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There are plenty of claims about the keto diet. From losing unwanted fat to gaining mental clarity and energy, the benefits almost seems too good to be true. But if we know anything about human nutrition, it’s that food and diet are not one-size-fits-all. If you’re wondering, “is the keto diet right for me?” read on about the benefits and pitfalls of getting into fat-burning mode.
In this article you’ll learn:
- 5 reasons why the keto diet could be right for you
- 4 reasons why the keto diet may not be for you
- Is the keto diet right for you?
1. Fat Loss
The keto diet is most well known for helping people lose unwanted fat quickly. This is most likely due to the fact that your body is burning fat as energy instead of storing it. Many people also experience appetite suppression when they’re on the keto diet, which means they’re naturally consuming fewer calories. If you have weight to lose or want to keep unwanted fat off easily (without obsessive trips to the gym), the keto diet is a great option for you.
2. Fewer Cravings and Hunger Suppression
Balanced blood sugar and hunger suppression means fewer cravings and no more energy dips throughout the day. If you’re used to major fluctuations in energy and that “hangry” feeling when you forget to eat, you might want to give the keto diet a try.
3. More Energy
With balanced blood sugar comes more consistent energy throughout the day. Also, once your body has adapted to running on fat, you won’t feel those crazy dips in mood and stamina when it runs out of glucose. Instead, your body can simply tap into your fat stores and create more ketones for fast, efficient energy.
4. Mental Clarity
Your brain is mostly made of fat and uses ketones readily as fuel. That’s probably why so many people report an increase in mental clarity when they’re on a keto diet. The best studies show an improvement in brain function in people with age-related brain diseases like Alzheimer’s.
There’s also some evidence that a keto diet could help recovery from brain injuries and stroke, but these are mostly in rodent models. Still, there’s enough anecdotal evidence that even healthy adults experience more mental clarity and energy on the keto diet.
5. Better Athletic Performance
If you think that cutting carbs will negatively impact your workouts, think again! The keto diet can actually help increase athletic performance and help you maintain muscle, even if you’re in a caloric deficit. Keto seems to be especially helpful for endurance sports and weight lifting.
1. You don’t like strict diets or have a history with eating disorders
The keto diet is pretty restrictive. You have to cut out carbs almost entirely and replace the rice, bread, and pasta with low-carb veggies and tons of healthy fat. The first few weeks of transition are the hardest, but if you’ve had a bad experience with strict diets in the past or have a history of eating disorders, you might want to stay away from the keto diet.
2. You’re Pregnant or Breastfeeding
It’s really important that you’re not in a caloric deficit when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. And a huge part of the keto diet is that you’ll experience appetite suppression, which could result in consuming fewer calories overall. That could lead to problems with fetal development and a lower breast milk production.
3. You Have Adrenal Issues
As for your adrenals, these glands produce hormones in response to both acute and chronic stress. If you’re menstruating, have pretty low body fat already, and are used to high intensity workouts; or if you’ve been diagnosed with HPA Axis Dysregulation (so-called “adrenal fatigue”), you might want to stay away from the keto diet. Adding any sort of caloric restriction or putting your body through the fat adaptation process might be too much for your body right now.
Instead, try cycling in and out of keto, simply going low-carb, but keeping your carb count around the 50-150 gram range, reducing your training load, or adding adaptogenic herbs and B vitamins to help with recovery.
4. You Don’t Eat Meat
This is totally up to you and there are plenty of plant-based people who experiment with a keto diet, but it is much more difficult. Even though the keto diet is a “moderate” protein diet, you’ll still want adequate protein. And getting enough protein from low-carb veggies is nearly impossible. Make sure you’re working with a qualified nutritionist or functional medicine doctor if you decide to try a plant-based keto diet.
If you’ve been on the fence about the keto diet, this article should help steer you in the right direction. And of course, we encourage you to consult your doctor before starting a new diet. No diet works as a one-size-fits-all, but the keto diet does have a lot of benefits that work for a lot of people!
If you’re ready to try the keto diet, check out this article: What is the Keto Diet? A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Started