Negative Effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

Negative Effects of the Ketogenic Diet?

Is Keto a great weight loss solution or too risky for your health? Let's discuss the pros, cons, and potential side effects, plus what's the heck is the keto flu?

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The Keto Diet: An effective diet solution or a Health Risk? The ketogenic diet has been proven to have some impressive benefits besides weight loss, including the control of blood sugar for diabetics and even reducing the chances of having a seizure.

However, like any diet trend or fad, the pros seem to be highlighted far more than the cons, and there are some potential risks you should take into consideration before jumping into this lifestyle change. Here is everything you need to know about the benefits and downfalls of the keto diet and how to determine whether it's right for you.

First, A Brief History of Keto

When a friend of mine told me they only eat "keto foods," I thought they meant "Quito," as in the capital of Ecuador! Well, since then I've heard a lot about the diet as it's gone from obscure to wildly popular.

In fact, the keto diet is arguably now the most widely known low-carb, high fat diet. It usually includes eating mostly meat and other protein-rich foods, while drastically cutting carbohydrates. (Typically to under 50 grams of carbs per day) As a result, your body eventually starts to break down and use fat as a source of energy rather than carbs. When this happens, your body is in a state called ketosis.

There is a lot of evidence to support that the keto diet can help prevent seizures in children. In fact, it keto was commonly used as a treatment for epilepsy until effective anti-seizure drugs were developed.

Researchers speculate that the keto diet doesn't only protect against seizures, but other disorders as well, including Alzheimer's, although there is not yet sufficient evidence to prove it. Weight loss, on the other hand, is something that most researchers agree the keto diet can help with.

Keto & Weight Loss, Type 2 Diabetes

When your body reaches the state of ketosis, it is easier for you to shed fat and build muscle, which helps you get that lean, toned appearance. Patients with type 2 diabetes can also benefit greatly from the keto diet, not only because of the potential weight loss, but because it helps keep their blood sugar at a safe level. These are some pretty exciting benefits and they've both been well-researched and extensively proven.

However, there are significant risks associated with the keto diet.

Keto Risks / Side Effects?

Now that you know why so many people are raving about the keto diet, you may be wondering: what are the potential risks? First off, it is a fairly extreme low-carb diet and when followed closely, even healthy carbs are omitted from the menu.

For example, strawberries, apples, and pineapples are a few fruits that are off limits because they are high in natural sugars. Limiting the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat to this extent could cause you to become constipated, especially when you increase the amount of meat you're consuming.

The keto diet can be dangerous if you forget to stay hydrated because keto causes you to lose water more rapidly. If you're not consuming enough fluids while on the diet, you could put yourself at a higher risk for kidney stones.

Your weight loss could also be a little deceiving in the beginning stages of the diet. You might think the sudden weight loss you experience immediately after starting the diet is fat, when in reality you're really just losing water weight.

Keto Flu Risk?

Switching from burning carbs to fat isn't always a smooth transition. You might also experience the "keto flu", a set of symptoms that are renowned for being side effects of the keto diet, including nausea, headaches, irritability, and fatigue.

These flu-like symptoms are caused as your body struggles to adapt to your new, low-carb diet. In a way, the ketosis process is a bit like trying to quit an addictive substance like caffeine or nicotine. (Yikes!)

Is Keto Weight Loss Sustainable?

Needless to say, the diet's strict nature makes it difficult to stick to and it is not very sustainable for the long term, and most experts rate it poorly. It takes a lot of work to follow properly and in a way, that is healthy. Most people eat far too much meat and not enough vegetables with little variety of healthy food groups, which isn't exactly a balanced diet.

Although processed meats are usually the most convenient and affordable, it is advisable to avoid eating too much of these unhealthy protein sources. People on the keto diet may have to set aside extra time and money to buy quality meat and make healthy, home-cooked meals.

So, is it sustainable? Here's the rub. You'll probably lose weight with keto, but most experts will tell you that it's not good to stay on indefinitely. That's why commercial diets like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem (Turbo 13), and South Beach Diet (Phase I) start out with a restrictive fast weight loss phase for the first 30 days, but then incorporate healthy carbs and fiber, as eating meat to lose weight isn't a long-term solution!

The Keto Diet: So, Is It Healthy Weight Loss?

While the keto diet can produce life-changing results, especially for those with certain disorders or ailments, it should be used with caution.

It is not a foolproof solution for weight loss, and it takes a lot of effort and commitment, so talk to your doctor before starting the keto diet.

No matter what diet you're currently on, you should always consume healthy, balanced meals full of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, (good carbs) and lean meats.

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4 Conversations We All Dread Having With Our Families

Topics that may have you asking, "Is it just me or is it hot in here?"

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We've all experienced it before: The distant relatives you never see that ask you the most difficult and/or annoying questions about every aspect of your life. It can sometimes feel like a grilling session where all your laundry, dirty or clean, is on public display. Get ready for those awkward conversations across the dinner table. Here are 4 conversation topics that may have you asking, "Is it just me or is it hot in here?"

1. Your relationship status.

Are you seeing anyone? Have someone special in your life? What happened to so-and-so? The invasive questions that have every member of your family analyzing your love life and making you uncomfortable.

2. Your School Life

What're you doing in school? What's your major? Are you getting all A's? College is stressful and hard; A's may not always happen.

3. Your Career Path

What do you wanna do with your major? What are your plans in life? I'm gonna tell you, I still don't know!

4. Your Behavior and Social Life

Are you behaving yourself at college? Making smart decisions, right?

*cue silent nod*

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5 Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Lose Weight + Get Fit

Your iPhone can be a great tool for diet and fitness, and many of the best features and apps are free! Here's how to use your smartphone to lose weight and get in shape

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Did you know that your new iPhone is more than a million times more powerful than all of NASA's computing power in 1969? You could definitely say that the smartphone is a giant leap for mankind.

You probably rely on your smartphone for dozens of things every day, but did you know your phone can be your health and fitness coach? Some modern devices come with health tools built-in, but there are hundreds of apps you can install to tailor it to your own needs. Smartphones could be the answer to the global problem of obesity and the rising level of diseases like diabetes.

The broad range of health and fitness apps available means you can use technology to achieve whatever goal you choose. For example, a running app can be used to train and prepare for a 5k or marathon. If you want to reduce your alcohol consumption or increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet, there are apps that can help.

The following smartphone tools can improve your fitness and help you to lose weight, and most are free.

#1. Heart rate monitors

The free Health app on an iPhone offers a range of options and ways to monitor your fitness, including a heart rate monitor. For older devices and Android smartphones, there are apps available to track your heart rate and stress levels.

Heart rate apps work using the device's built-in camera and are a convenient way of taking a heart reading without the need for a fitness tracker or other equipment. Knowing your heart rate can help you to exercise at the correct level of intensity.

Best heart rate monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Instant Heart Rate from Azumio. ($4.99 for iPhone, free for Android)

#2. Activity monitors

Monitoring your physical activity can be very helpful if you want to improve your fitness. An app like Google Fit can track the number of steps you take in a day and be used to track your progress to a goal. Most experts suggest a minimum of 10,000 steps a day. Tracking your activity levels and BMI can motivate you to find the time to exercise, and it's rewarding to see what you're achieving.

Best activity monitor app for iPhone / Android? Try Human Activity Tracker from Mapbox

#3. Exercise reminders

If you find it hard to build exercise into your daily routine, a nudge from your smartphone may be what you need. Google's (free) Calendar app can be used to set goals like 'Run 3 miles twice a week.'

The free app will suggest times of the day you can fit this in and remind you when it's time to put your shoes on. Some apps, like MapMyRun, offer the option to become part of a virtual community where you can encourage each other and share tips and ideas for sticking to your exercise plans.

Best free exercise reminder app for iPhone / Android? Try Johnson & Johnson's Official 7 Minute Workout

#4. Mindfulness apps

As well as helping to improve your physical fitness, there are smartphone apps focussing on mental well-being. Mindfulness has become very popular over the past couple of years, and an app is a great way to experiment with some of the techniques.

Your smartphone can take you through guided meditation exercises for improving well-being and aiding relaxation. Mindfulness apps can also help you to sleep better, and this, in turn, will improve your physical health and appetite for exercise.

Best mindfulness app for iPhone/ Android? Try Insight Timer for free, or Aura for a monthly ($7.99) or annual fee.

#5. Virtual personal trainers

If you lack the motivation to stick to an exercise program but can't afford a personal trainer, a virtual coach on your smartphone could be the answer. Basic versions are free, but for more advanced personal trainer apps charge a subscription fee.

They can suggest exercises to target different areas of the body, track your progress towards goals and even play music to keep you moving. Some apps also allow you to video conference with a real personal trainer and find local groups you can exercise with.

Weight Watchers now offers personal coaching that adds unlimited phone calls and text messages to your WW Digital subscription, but it will cost you more than FreeStyle (Online) only.

Best workout apps for iPhone or Android? Try MyFitnessPal, Map My Fitness, PEAR Personal Fitness Coach, or Workout Trainer from Skimble

Weight Loss & Fitness: Also Consider Wearing a Smartwatch

Smartwatches and other wearable devices like FitBit are taking fitness apps to the next level. Although I don't like watches and wearables for email or business-related use, they can be great for health and weight loss. Think about your current exercise goals and needs, and try some apps to see how they can help. (Just try not to lose them!)

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