Everywhere you turn lately, someone is talking about the ketogenic diet. Why? Because there are some very real and powerful benefits from the ketogenic diet. Which is why I am often asked by clients, friends, associates, and strangers if they should try keto.
My answer has always been a question back to them (it’s the coach in me, can’t help it)
My question is…what are your goals? What do you want to achieve?
I want to lose a few pounds
For the average person who is eating healthy and just wants to lose a few pounds, I generally recommend making a few other changes before trying a ketogenic diet. I’d start by looking at what they’re eating, how much, and when. I’d also look at their exercise program as it relates to caloric intake.
I want to eat healthier
“Eating healthier” can mean different things to different people. I strive to get processed foods out of the daily diet. For example, the person who is new to primal or paleo eating, I’d generally recommend switching to whole foods and eliminating grains and dairy first. This is often enough to achieve their goals.
I need to lose 20+ pounds
Ketogenic diet may be helpful here depending on existing habits. One of the reasons that I hesitate to recommend a ketogenic lifestyle to people right off the bat is that it’s difficult and often not sustainable for everyday life. Learning good habits initially is more powerful. However, if someone is obese, it can be helpful to get rid of that weight with keto and then to work on moderation and health habits once the weight loss is in motion.
I am Insulin Sensitive/Pre-Diabetic/Type II Diabetes
If you are pre-diabetic, hungry every 2-3 hours, or you have Type II diabetes I would recommend a ketogenic diet. It has been shown prevent and slow down progression of type II diabetes, and for many patients it resolves solve all signs and symptoms.
Good habits are essential. Someone on a ketogenic diet needs to be able, and willing, to still eat some vegetables, to track their intake of carbs, fat, and protein, and to follow a nutritional program.
The Ketogenic diet can reverse many conditions, it can help you lose weight, and for many people the mental clarity found while in nutritional ketosis is unprecedented. However, it’s not to be taken lightly.
I do recommend trying a ketogenic diet if you’re curious.
I fully support experimentation and trying new things. If you want to know what nutritional ketosis feels like, or if you can achieve it, give it a try. Consider setting yourself up for success by trying Mark Sisson’s 21 Day Keto Reset plan or tapering your carbs until you get to the point where they’re only 5-10% of your daily energy intake. (Protein should be around 10-15%).
The Ketogenic Diet isn’t going away. It’s not a fad or a trend. It is a way of eating that many have found life changing. It can help you achieve your goals. It can help you reverse or prevent disease, and it can help you feel more energetic, focused, and healthy.
Should you try the ketogenic diet? What are your goals?