Jemmy's Place

HEALTH AND BEAUTY LIFESTYLE FOR WOMEN.

Keto Diet in Nigeria and why it might not work

Salads in bowls

My recent BMI check tells me I’m overweight. So I’ve been considering a keto diet with INTERMITTENT FASTING. I need to knock off at least 10kg. It’s safe to say that we all know the recent weight loss trend (it’s actually not so recent) with the keto diet, but I’ll have you know that the diet is not all it cuts out to be. However, the keto menu has been gaining fame in Nigeria and is obviously here to stay.

The directive by the government to stay at home due to the global pandemic of the COVID-19 has been nothing short of annoying. I find myself not only bored but living a more or less sedentary lifestyle.

IS THE KETO DIET EFFECTIVE?


Hell yeah!
And to be frank with you, while I was on the keto diet some years back, I shed quite a few pounds. And as much as I’d like to applaud the diet, I have some reservations. The keto diet menu is ideal to quickly knock off some excess weight but in the long run, how sustainable is it?

The diet which was primarily invented to tackle epilepsy in the early twentieth century was for a purpose. Along the line, it has been modified to what it is now. It wasn’t formally for weight loss. But why it works so well is the natural ingredients less the junks and stuff. It has gone a long way to encourage clean eating. And when you start eating from nature’s garden, you can’t go wrong. Your body recognizes this and thanks you for it.
When you stop eating sugars, junks and bad fats, your body will definitely adjust to the default setting because it’s not meant to accommodate such toxins without having any negative side effects. That’s why the world is filled with so many food-related diseases. We need to go back to nature and the world is realizing this now. We’ve been brainwashed too long to believing most of the food items or products we see on the TV or the shelves are ideal. Personally, I can't remember the last time I took a bottle of coke. And if for some reason I fell into such temptation, the guilt afterward will be unbearable.

“Jemmy, do you know how much sugar you just consumed?”
“ Why couldn’t you have settled for fruits or a zobo drink instead?”
“ Get ready for belly bloat and the gasses!”
Arrrghh!

The major issue I have with the keto diet is why it decided to eliminate all my favorite foods in one diet. Some of us can’t live without rice or bread or sweet potatoes. What? Sweet potatoes? Holy cow!

It's not just gonna work in the long run. I mean it was good while it lasted but we just have to draw the curtains now.
And it's not me, it's you!
An avocado, tomato, egg and spices
Keto foods. Photo by mali maeder

WHY THE KETO DIET MENU MIGHT NOT WORK

Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks to this effective diet. But some would argue that as long as they are getting results, that's all that matters. Here are a few reasons you may need to rethink going strictly on the Keto Diet Plan.

1. HIGHLY RESTRICTIVE
The diet is really restrictive – It practically eliminates all the varieties of meals one can enjoy and you get to miss out on other worthy foods not to mention fruits. I find it highly mystifying that not up to 5 fruits are allowed on the diet. And we all know fruits are actually good for us. This diet is everything but balanced. And the thought of not been able to eat some of your favorite meals again can be frustrating.

2. UNBALANCED
Like we pointed out previously, because of the nature of this restrictive diet, whole food groups have been excluded leading to various nutrient deficiencies. In addition to this, while the diet promotes good fats-about 75% of your intakes, loading up on them is highly risky as it may mess up your cholesterol level because high fat diet is not for everyone. Also the reduction in fiber intake will have some people finding it difficult in the restroom while on the diet.

3. NOT EASILY ACCESSIBLE
I’m speaking for the majority of Nigerians here. So unless you are financially comfortable and can have your meals prepared or packed in advance, then I'll say go right ahead. Otherwise, you have to be extra conscious of your intake else you will easily fall into temptation.
Unfortunately, even most of our eateries or food vendors hardly have a menu for the keto diet so you will have to improvise. This means the only thing I would be able to order for are the salads or the chicken (which has to be grilled or oven-baked). You’ll also be worried about the kind of dressing in the salad if it’s actually compliant. So much apprehension!
The vegetable and melon seeds(Egusi) soups are safe cause we all know that’s been cooked with palm oil and contains assorted meat. But every other thing has to be made with compliant ingredients. It’s really a tough war.

4. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EVERYONE
If you're an ulcer patient or you're suffering from liver problems or you have type 1 diabetes, then this menu might not be the best for you. Remember this diet was originally created for people with epilepsy or brain-related diseases, so you really need to contemplate if you can embark on it. Asides that, it is always advisable to check in with your doctor before embarking on such a diet especially if you're suffering from any of the conditions mentioned above. In addition to this, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are not allowed to partake in the diet. Side effects of the diet include hunger, fatigue, keto flu, headaches, constipation and bad breath.

5. NOT AFFORDABLE
Yes, you’ve seen results and testimonials on your Facebook group and you're supercharged to start your weight loss journey, however, you could be spending more than you bargained for. If you could manage through for a week or two and you find that you need to restock, it might become bothersome. Unless your super-rich and can afford to stock your house with complaint products in bulk, you might have a problem with this diet. In our economy of high food price and terrible power sources, you come to find that the challenge is real.

Salad meal on a white plate
Keto compliant salad. Photo by dbreen
While I can proffer solutions to some of these contingencies, there is no predicting other factors that might come into play which is beyond my control. For example finding that you are stuck in traffic and you had to resort to gala and coke because your intestines were biting hard. Or you were at a meeting and you had to settle for the available foods nearby because you were experiencing dizzy spells. Whatever the case may be, it could be hard keeping up with the diet. Some people have gone as far as avoiding gatherings or parties so as not to cheat, but we all know we eventually end up cheating.

MY TAKE ON THE KETO DIET MENU

In summary, I think the keto diet is fantastic for that quick weight loss goal. If you have a target weight you want to achieve, then it's okay you could probably give yourself 1-3 months to achieve this goal because your body is not meant to be in Ketosis for extended periods of time. But in the long run, it's not sustainable due to its lack of nutrition and potential health risk. Besides that, there are no studies of how keto affects the health in the long run. And adopting such a diet for such period might not be the right choice for everybody.

This blog post by fitnigerian does so much justice to all you need to know about the keto diet. But don’t just take my word for it, read it through and decide.
And if you’re worried about piling back the fats (which is another demerit common with the diet), just follow the good ol’ fashioned rules of...

  • Drinking 8-10 glasses of water. A glass of water 30 mins before you eat
  • Reducing your portion sizes
  • Adding more fruits and vegetable and good fats to your diet
  • Stop eating after 7pm
  • Getting good sleep (Read here to know how this effect your diet and overall health)

So what about you? Have you tried the keto diet? What do you think of it? I’d really like to know.
Until then, take care of yourself.

1 comment

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