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Is a ketogenic diet complete BS?

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  • Is a ketogenic diet complete BS?

    My wife wants to lose weight but does't want to exercise and feels the keto diet fad is the way to go. She wants to lose weight but not increase any activity levels. A local resident "Keto Guru" is going to charge $300/month for meal plans and advice or whatever. To me it looks like a complete bunch of bullshit. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is with a daily caloric deficit, and exercise needs to be a part of that process or else what's the point? Lose a bunch of weight and still be weak and unhealthy but now you just jacked your risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease

    This whole thing is very frustrating..

  • #2
    Srsly? Meal plans? Keto/Low carb isn't exactly science. You mostly have to avoid stuff like bread, rice, potatoes, noodles, fruits and obviously sweets. But I guess you can make money with any bs nowadays.

    While probably not optimal for performance I'd like to explain why it certainly does work for some people, like my gf:
    • When my she eats carbs (even just bread, potatoes, rice, etc.), she has a really noticeable craving for sweets pretty much throughout the whole day and she gets hungry earlier between meals
    • When she eats keto/low carb she feels satiated pretty quickly and can't overeat because she simply loses her appetite quickly or would feel sick if she'd continue eating
    • She feels satiated longer between meals (mostly because she feels sick of the previous food lol) and simply has no cravings whatsoever
    Basically it's just a compliance thing and for her that seems to work pretty well for the few weeks she needs to lose weight if she wants to. Year round when she's keeping weight or gaining slowly she's still doing high carb though (and it's hard to keep the sugary stuff away from her).

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    • #3
      Originally posted by DkMetz View Post
      My wife wants to lose weight but does't want to exercise and feels the keto diet fad is the way to go. She wants to lose weight but not increase any activity levels.
      Nothing wrong with that. Some people love to exercise. Some don't. If your wife is willing to reduce her consumption to a deficit then she'll lose weight just fine without exercise.

      The only way to lose weight and keep it off is with a daily caloric deficit,
      Which many people successfully accomplish on a keto diet.

      and exercise needs to be a part of that process or else what's the point? Lose a bunch of weight
      You answered your own question chief.


      and still be weak and unhealthy but now you just jacked your risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease
      Keto gives you cancer? As the trolls on the Facebook page love to say, "citation desperately needed".


      If it were me, my gripe would be over paying somebody $300 per month for a meal plan.

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      • #4
        I lost 80+ pounds on keto in about 8 months without working out and I was NEVER hungry. Unfortunately when I went back to training I had no energy and went back to carbs. Personally, I think for someone that isn't active and has no interest in being active, then keto is a viable choice.

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        • #5
          And yeah, keto is easy to do on your own with even a modest amount of research. It certainly does not require paying someone an exorbitant amount of money for meal plans.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by jwls View Post
            While probably not optimal for performance I'd like to explain why it certainly does work for some people, like my gf:
            • When my she eats carbs (even just bread, potatoes, rice, etc.), she has a really noticeable craving for sweets pretty much throughout the whole day and she gets hungry earlier between meals
            • When she eats keto/low carb she feels satiated pretty quickly and can't overeat because she simply loses her appetite quickly or would feel sick if she'd continue eating
            • She feels satiated longer between meals (mostly because she feels sick of the previous food lol) and simply has no cravings whatsoever
            Basically it's just a compliance thing and for her that seems to work pretty well for the few weeks she needs to lose weight if she wants to.
            I had the same experience. I was a complete carb junkie. I basically went from one form of sugar to another through the day, all day. I didn't go full keto or paleo, but just didn't eat bread, pasta, potatoes, junk food, etc. Instead; meat, lots of vegetables, and fat in cheese/dressing/nuts/etc. You can eat a LOT of that stuff to feel really full and still be in a calorie deficit. It really helped my compliance as I felt more full between meals and didn't have sudden cravings as much. I went from 230 lbs to 170 lbs in about 8 months.

            It's possible even while eating out. Get rice instead of pasta, and only eat 1/4 of it. It takes a lot of mental strength to change your routine and pass over all the various sweet temptations that show up through the day. I really liked some of the motivational stuff I found on Nerd Fitness, though they went way too far in the gaming thing for my interest.

            I've since added in some carbs to fuel strength training. But, I have to be much more careful to control my eating than I do when eating less carbs.

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            • #7
              Keto isn't worse than other diets for simply losing weight. It just isn't magic either (or probably sustainable for the long term).
              There are great health benefits to losing weight, if you need to, aside from aerobic or resistance training. There are additional health benefits to aerobic and resistance training.

              If you can afford $300 a month then that may help your wife stick to the plan. Unfortunately the value your getting from the $300 is the pain and commitment of paying it rather than useful advice, but still, paying for something, and even more so paying a lot for something, increases your commitment to it.

              I don't think that Keto increases your cancer or CV risk and almost certainly would be net beneficial if you lost weight that you needed to lose.

              You never know, your wife may become more interested in exercise as the weight drops off and she feel more able to do those things. Good luck.

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              • #8
                The argument is typically twofold:

                1. Fat is more satiating and therefore keto is easier for compliance.
                2. It puts your body into a state of "ketosis" which does a few things -- the things people care about are that you "burn fat" more readily and supposedly have more mental energy (ketones increase brain function)

                On #1 -- that's a compelling argument for some people and shouldn't be overlooked. If you're overweight, losing weight is probably the best thing you can do, regardless of diet, for health outcomes.

                On #2 -- I don't think there's any evidence you actually lose more fat than you would otherwise. And even if you do, it's almost definitely not more effective than resistance training on a calorie deficit with enough carbs to allow you to resistance train effectively. And as for the "making you smarter argument" -- it seems pretty obvious to me that your hunter/gatherer "system" is trying to hack you into finding better food supplies, probably because it's not healthy to eat a bunch of fat for an extended period of time. The fact your breath wreaks is probably yet another mechanism for your body to alert others to maybe go find you some better food.

                So -- if your wife struggles to lose weight because she's too hungry all the time or craves sweets -- giving keto a try might make sense. I'd only spend money for someone to build you a "keto diet" if she also needs that for compliance. I might try it on my own first though. It's really not that hard to eat high fat/low carb in the Western world -- it's basically our default diet.

                I probably wouldn't recommend staying on a keto diet indefinitely though.

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                • #9
                  You can lose weight on diet without any exercise, provided you must maintain a caloric deficit. The science behind keto is sound enough, but it’s entirely unnecessary for weight or fat loss to restrict yourself that much. Unless specifically recommended by a doctor, it’s hard for me to recommend keto. It’s incredibly difficult to stick to and for most people it is not a viable long term option. Your diet should work with your lifestyle, not against it.

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                  • #10
                    I've been on the Keto diet for a year now (lost 50lb, but was also mostly focused on aerobic and just now starting to incorporate strength). Charging people for meal plans is BULLSHIT. Don't pay the $$$.

                    Basically it is as simple as this: eat meat, fish, eggs, cheese (if not lactose intolerant), and condiments that contain avocado oil or olive oil instead of industrial seed oils.

                    Honestly, though, the only reason why I am on it is because of a medical reason. Otherwise I would just be "low carb" -- 150g/day. There is no reason for people to be keto unless they have a medical condition. Just eat real food (meat, vegetables, fruit, and starchy plants like potatoes/sweet potatoes). Just cutting out sugar/processed food and limiting your calories should be enough.

                    If she really wants to jump on Keto, check out https://www.marksdailyapple.com/keto/. DON'T limit protein. That doesn't make a difference unless you're eating 500g in a day.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DkMetz View Post
                      My wife wants to lose weight but does't want to exercise and feels the keto diet fad is the way to go. She wants to lose weight but not increase any activity levels. A local resident "Keto Guru" is going to charge $300/month for meal plans and advice or whatever. To me it looks like a complete bunch of bullshit. The only way to lose weight and keep it off is with a daily caloric deficit, and exercise needs to be a part of that process or else what's the point? Lose a bunch of weight and still be weak and unhealthy but now you just jacked your risk of cancers and cardiovascular disease

                      This whole thing is very frustrating..

                      In terms of the desired outcome,diet success and diet compliance go hand in hand. Its not 'bullshit', its just food. If your wife can control her calories more successfully following a keto style eating plan, have at it.
                      A fraction of that $300 (now thats bullshit) would be better spent on some kitchen / bathroom scales. At the end of the day, tracking calories and how its affecting you results is the name of the game. The internets make that easy.
                      It goes without saying that you still should be getting around 30g of fiber plus fruit and veg no matter what strategy you follow.

                      On a side note, I dont share kenwells enthusiasm for Marks Daily Apple. Sisson paints the 'paleo diet' as a panacea, then sells $129.95 multivitamin supplements. Please..

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                      • #12
                        I jumped on the low carb bandwagon for a while, and lost quite a bit of weight. This was prior to my strength training journey.

                        Things I liked:

                        1. Never hungry. Often had to remind myself to eat. no more sugar cravings
                        2. Delicious food. meats and fats are delicious. Bacon, Mmmm. Salads with blue cheese dressing. yeah.
                        3. Quick results. Saw immediate, drastic weight change. Mostly water weight I'm sure, but definitely motivating
                        4. Taught me about tracking. Never tracked macros prior to low carb, and now it's an essential part of my daily life

                        Things I didn't like, and ultimately why I quit:

                        1. Inconvenient. always having to limit sugar, it's almost impossible in restaurants and eating foods out of your control.
                        2. Training suffered.Some folks can train with low carb. I wasn't one of them. Need carbs to fuel my lifting
                        3. Constipation. This was constant and frustrating
                        4. Boring. Food choices got boring after a while.

                        All in all, i'm glad it did it. it was a net positive and taught me how to track my intake. now that i'm eating carbs, i still track and keep up with macros.

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                        • #13
                          Would a body be good without exercise? I don't think so. Nutrition is 80% of success, but so is 20% of sports. If her nutrition is not balanced, she will only make it worse. She needs at least minimal activity.

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