The TRUTH About Keto Diets (Ft. Dr. Brad Schoenfeld): An Analysis
The fantastic Brad Schoenfeld was on OmarIsuf’s podcast recently, and he shed some expert light on the topic of Keto. We already know that Keto is not long-term sustainable, but let’s get the expert’s view on it. Brad goes into multiple reasons as to why he doesn’t like Keto. Here we go.
It’s Bad For Athletes
He begins by saying that he never recommends it for any athletes, particularly strength athletes. Correct. Keto is horrible for maintaining strength. He also talks about how it can potentially be a good thing for fat loss (only) for the average person, if they can stick to it. Which, as we know, the vast majority of people can’t:
“Oh yeah, Keto worked so good maaaaan” says the typical Keto dieter who regained all of his weight. No, if you regain all your fat, the diet doesn’t work. Sorry. I know this appears to be a difficult concept for most people to wrap their damn heads around, but temporary fat loss is a fucking waste of time. No two ways about it. If you can’t keep the fat off, don’t bother expending your precious resources trying in the first place.
The root principle of all diets, as correctly pointed out by Brad, is adherence. If you can’t keep something going in the long-term, you LOSE. I don’t care about how you looked on the beach for 3 days or at the wedding for 1 day. YOU LOSE.
He talks about how Ketosis is not some magic fairy that instantly warrants caloric balance meaningless. Calories are still king. Keto is only useful for suppressing appetite, and even then, if you go too low on carbs for too long, you end up screwing your appetite through other hormonal pathways, regardless of how high your protein intake is.
If you are a strength athlete, do not ever do Keto.
The Average Person
The only time Keto may work, is for an average person who doesn’t lift weights, doesn’t train at all, and is completely inactive. Again, this is assuming they can actually stick to this, which they won’t. They’re fat, they don’t train or regulate their appetite in any way, shape or form, are bound to have a food addiction and live a high-stress lifestyle. Are they really going to stick to Keto?
The only chance they have is if they have had life experiences strong enough such as a life-threatening health scare.
They also talk about how Keto Lovers claim that Keto is “healthy”, which as we already know, is an incredibly subjective, meaningless word. I’ve spoken before about how this word can get completely mis-used and used to justify laziness.
It can also be used to manipulate consumers who don’t know any better through clever marketing. A prime example of this was always “low fat” yoghurts in TV ads in the 90’s, which of course had really high sugar. They were branded as being healthy, because a beautiful woman was eating them, so they must be healthy, right? Haha.
Despite the inherent problems with the term “healthy”, Omar states that the only time Keto is actively healthy, in fact, healthier than any other nutritious diet, is if this average, sedentary-person-who-never-trains-and-has-been-fat-all-his-life-and-all-of-a-sudden-manages-to-stick-to-a-super-restrictive-Keto-diet, is epileptic. Or had some other illness that requires treatment.
Otherwise, there is nothing healthy about Keto. Just remove sugar. That’s “healthy”.
Brad gives his opinions on why Keto has become so popular:
- Excellent marketing and packaging
- Cherry-picking the science (and conveniently ignoring other parts) especially with insulin
I’m aware of people who do this with IF too. I don’t want to do this, despite being an IF advocate. IF is fantastic for controlling your appetite, but there is nothing magical about it. Keto will control your appetite initially, but going low carb for extended periods of time will fuck your hormones up. Every time.
Keto isn’t “healthy” or magical, and is actually damaging to people. They want the quick-fix, they get it, and then they slide back into their fat old ways. Pointless.
If you can’t keep the weight off, YOU LOST THE FITNESS GAME.