Getting Fat on Keto

Angry overweight man

Keto is all the current rage for weight loss, but is it possible to get fat on Keto?

First, what is Keto and why is it so popular?

Like Atkins, Keto is a very low carbohydrate diet where most of your calories come from fat and protein rather than carbohydrates. On Keto, you drastically cut back, or eliminate carbs that are easy to digest, such as sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread.

 Keto works because your body eventually runs out of fuel (blood sugar) it can use quickly. This occurs fairly rapidly because you have reduced your intake of carbohydrates to under 50 grams per day. Your body enters a state of ketosis, which is when it burns fat and makes  ketones, which it then uses for fuel.

Ketosis is the metabolic state in which there’s a high concentration of ketones in the blood. This happens when fat provides most of the fuel for the body, and there’s limited access to glucose.

The theory is, you are constantly using fat converted to ketones therefore you will lose weight, while never having to count your calories for the day. However, following a strict diet to induce ketosis can be very difficult, and there may be some negative side effects. In addition, not all researchers agree that a keto diet is the best way to lose weight.

Most Keto dieters focus on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits. 

Nonchalant woman shrugging

When adhering to the Keto diet,  you may lose more weight in the first 3 to 6 months than some other diets. But this is only because the high fat diet keeps you satiated on fewer calories than you normally ate before Keto. All weight loss, no matter the diet, relies on calories consumed versus calories burned. None of us can change or alter this law of thermodynamics. Keto is not something magic, you can still get fat on Keto.

One problem with the Keto diet is people begin it with little knowledge of health or nutrition. While there are some known health benefits derived from a ketogenic diet, you can’t just begin eating lots of fat and protein in order to lose weight without some risks. When your body burns fat for energy, it makes compounds called ketones. If you have diabetes, particularly type 1, too many ketones in your blood can make you sick. Therefore it’s very important to work with your doctor on any changes in your diet.

Another problem with the Keto diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Even if Keto does not cause an individual any health issues, they may feel a little tired in the beginning. Other side effects of Keto include bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.

Keto is not recommended for individuals with:

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Liver conditions
  • Thyroid problems
  • Eating disorders or a history of eating disorders
  • Gallbladder disease or those who have had their gallbladders removed

Long term health risks of the keto diet include kidney stones, liver disease and deficiencies of vitamins and minerals. To limit carbs, many nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits are cut out. Thus, intakes of vitamin A, C, K and folate usually are low.

The high fat nature of the keto diet is very controversial. A considerable body of research has shown that diets high in saturated fat may increase the risk for heart disease and other chronic health problems.

How you can get fat on Keto!

You can get fat on Keto simply because you are eating too much. Gaining weight on Keto is entirely possible, and probable for those who think they can eat as much as they want simply because they are in ketosis. People get fat on Keto because they believe they do not need to be accountable for the amount of calories they eat since the “common knowledge” is you do not have to count calories. This thinking is a bunch of hogwash, you still have to be accountable for all that you eat if you do not want to gain weight.

Have you ever considered what happens to all those extra calories from the fat you are eating?

High fat foods tend to contain many more calories than foods that are high in carbohydrates and proteins. Therefore,  it is important that people keep track of the number of calories that they consume even when on Keto. People who consume too many calories can gain weight, even if they are in a state of ketosis.

Contrary to popular belief, a ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet.

raw beef

 Meat-lovers may approach the Keto diet with gusto. They will obliviously dig into the steaks, burgers, bacon, pork tenderloin, and sausage with complete abandon. Of course these are all keto-approved foods, however, too much can be a bad thing. On Keto, protein should make up only 15 to 30 percent of your daily calories. Otherwise, ketone production stalls out.

Keto approved junk foods.

A common mistake people make is they think if they switch to eating keto, all the fat will just melt away while eating as much of it as their heart desires. As the diet has gained popularity, the desire for keto-approved products, including snacks and sweets substitutes has grown louder, and companies are answering. The keto diet trend has brought with it all these recipes for keto junk food and ‘fat bombs’ sweetened with erythritol and bacon-wrapped snacks. These Keto approved junk foods make it easy to exceed your daily caloric needs when you consume multiple ‘fat coffees’ and eat these snacks every day.

People have told me David’s Way is too restrictive and…

they then tell me they are just going to do Keto instead. Let me assure you, our David’s Way lifestyle is nowhere close to being as restrictive as Keto. I advocate eating whole healthy foods and the outright elimination of sugar and simple carbs, along with most processed foods. I encourage you to consume a well balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats within you daily caloric needs. And yes, I advocate counting your calories in order that you actually do know how much you are eating. Most of us have over-inflated ideas of what reasonable portion sizes look like.

Keto is actually more restrictive than David’s Way because you must limit your total carbohydrate intake to under 50 grams per day. This restriction foolishly and unnecessarily includes complex carbohydrates along with simple carbs. For Keto to work, you still need to carefully track your food intake, and more importantly weigh and measure your portion sizes. Especially since you should get about 50 to 60 percent of your calories from fat; 10 percent from carbs; and 20 to 30 percent from protein. That is actually pretty restrictive don’t you think?

Many keto dieters eat high-fat animal products and do not prioritize eating green leafy vegetables and other nutrient-dense plant foods. When they do this, they will miss out on key nutrients and dietary fiber which are needed for optimal health. You have to ensure that you eat plenty of other nutrients and vitamins.

If you are one to “reward” yourself with a cheat day, you may be doing much more harm than good. Many people on Keto do this because the keto diet can be tough. Especially if you are having to adjust to a life without soda, bread, and pasta.

If you are taking keto cheat days and eat more carbs than allowed, you are not doing Keto. Additionally, if you are doing a keto version that’s not as restrictive, and you’re not monitoring your ketone levels on a regular basis, you still are not doing Keto.

The bottom line is, pure Keto is a very restrictive diet.

You can get fat on Keto, even when abiding by it, but still eating too many calories for your needs.  For the best weight loss plan you can find anywhere, follow us here at David’s Way to Health and Fitness. With us, you can consume a very wide variety of foods. Our only restrictions are with sugar, simple carbohydrates, and we encourage you to track what you eat for personal accountability. And best of all, we provide you with a wealth of all the nutrition, health and fitness information you will ever need for healthy weight loss and management.

And we do this at no cost to our followers, ever!

Comments and questions are most welcome!

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