The ketogenic, or Keto Diet, as it’s more affectionately known, has been gaining popularity since early 2017 and is known for being endorsed by a number of our favorite celebs. As we near the end of the year, we reflect on one of the most popular dieting trends and assess its future and worth in the lead up to planning our New Year resolutions for 2018.

What is the keto diet?

Basically, eating a low-carb, Ketogenic Diet forces the body to burn fat stores to create energy in lieu of the sugar stores usually provided by eating carbohydrates. The desired result is effective weight loss over a relatively short period of time, and the research supports exactly that.

Within just two to four days of removing carbs from your diet, the body sets to work on burning those pesky fat cells. The diet encourages the consumption of fats including eggs, bacon, cheeses and a wide variety of other deliciously, indulgent ingredients. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Does the keto diet actually work?

In short, yes and no. The ketogenic diet has been proven to be effective for rapid weight loss. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition involving obese men, an average weight loss of 12 pounds was recorded among participants, after following the ketogenic diet for just four weeks.

However, there is evidence to suggest that the over time, the weight loss is not maintained.

Certain dietitians claim that after the initial rapid weight loss period, the body then enters a state of starvation due to the lack of consumed carbs, which leads to exhaustion and weight loss stagnation.

Also, the diet itself is difficult to maintain over a long period, due to the limitation of carbohydrate consumption, particularly as almost 50 percent of the western diet is typically made up of carbs.

Another concern is that people tend to eat the wrong kinds of fats and excessive amounts of protein in order to feel satisfied, in place of the carbs they once consumed. In turn, they neglect to eat sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables, which are pivotal to overall health. As a result, low carb diets, in general, have been linked to increased risk of heart disease due to the buildup of fats that can clog and stiffen the arteries.


The final verdict…

While the keto diet is a quick fix in many ways, the long-term effects are inconclusive and seem to report more negative health implications than good. As usual, the best weight loss strategy, according to a majority of healthcare professionals, is to eat a balanced diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and fish, while limiting processed foods and excessive amounts of sugar and salt. This sounds good in theory, but as with any dietary advice, it's easier said than done!