Does The Ketogenic/Low Carb Diet Work?

Hey Davey,

My boyfriend started on the ketogenic diet and is getting some great results. I wanted to know your thoughts on the effectiveness of this regime.


cyclical-ketogenic-dietHey Jordan,

The ketogenic diet was initially developed as a way to treat epilepsy. More recently, it’s been used as a strategy for people looking to lose weight and improve their health.

First things first, what is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet results in a state of ketosis. Instead of relying on glucose for fuel, the body produces ketones in the liver. Though there are many forms of ketogenic diets, they typically involve the restriction of carbohydrates to levels under 50 grams per day. These diets are high in fat and usually contain moderate levels of protein.

Because of carbohydrate restriction, ketogenic diets are often compared to Atkins diets. However, the two are quite different. Ketogenic diets are lower in protein and often require strict meals plans and doctor supervision.

Can ketogenic diets be effective for individuals looking to lose weight? The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that all of us are different people with different lifestyles and different preferences - and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Personally, eating a balanced diet of complex carbohydrates (brown rice, whole wheat), lean proteins (fish, chicken, turkey), beans, nuts, lots of vegetables, fruits and essential fats has proven both effective and sustainable. And any diet that doesn’t include whole wheat pizza isn’t a diet for me. Sorry.

And as noted by the Mayo Clinic, low carbohydrate diets and ketosis are associated with health risks including headache, weakness, fatigue and/or bowel issues. For me, the fatigue is most evident in decreased workout intensity - which negatively impacts my gym results.

Having said that, there are plenty of ketogenic diet disciples that swear by the regime. At the end of the day, you need to find what works best for you!


P.S. If you’re looking to lose weight through an effective diet plan, exercise and an improved relationship with your body, download Davey Wavey’s Weight Loss Program - and get started right now!

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  1. Great article. I did Atkins diet about 10 years ago and lost 80 pounds on it. But it was not sustainable. It is hard to find choices when eating out. I eventually stopped it and gained all of it back and more. Currently counting calories so I can eat what I like so not as tempted to cheat, and working better.

    Some feedback for whoever does your blog formatting. It would be easier to read this if you put a little bit of a left margin so the text wasn’t so cramped looking.

  2. Great information on how to choose the best approach to eating healthy. I had not heard of this diet and based on this article I can see how it might be good for some people but not sustainable for me.

  3. Jim Jozwiak says:

    Davey, I respect that a ketogenic diet is not
    for you. However, most of the “mayo clinic”
    criticisms are easily corrected by adding
    sodium in the initial phases. So if any
    of your clients want to try it, keep it mind
    and perhaps look at one of the Volek/Phinney
    books on low-carb. Ketosis can be restrictive,
    but it _is_ sustainable for people for whom whole wheat is not a necessity.