NO, unless recommended by a doctor, just no.
The most popular diet in the United States, is not necessarily the best for you. Social media has glorified this diet for so long, but not everything you see on social media should be tried. Social media only talks about the good side of this diet, not knowing the long term effects. Before starting ANY diet, you should do your OWN research and talk with your doctor. Also, keep in mind that a lot of social media “fitness” influencers have no idea about what they are talking about, and want to make things sound as smart and positive as possible to build a following and sell programs.
Now that is out of the way, let’s get to some general information about the “keto” diet. The Ketogenic Diet basically is a low carbohydrate and high fat diet that puts the body into Ketosis. Ketosis helps you burn fat and KEEP muscle. Ketosis typically begins in about 72 hours after going with less than 50g of carbohydrates per day. I capitalized “keep” for a reason, we will come back to that shortly.
Now that you have an idea of what the keto diet is, let me tell you why I am against this diet. Simply too many cons and bad marketing. For one, you cannot stay on this diet forever, you HAVE to stop at some point. If you do not stop, your health will basically deteriorate. Kidney problems, low pressure, loss of muscle, fatigue, kidney stones, constipation, the list goes on. With not that much studies done for actual long term, after 6 months (which is still kind of pushing it), these effects could kick in. Even after you get off of the keto diet, you have to slowly reintroduce carbohydrates back into your system. Not doing so properly could also result in some complications. Again, please speak with your doctor before trying this.
Back to the “KEEP” muscle statement. Can you gain muscle on the keto diet? Yes, you can. But what are the long term side effects of staying on the keto diet? You lose muscle. What is the main tactic of the keto diet? Low carbohydrate, high fat. I listed those questions simply because the main things you need to build muscle are protein, carbohydrates, and amino acids. Being on the keto diet you are taking out one of the essentials to rebuilding muscle. Carbohydrates also help with muscle recovery. If your muscles do not recover properly, I can almost guarantee you will take less trips to the gym. Lack of muscle recovery will simply result in more painful workouts, not as much progress, and possibly more injuries.
Most fitness influencers fail to mention these things when advertising this diet. NO, you cannot start this diet and look like them in 6 months. It does not work like that. Believe it or not, some fitness influencers are not regulars in gyms. Some got blessed with good genetics and can market their bodies via social media and make it seem like they have been gym heads all their lives. Not knocking anyone, I just tell the truth. Take whatever you see on social media with a grain of salt, and do your own research. Ask them questions about what they say, make sure they know what they are talking about.
Now, all of that is out of the way I can briefly touch on who the ketogenic diet benefits. This diet can help people with epilepsy, underlying health problems, and MAYBE cancer. Underlying health problems could just be someone that is obese or have a difficult time with burning fat, they can start this diet (recommended by a doctor) and get the proper jump start. It is always hard to get started. After they have gotten their body rolling with burning fat, then they can get off this diet and have a healthier alternative for long term fat loss to reach their goals. For epilepsy, this diet enhances the synthesis of gamma-aminnobutyric acid (Gaba) which makes seizures less likely to occur. This diet also reduces inflammation of the brain from infections which lessens the chances of having a seizure. As for cancer, they are currently doing studies on this, but they think the ketogenic diet can slow the growth of a tumor. In the future, more information on this will come out and we will see.
So, if you do not have underlying health problems/problems with initiating fat loss, epileptic, or been recommended this diet by a doctor, do NOT mess with this diet. Not enough pros, not anything long term, and there are PLENTY of diet options out there that will give you better results short term and long term (aka not worth it). Stay Khaotic my friends.