The Cookbook: The Keto Diet - A Short Introduction And Our Verdict

A keto diet is one which aims to achieve active ketosis - This is a metabolic process which takes place in the body, it burns fat in the absence of carbs for energy hence why a keto diet consists of low carbohydrates. Specifically, 75% fats, 20% protein and 5% carbs. 

The restriction of carbs within a keto diet with the purpose of achieving active ketosis means that most people aim to eat less than 50g of carbs a day. That translates to a few carrots and a hand-picking of grapes...for a whole day!

It’s therefore obvious to see that a keto diet is intense and not for the faint-hearted. The need to track your macros to a T as well as the fact that you will have consistent cravings also makes it a mental task alongside being physically demanding. However, a positive of a keto diet is that it challenges the stigma surrounding fats and leads to a higher consumption of healthy fats. This means that a keto diet can help individuals with digestive problems, inflammation, metabolic disease and obesity. 

Yet, this does not mean that a keto diet is the only solution as these same problems can also be counteracted by changing the nature of one’s diet and exercising regularly. The keto diet is therefore not a divine solution in any sense. 

Concerning performance ability, due to the carb restricted nature of keto diets we wouldn’t recommend - Keto dieting may be attractive if you hold the view that ‘carbs make you fat’ but this is not a truism. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy, they serve as the petrol to your body as they fuel your performance so restricting them to the extent that a keto diet requires means that you will have less energy, possibly worse workouts and therefore less progress. The predominantly fat-based nature of a keto diet is insufficient if you strive to be at your best for every workout. 

For those who may consider keto as the ideal path for simultaneous weight loss and muscle gain - it is not a given as this will depend on your body’s insulin utilisation. In addition, you won’t gain muscle if you’re eating less as you do on a keto diet.