New Year New Challenge: Why the Heck am I Doing Keto?

by - 12:04 PM

For anyone who's been following along on my instagram - you'll have seen that I, like many many others, have jumped on the "New Years Crash Diet" fad and my torture chamber is the land of Keto.

This conversation goes two ways. First - so what is Keto anyway?

Second... WHY? 

The first is pretty easy. There's loads and loads of websites and blogs that detail all the ins and outs of Keto - but the basic idea is: high-fat (preferably the good kinds), medium protein, low-carbohydrates in a treatment that was created to control epilepsy in children. It forces your body to switch it's energy fuel from breaking down carbohydrates and sugar to running solely on fats that are converted by your liver into these things called "ketones."

Kale likes to call it a "body hack" which seems pretty on the nose.

But to answer that second question... the why of why I'm doing this, there's a whole slew of answers.

#1 - Because my boyfriend is. Not that I'm a mindless bot that follows someone else, but the reality of it is that if one person in a relationship is eating high fat, low carbs - and the other person decides to continue to eat high carbs - they're probably also going to indulge in the high fat foods their S.O. is munching on and that combination could prove quite deadly.

But for a more refined response, I've actually been fascinated by the idea of these kinds of diets for a while. With the slew of Keto, Paleo, South Beach, Whole 30, Carb-Free, Atkins, etc. having continuously made headline after headline - it obviously would pique my interest to educate myself on the what, how, and why these have all become so popular.

Because really... how did a medical treatment for epilepsy turn into a worldwide diet trend? 

from Tasteaholics
It's really been a puzzling question that I've honestly not found a sound answer for yet. The promises of these diets are extremely marketable - manipulating data into demonizing carbohydrates as the ultimate evil stopping you from being able to rid yourself of fat mass. Plus preying on the tastebuds of the American palate, diet away while still consuming all of the things you know and love - bacon, cheese, steak, butter - and melt away the pounds.

We've been fed convenient "data backed" lie after lie about nutrition since the dawn of marketing and at this point it's almost impossible to believe either side as being right or wrong. And yes - I know that the truly correct answer is that no "diet" is the right way to go. Learning portion control, feeding and fueling your body with a balanced diet and good foods, and exercise is the holy trinity of a happy healthy life... but for the sake of my own personal education, I still want to know the answer.

Your brain runs best when fueled by glucose vs. Your brain runs best when fueled by ketones 

My bias leans me towards the land of glucose - but I've also never experienced life run in dietary ketosis, and having lived my life with the strong philosophy that you should try everything at least once before you decide if you like it or not, why would this be any different?

And while there are certain aspects of this diet that I'm not a fan of (high fat, high cholesterol, restrictive eating) there's other aspects that I'm excited about seeing my body's reaction to - diabetes runs rampant in my family so existing on a low glucose level will be a nice test, and cutting out drinking for a month is a pretty much universally acknowledged good cleanse no matter what marketing tries to tell you.

So this will be an interesting experiment one way or the other. I'll let you know on the flip-side how I feel about it overall... but for right now, I'm going to give it my all.

And if you want to continue reading a little - really liked this article: Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "Villains" of Human Metabolism

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