The ketogenic diet is gaining more mainstream popularity by the second. And for good reason.
In this article, Registered Dietitian and Founder of Fit In Your Dress – Brides, breaks down the ketogenic diet in detail, shares the pros, and cons, and provides his final take on whether it’s the best fit for your wedding weight-loss goals.
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a very high-fat, moderate-protein, very low-carbohydrate diet. A standard calorie distribution looks like this:
- 70 – 75 percent of calories from fat
- 15 – 20 percent of calories from protein
- 5 – 10 percent of calories from carbohydrates
The result of eating a very-high-fat, very-low-carbohydrate diet – consistently for a significant period of time, not just a few days – is a shift in your body’s primary fuel source from glucose (carbohydrates) to fatty acids and ketone bodies (from stored fat) – this state is defined as ketosis and it’s determined by the concentration of ketone bodies in your blood.
I know, a world completely devoid of bread, pasta, and wine scares the you-know-what out of me, too, but keep reading as there’s quite a bit of research and merit to this dietary approach.
Your body has a nearly limitless supply of stored fat in which fatty acids and ketone bodies can be created from. When you follow the ketogenic diet correctly and consistently your body begins to tap into a virtually limitless fuel supply, meaning you begin burning body fat directly as fuel!
More on how long you need to follow this approach to get to this point below – keep reading!
Pros of the Ketogenic Diet
Ketosis (the result of successfully following a ketogenic diet) has been shown to elicit outstanding weight loss when followed appropriately, and to have a positive effect on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which are typically abnormal in overweight and obese individuals. The ketogenic diet has also been shown to suppress appetite and improve cognitive function, specifically focus and alertness, which is absolutely beneficial.
Cons of the Ketogenic Diet
The most noteworthy downside to this approach is its sustainability.
Even eating a small portion of carbohydrates can knock you out of ketosis and put a giant “pause” on the weight loss, health, and cognitive benefits described above. Plus, if you do knock yourself out, it may take you 3 – 5 days to return to ketosis.
Furthermore, if you regularly engage in anaerobic exercise, such as resistance training or sprint training, you may lack sufficient fuel to perform at your best. Research examining the impact of a ketogenic diet on anaerobic exercise performance hasn’t been consistent; some studies have shown no improvement in performance while others have demonstrated impaired performance. If your goal is improving rep PRs, 1RMs, or sprint times, this diet may not be for you.
Lastly, and maybe most noteworthy, it may take 3 – 6 weeks (everyone is different) to get your body into ketosis. This means 3 – 6 weeks of feeling like absolute crap until your body finally makes the switch to running on fat as fuel….
The ketogenic diet has a lot of research behind its purported benefits, which makes it unique among other popular fad diets, such as Whole30. However, this dietary approach must be taken seriously: proper planning, patience, education, and expectations are essential to your success.
A better way to characterize this diet is as a lifestyle. Following a ketogenic diet is a way of life – it impacts how you eat and what you eat and can make dining in social situations very challenging if you’re not educated and experienced.
If you’re considering this approach to lose weight for your wedding, we strongly encourage you to think twice unless you’re committed to it for the long-term – think a minimum of at least 12 months. Diving back into our carb-infested world after following (or in the midst of following) a ketogenic diet can lead to rapid weight regain, negative physique changes, and a poor relationship with your bodyweight, body image, and weight.
Have you considered how you’re going to navigate your bachelorette party, bridal shower(s), rehearsal dinner, wedding, and honeymoon following this lifestyle…
An alternative solution, and perhaps, a more sustainable and beneficial one, is developing a foundation of healthy, maintainable eating habits. Whether that entails applying ketogenic dieting principles is up to you, but regardless, having a personalized plan created by a Registered Dietitian to take all nutrition-related stress off your plate while planning a wedding is invaluable.
Use the discount code BLOG10 to save 10% on a 3-Month Wedding Weight-Loss Plan Today!