WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) -- A lot of fad diets promise to help you lose weight quickly. One that's been around for nearly a century called the keto diet has grown in popularity in recent decades and makes that same promise.
The Keto Diet is short for ketogenic and forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. A lot of dieters swear by it because of the quick results. But is it all that it's cracked up to be?
Maria Ramos of Ashley wants to lose some weight. Besides working out several times a week at Odyssey Fitness in Wilkes-Barre she's also watching what she eats. "Trying to cut out the carbs. That seems to be working for me," she said. Carb cutting is one of the keys to the Keto Diet. "I'm not actually good at diets but I heard somewhat of it," said Ms. Ramos.
Besides limiting carbohydrates, the Keto Diet requires high fat, moderate protein intake. By restricting carbs, your body is forced to seek energy by breaking down stored fats for its fuel source. People who've tried the Keto Diet often report losing an average of ten or more pounds in the first couple of weeks. "Keto Diet sounds like a good thing at first," said Odyssey Fitness Nutrition Coach and Lead Personal Trainer Marissa Udzella but she added there's a price to pay on this restrictive diet. "You could be the term 'skinny fat' and be losing weight but you might be losing mostly your lean tissue."
Another danger of the Keto Diet is while you will be losing pounds you'll be depriving your body of essential nutrients. The diet long-term can deprive your bones of calcium and lead to osteoporosis. Also, raised cholesterol levels from a fat-rich diet can harm your cardiovascular health. "There's things that are going to go wrong whether it's in your bones, whether it's your hormones, your muscle tissue, whatever. You need to have that balance," said Ms. Udzella.
It's why Ms. Ramos says to reach her personal goals, dieting alone won't get the results she wants. "I'm trying to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in my diet and trying to come here like after I get out of work."
Ms. Udzella says aim to drop one to two pounds per week so that you protect lean muscle mass. If you plan to diet, she recommends small changes over time because it's easier to make it part of a healthy lifestyle.