The ketogenic diet has become synonymous with fat loss. Some experts claim that it is best diet to drop body fat, whereas some still debate its efficiency. However, I have already mentioned the benefits of a ketogenic diet and the mistakes to avoid while following it in my previous articles. With this piece, I’ll try to shed some light on the things you should not aim for and expect while following a ketogenic diet.
It’s no doubt that a ketogenic diet has tremendous benefits in dealing with cancer, diabetes, epilepsy and obesity, as well as one of the best bets for fat loss; but there are still a few drawbacks that this high fat diet brings along.
Drawbacks Of The Ketogenic Diet:
1. You Cannot Build Muscle On A Ketogenic Diet
Although a ketogenic diet is a fat loss diet, some people still try to pack on muscle while staying in a state of ketosis. This is practically next to impossible. Packing on muscle mass majorly depends on mTOR activation (master cell regulator for protein synthesis) which further depends on insulin levels for its optimal state. Research suggests, a ketogenic diet hampers the ability of insulin to signal the mTOR to activate muscle protein synthesis and this hindrance hampers the muscle building process to a great extent. Another study was conducted which covered the relation between a ketogenic diet and the production of growth hormone levels in the body. A decrease in growth hormone signaling, along with decreased amounts of growth hormone receptor levels in the liver was found in people following a ketogenic diet. Ketosis desensitized the liver towards the growth hormone, which further caused a lack of IGF-1 production, leading to lower protein production within muscle cells. Hence, more muscle atrophy.
2. Hampers High Intensity Anaerobic Workouts
High intensity workouts are based on quick burst of energy supplied in the form of ATP which is derived from blood glucose and exists in glycogen stores. The very low carbohydrate characteristic of a keto diet leads to the depletion of muscle glycogen. According to a study, due to the depleted muscle glycogen in the body, it cannot perform high intensity anaerobic workouts effectively. For example- heavy lifts and sprints etc.
3. A Ketogenic Diet Is Unsustainable
Although this point could be very subjective, following a ketogenic diet in the long run can be very difficult. Since carbohydrates are easily available and accessible as a source of instant energy, sticking to a ketogenic diet at times can be a big challenge. Moreover, if you are out on a date or at a party, the celebration usually revolves around carbohydrate based foods, and therefore, it makes the diet unsustainable.