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Keto 101

Fresh from an interview about the benefits of the Keto diet, I’m inspired to share with you the truth as well as the fiction of Keto diets.

The Keto diet is great if you’re looking for a really quick fix. For example, let's say you are hoping to fit into a dress that's a size too small so you can impress people you haven’t seen in 20+ years and will probably never see again-Keto has you covered!

Proponents of the Keto diet will tell you it burns fat. What they forget to tell you is that it also burns muscle.

First things first-the immediate effects of Keto is lots of water loss. This is the dehydrating effect that results from starving your body of its primary energy source (carbohydrate). Hello cute dress!

Should you decide to continue the Keto plan beyond impressing people you really don't care about, your body will shift to the next stage. Yes, you will burn some stored fat, but you will also break down the muscle you’ve been working so hard to build.

Depending on how long you can tolerate the chronic headaches, fatigue, constipation, and irritation that typically results from starving your body of its main source of energy, you will gradually start to add back the foods you’ve been avoiding. Congratulations if you choose a piece of forbidden fruit-but chances are, cake, ice-cream, cookies, and candy will be your reward. News flash-you didn't have to give up all carbs to rid yourself of these foods!

Not only are you more likely to over-indulge in foods with added sugar, but as a bonus, your metabolism will have slowed down quite a bit from not giving your body enough calories. In other words, your body has adjusted to needing less fuel, so normal amounts of food will contribute to weight gain. Unfortunately, the weight gain will not be muscle. Some of it will be water (carbs do hold on to water, that's why you lose a lot of water weight when you eliminate them), but you'll also gain some more fat along the way.

In other words, you're back to where you started-either the same weight with more fat and less muscle, or a higher weight with more fat and less muscle.

The important takeaway is this: Weight loss is not the same as fat loss.

Let’s say it again: Weight loss is not the same as fat loss!

Muscle weighs more than fat, and eliminating carbohydrates from your diet means your body must break down muscle into glucose to keep you alive.

So what to do? Stay tuned for the next post!

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