.
It’s been used since its development in
the 1920s to effectively treat children with
And in some cases, children with certain genetic
mutations can’t get enough glucose to the
This hypoglycemic state causes seizures in
infancy and, if untreated, can lead to serious
complications like microcephaly and ataxia.
The keto diet takes away the glucose from
the bloodstream, forcing the brain to use
the alternate energy source of ketone bodies
for fuel, allowing for proper neural development.
But unlike body builders looking to get super
lean, this diet is done all-in for 1-2 weeks
with management over months or years, depending
on the case.
All under close supervision of a physician,
a registered nurse, and a registered dietitian.
The diet is slowly dialed back to include
more and more foods that produce gluten, allowing
the child to adjust.
Again, it’s supervised.
Because there shouldn’t be guesswork when
putting a child — or yourself! — into
a starvation state.
Scientists are now looking into other applications
the Keto diet might have for other metabolic,
oncologic, neurodegenerative, and psychiatric
A fad diet is a temporary way of eating that
is targeted at those of us who don’t like
exercise but want to lose weight quickly.
This kinda sounds like that, but with some
The best kind of diet is one that you work
out with a nutritionist that suits your body,
and that you adopt for yourself and for the
rest of your life.
If you want more Seeker, definitely hit that
Diets are so much more than just food; I can
tell you more about the healthiest diets right
Amazingly, use of the Keto diet can be traced
all the way back to the 5th century BCE by
Hippocrates who realized seizures are biological,