If your New Year's resolution to hit the gym daily has failed already and you need to keep looking for a weight loss solution - the keto diet is not it. The keto diet is nothing more than another fad diet, designed to drop weight quickly... then watch the pounds come back quickly.
Potentially damaging your metabolism, getting ketoacidosis, bad breath, and calcium loss are all reasons why you should never try the keto diet. Originally meant to help epileptic kids, it was not designed for sustainable weight loss. You'll drop pounds quickly as your body is forced to use its emergency fat storage as fuel, but as soon as you start eating carbs again, the weight will come back - especially because a lot of what you'll lose is purely water weight.
Despite celebrity endorsements (or perhaps because of celebrity endorsements), the keto diet is full of hoaxes and myths. You'll find conflicting information everywhere, since there have only been a few small studies on the keto diet and no large-scale studies. While a high-fat diet may seem like a dream come true, you're not going to be living off of Sour Patch Kids and tubs of Duncan Hines frosting. The keto diet is all about healthy fats, so dream on.
Among the keto diet's side effects are sleepiness, fatigue, body odor, and bad breath. Known as "ketosis breath,"the bad odor comes from high quantities of acetone in the body. When the liver creates energy from fat, the fat produces ketones. Ketones break down into acetones - which, yes, is a lot like nail polish remover.
High-protein diets produce ammonia when the protein is broken down. If you associate ammonia with a cat litter box, this is what your breath and urine could smell like. Fun! Though the bad breath may only be a temporary problem, you can always solve it by coming out of ketosis. Otherwise, brush your teeth, floss, and clean your tongue.
Body odor is caused by ketones, just like bad breath. The detox process can also contribute to body odor. Your large intestine will clean out toxins that have been stuck in fat, and cleaning out the toxins mean that you have to get rid of them somehow: sweat and flatulence. Take salt baths and exercise, or just start eating carbs again.
Although there is no official research regarding the phenomenon that some Keto dieters are calling "Keto crotch," there is an unmistakable trend in people who have noticed an unpleasant smell in the more sensitive areas of their body. Gynecologist and founder for Her Viewpoint, Jessica Shepherd, MD, spoke with delish about the symptom and explained that the diet is likely changing a person's vaginal pH which then effects the odor.
More likely than not, the symptom is not dangerous. Dr. Shepard recommends waiting a few days for the odor to disappear on its own. She also says that any potential infection is probably unrelated to the diet and should be referred to a doctor.
Losing fat sounds great and all, but what if it comes at the cost of damaging your metabolism? Athletic and active women are particularly at risk, because your thyroid cuts down the available energy you have while you work out. So, if you're working out frequently, your body is going to start missing carbs pretty quickly. Carbs=energy, and if your thyroid doesn't have any carbs, your metabolism will suffer.
However, no one can say how long you can be in ketosis without running the risk of adverse side effects like this one. You could be fine for a few months - or only a few days.
A healthy diet, according to the Institute of Medicine, involves about 130 grams of carbs per day. On the keto diet, you'll be eating more like eight grams a day - about 6% of what is recommended. Anyone who has been on a low-carb diet before knows the desire to binge on a box of donuts or eat an entire bag of chips, but one of the positives of the keto diet is that eating so much fat will curb your cravings for carbs. You'll feel more full in general, helping you maintain ketosis and continue avoiding carbs.