In today’s world as the #fitlife ramps up and everyone is looking to get #shredded, there are throngs of new fads, new methods, new miracle cures being announced and advertised almost on the daily. Most recently, all the talk seems to be about the Ketogenic diet. Every second person at the gym seems to be on it, my email inbox has received a substantial amount of emails with that exact title, and I just happened to see a little snippet of it advertised on day time tv as the new ‘miracle diet’. Oh geez. It must be true if its on day time telly.
My gut, and everything I have learned so far in my fitness journey, tells me that it’s nonsense. That there is no substitute for hard work, proper nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. But the scientist in me, and my desire to actually learn this industry inside and out, has made me inquisitive. It would be ignorant of me to not do some research. Which is what I hope everyone does before they even contemplate trying a new diet!
Ketogenics is a high fat, and low everything else diet- very low carb and also low protein… hmmm (you may have lost me already). It is designed specifically to put the body into ketosis, whereby ketones are produced in the liver from fat and can be used as fuel. Yes, I get that the potential here for fat burning is huge. Our brains are greedy organs, and totes high maintenance- they need a constant supply of oxygen and glucose to survive. Orrrrrr, ketones. Training your body to run off fats (by restricting other fuel supplies) are said to have several important benefits such as weight loss, improving mental focus, increased physical endurance, less acne, normalising blood pressure, less heartburn, and controlling type 11 diabetes and epilepsy (this would need waaaaay more research before I agreed to that point- show me the peer reviewed journal articles and clinical trials please). My experiences with ketones over the past decade have all been negative- an Emergency nurse does not like ketones. It’s not always sinister but when it is…… Having said that, there is no disputing how important good fats are to our bodies. That is just scientific fact. Proven. No arguments here.
So I guess really it comes down to the individual. And as always, one of the most important things about any of these new diets, is that you find what works for YOUR body. A high fat diet definitely has its place in the fitness world (and hopefully just the world in general), as long as it’s done right. Although I don’t follow the ketogenic diet, I have avocados, egg yolks, nuts, salmon, and coconut oil on the daily. So maybe I’ve inadvertently been doing a half ketogenic diet all this time? That doesn’t have the hipster title though that ‘I do Ketogenics’…. Bummer. I’ll have to find other ways to be cool.