Every few years, everyone and their mother is trying some newfangled diet that “really works.” Right now, the ketogenic diet is the thing to experiment with if you’re looking to shed a few pounds. Essentially, this diet encourages participants to substantially cut down on their carb consumption and to focus on eating high amounts of fat and protein.
The results are undoubtedly impressive. Many people have lost hundreds of pounds and gained muscle by making the switch to the keto lifestyle, but the question is, what price are people paying for their weight loss?
Today we’re delving into the potential risks of going full keto. Take note of them before you toss all of your favorite carbohydrates in the trash.
Because the ketogenic diet is such a drastic lifestyle change, you should probably prepare for your body to react accordingly. Many people complain that they initially experience flu-like symptoms, including tiredness and headaches. You may also feel as though you’re dehydrated, so it’s smart to keep electrolyte-loaded drinks like Gatorade on hand during the first few weeks of the diet.
When switching out carbs for fats, it’s incredibly important to make sure you’re eating healthy fats, not trans and saturated fats. The bad fats might not result in immediate weight gain as long as you’re monitoring yourself, but they can increase the risk of high cholesterol levels and heart disease. Keep yourself in check by limiting your consumption of butter, red meat, cheese, and other sources of unhealthy fats.
» Read More: What Is The Keto Diet and How Do I Get Started?
In order for anyone to stay healthy, they need to consume a variety of whole foods that are packed with nutrients. Unfortunately, the ketogenic diet can steer you toward a lifestyle that’s low in micronutrients. As your body embraces the new diet and your metabolism begins to change, you may experience micronutrient deficiencies. This is partially why people complain about flu-like symptoms. To counteract the problem, you’ll need to focus on keeping your sodium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin, and omega-3 fatty acid levels in the healthy range.
In most cases, the keto diet isn’t going to cause you to develop kidney stones. The problem is actually when you go keto and then cheat by ingesting a bunch of sugar in one meal later on. Let’s say you stuck to your low-sugar, low-carb diet for two months, then binged on a bunch of cake at a birthday party. In that case, your body would go from containing very little fructose to a large amount. The drastic change can cause your uric acid levels to spike, potentially leading to kidney stones.
» Read More: How One Woman Lost 120 Pounds On The Ketogenic Diet
The more you monitor your food and calorie intake, the more time you’re spending thinking about your weight. Although it’s always a good idea to pay attention to your diet, some find that following the ketogenic diet causes them to focus a little too much on their weight loss goals. Some even enter into a weight-obsessed phase in which they over-engage in workout routines and calorie counting. Should you decide to try going keto, find ways to remind yourself that there’s more to life than the number on the bathroom scale. Strike a balance between limiting your carbs and living a healthy life.
People with type 2 diabetes are already predisposed to kidney problems, so because the keto diet can increase the risk of kidney stones and gout, they should probably find another way to lose weight. Similarly, people with type 1 diabetes already struggle to maintain their blood sugar levels, and the keto diet can make their blood sugar fluctuate even more. If you have diabetes but are interested in losing weight, talk to your doctor about what kind of diet would best suit your health condition.
More often than not, going keto is an entirely safe way to lose weight. The important thing is to monitor for deficiencies and to ensure that you’re consuming the right kinds of food. Also, you should always check with a medical expert before beginning any serious diet so that you know you’re making the safe choice for your particular body. Any drastic diet can come with risks, so be aware and take care of yourself.