Long term, isn't keto kinda silly?

Mar 15, 2003
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#1
I just quit after two months of keto and, after a really uncomfortable amount of time feeling miserable (keto flu, constipation, sweaty constantly, muscle cramps) am now just watching what I eat to much better results. I did lose quite a bit at first on keto then averaged out to the standard 2 poundsish a week - I'm getting the same results but without all the gross side effects. Nutrient intake's the biggest issue for me - I was cramping up constantly because, no matter how much green leafy veggies I ate, I never got enough potassium (and supplements provide a max 2% of your recommended allowance), not a problem now at all. Charting a few weeks into my more sensible diet's showing similar results that's recently accelerated after I massively increased my fruit and veg intake, without the discomfort and honest expense of a protein/fat heavy diet (without the concern that a tiny slice of b-day cake will cause me to gain 5 pounds while feeling miserable). Most concerning with keto was what I'd call an "awareness" of my heart - palpitations, exhaustion, a weirdly high resting heart beat, etc - and I wasn't pounding high sodium lunch meat either. I just feel much better these days.

I do know that keto's genuinely helpful to many people but, long term, is it really as viable as all the hype makes it seem? Is keto more the fad of the moment than a real solution?
 

ArchAngel777

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2000
5,174
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#2
Keto is not just a fad. When fat cells shrink, water takes their place and the body eventually flushes the system of this water and all of a sudden, overnight, you look much leaner. This often happens with a carb-up meal. If I had to guess, several of the pounds you lost from a "balanced" diet were actually lost while on keto, and didn't flush out until your balance diet which is leading you to believe balanced diet worked better.

That said, a balanced diet will lose weight just fine. Keto isn't magical, it is just easier to adhere to from a hunger perspective. However, if you are happier on a balanced diet, then that is better for you.

Keto is probably best for non-active people. For active people, get this can get muddy... Endurance sports work well with keto, but explosive sports do not. Additionally, keto is often very anti-inflammatory, so endurance training has less aches and pain.

Keto works great for many people. I often go keto for 2 months a year. I don't have any of the problems you are reporting, nor do I understand how you possible couldn't get enough potassium on greens. If you truly at as many as you said, then your cramping had nothing to do with potassium.
 

dasherHampton

Golden Member
Jan 19, 2018
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#3
I think where a person comes from matters as well.

I started Atkins (a non-zero carb diet) on Jan 3. I've lost about 25 pounds and I feel great. I've added things like peas and carrots back into my diet.

My problem was my pre-Atkins diet. WAY too much fast food. That stuff is so unhealthy when it comprises too high of a % of your overall intake. No way is a low carb diet worse for you than eating too much crap.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
42,841
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#4
It really depends on the person & their situation. If following through on your intentions was as easy as we think it is, then everyone would be walking around with a six-pack, haha!

My personal food philosophy has boiled down to this, over time:

1. If you don't care about results, eat whatever you want, whenever you want.

2. If you do care about result (ex. losing fat or building muscle) & want to get the best results (because why would you settle for sub-par methods?), then simply follow IIFYM. Because:

a. It works
b. It's sustainable, because you don't have to give up the foods you love
c. No supplements or meal timing or special dietary requirements are involved...just eat according to your macros every day, which are goal-oriented against weight loss, maintenance, or gain
d. You can adjust it to your individual needs, i.e. if you're diabetic & have to babysit your daily carb intake
e. It forces you to actually make food, so you have food to eat (I'm easily distracted & sometimes work through lunch or run out the door in the morning without breakfast, otherwise)
f. It's defendable, because it's how your body works - it uses macros, which add up to calories, which controls your weight, which gives you the results you're after (lose/maintain/gain) over time when followed strictly

IIFYM is annoying at first, because hitting your numbers every day requires some prep work & learning how to count & measure your food is a pain, but it gives the best results of anything I've ever used. You can go through my post history here on H&F...I think my first thread was back in 2008 when I was like 50 pounds overweight. I had no idea what TDEE or macros or anything were, but I had made a decision to get in shape, and my initial approach was doing the "clean eating" thing, which was not fun, but did help me lose weight. After that, I went through a variety of dietary approaches (vegan, raw vegan, fruitarian, vegetarian, keto, paleo, you name it) just to shake things up. I'm a bit of a slow learner & didn't settle on macros until almost a decade later, but I'm happily sticking with it these days! And really, the only reason I stick with it is because I have an excellent meal-prep system, which lets me separate out the work so that everything is pretty easy to do.
 

JJChicken

Diamond Member
Apr 9, 2007
6,121
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#5
Everybody is different. Losing weight is partly motivational (to break bad habits and follow a good routine). I used to do the low carb approach with great success, now I’m slowly getting back into it.

But as I get older I’m moving more to complex carbs and veggies vs a heavy meat / protein diet
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
7,958
589
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#6
Yes Keto Is a Fad Diet, that may have short term results, but could have dire long term consequences.

I would simply eat a balance diet, and low consumption of package, junk, and fast food.
 

Mai72

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
8,773
262
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#7
We don't know t he long term consequences. 5, 10, 20 years later. TBH, most people who do keto do it for the wrong reasons, and they do it wrong. They eat dirty keto foods like bacon all the time. They go off, go on, go off, etc. They yoyo all the time which can have huge negative effects than just eating the typical American diet. I tried keto. Wasn't for me. But, I've kept my good fat intake in a good range. I'll still have my pasta with unsalted butter. Coconit oil on the side. I still eat a ton of healthy greens. Avacados are awesome. I'll eat one a day. The good fats will help with the carbs, and slow down the carb to sugar process. I just bought a Contour Next glucose monitor. I'm going to try it out tomorrow. I'll test my blood sugar level in a fasted state. 30 minutes after my first meal which is a 1500 calorie Nutribuller. Then 1 hour later. In that NB I have oats, banana, spinach, kale, peanut butter, avacado, flax seed oil, greens powder, collegen powder, protein, and a few other things. I'm very curious. Will my blood sugar level go thru the roof, or will it still be in the safe range because of the good fats.
 

whm1974

Diamond Member
Jul 24, 2016
7,958
589
96
#8
Get a blood Sugar Meter, that will tell if your blood sugar if in the right range.
 

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