The fantastic Brad Schoenfeld was on OmarIsuf's podcast recently, and he shed some expert…
This article is based upon Jason Blaha’s video on Keto which you can view here. The theme of the video is that Keto is terrible in the long-term, always, which it is. In the short-term though, there is an exception to the rule. This exception is for the obese.
Also, I don’t mean to be arrogant, but this is just so you have an idea of my background:
- I’ve read the vast majority of Keto diet books
- I’ve tried the diet myself multiple times (I admit I loved the high fat, meaty breafasts, they were f***ing delicious)
- I am currently leaner than about 95% of Keto users, and have been for a long time. Therefore I know what I’m talking about.
- I have been in the Fitness Game for almost 8 years. A lot of it has been focused on getting lean and finding the best way to optimise diet adherence and hence, stay lean.
- The most defensive Keto users are absolutely clueless, have very little experience with this stuff, and their close-mindedness is proof of this.
Keto Doesn’t Work
Jason talks about the mindset of people who love Keto, of which there are a lot. The mindset being that they are completely closed-minded on the topic. Most of them believe that anything else is inferior, 100% of the time, always. Which of course is not true.
But this is not only false with diets, it’s the same with everything else. Nothing is the “best” solution 100% of the time, it just doesn’t exist. There are always exceptions to the rule. Therefore Keto fanatics with a completely closed mind prove the fact that they’ve been completely brainwashed. I don’t blame Keto fanatics, I blame the marketing.
Whilst Keto is indeed a poor long-term strategy for your dieting success and physique, it can be a very useful strategy in the short-term for the obese. If your health is at risk, or you have an electrolyte imbalance, or some other very serious issue, Keto can be a life-saver.
For all other people seeking to lose weight and have their health intact, Keto offers nothing. It makes no sense. You would get the same results in the short-term by removing sugar, cleaning up your diet and cardio, and having a proper plan, without the hideous lack of sustainability that you will get with Keto.
If your health is currently fine, you will be better off following a fitness lifestyle that leads to long-term success, not bouncing up and down with Keto.
Why Keto Doesn’t Work
Keto is not a lifestyle. People who claim it is, are either hermits, brainwashed, or simply have little experience (and hence, are easily brainwashed). You can be a hermit, in which case Keto may work as a lifestyle, but if you actually want to have a life at all, then it simply won’t work. Nobody sticks to Keto for very long, hence, it’s doomed to fail (I’m laughing as I type these words) before it even begins.
Keto is horribly restrictive, cutting out a huge range of normal, every day foods. Not is the content of your food limited, the quantity of your food is severely limited. 50g of carbs and no more. Good luck maintaining that.
I agree, no problem here. Cutting out a sugar addiction is always a good idea. You can still have some when you’re advanced with this stuff, but you MUST remove any addictions a long time before you get to this stage.
“Grains or starches: Wheat-based products, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.”
You’re never going to eat rice again?
You’re never going to eat pasta again?
I eat all three regularly, and I’m shredded. You don’t realise what you’re missing.
“Fruit: All fruit, except small portions of berries like strawberries.”
You’re not allowed to eat fruit? Hahaha you morons. Fruit is excellent for keeping you full and pushing your calories further back into the day, when you need them most! Tastes great too.
I’m always chowing down pineapple, apples, bananas, grapes, pears, everything. I’m shredded. Leaner than the person writing this article, guaranteed.
“Beans or legumes: Peas, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.”
You’re not allowed to ever eat any of these things ever again?
“Root vegetables and tubers: Potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, etc.”
Jesus Christ guys, really? Potatoes are amazing, and some of the most nutritionally dense foods (very few calories in them) you can possibly eat. It’s amazing how good marketing can make otherwise intelligent people become completely irrational.
I eat potatoes, especially sweet potatoes on a regular basis. I’m shredded. Leaner than the person writing the article.
“Low-fat or diet products: These are highly processed and often high in carbs.”
If they’re talking about low-fat yoghurts, then I partially agree. You’re fine to eat them as long as you acknowledge them for what they are. Again, it just comes down to calorie counting. Just be aware that they aren’t going to fill you up, and like with sugary foods above, they’re best avoided if you’re a beginner with this stuff.
“Some condiments or sauces: These often contain sugar and unhealthy fat.”
I regularly have BBQ sauce on a variety of foods as I think it’s awesome.
Aaaaaaand I’m shredded, leaner than the person writing this article.
Unhealthy fat: Limit your intake of processed vegetable oils, mayonnaise, etc.
Yes I think I agree with this one. I’m undecided on olive oil, but mayonnaise does add a ridiculous amount of calories for absolutely no return. You can have it, but you’ll struggle to get shredded on it when you start requiring lower calories, which you will. At the start of a diet, especially if you’re very active, you may be okay.
Alcohol: Due to its carb content, many alcoholic beverages can throw you out of ketosis.
Well of course they will. But who gives a flying shit about ketosis? How about fat loss without the magical Ketosis fairy? Again, I’m sat here laughing as I type. Keto literally makes me laugh so these article are always fun.
Guys with actual long-term dieting success laugh at Keto. Bodybuilders think it’s funny. Not saying you should be a bodybuilder, I certainly have no desire to be, but they sure as hell know how to diet and get lean.
So you’re never going to drink alcohol again?
For some people who have had bad experiences or lost loved ones to alcoholism, this may be true. For the vast, VAST majority, it obviously isn’t going to be the case.
So what do you think will happen when you’re suddenly allowed to drink alcohol again when the “diet” is over? You’re going to go f***ing mental and BAM there goes your Keto diet.
I drink red wine fairly regularly, and I’m shredded. Getting drunk is different, and something I do not do anymore than once every other month. Getting drunk is a waste of time and calories as far as dieting is concerned, and I don’t recommend it at all.
Sugar-free diet foods: These are often high in sugar alcohols, which can affect ketone levels in some cases. These foods also tend to be highly processed.
Again, we want fat loss, not the magical Keto fairy, so it’s irrelevant.
The thing with a lot of Keto fans is that they have no idea how it works after their diet is over. Fat loss is not an event. It is a lifestyle. They think they will live in a magical world of shredded bliss. No, no, no that’s not how it works at all. Once the diet is over and you’re suddenly “allowed” to eat all of these foods again, guess what’s going to happen?
You’re going to go crazy and regain all of your fat back! DUH!
Every single time.
Keto, Or A Fitness Lifestyle?
Again, I don’t mean to be cocky, but I’m helping to demonstrate to you:
- How brainwashed people are (it always seemed obvious to me, as I’ve always followed bodybuilders’ channels on YouTube)
- How you need to develop a fitness lifestyle instead (coming from someone who’s done all this for a long time, and given how needless restrictions are awful for long-term success)
As I hinted at above:
- I regularly drink red wine
- I can have high sugar snacks sometimes in the evening if I want, although the majority of the time I choose not to
- I have BBQ sauce fairly frequently
- Peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas are in my diet whenever I want them to be
- Fruit is in my diet every single day
- Potatoes are in my diet every other day
- Rice is in my diet every week
- Oats are in my diet every other day
- Pasta is in my diet every week
- I eat some kind of high-carb (lower sugar) snack every evening
And you kow what I’m going to say next, don’t you?
I’m far leaner than 95% of Keto users and I have been for a long time (evil laugh). Keto is silly, very silly. You’re missing out on some seriously great food, as you can see. And wine/beer, who doesn’t like beer?
Furthermore, you know what else I can do, but Keto fanboys can’t? The following:
- I can enjoy meals out
- I can eat all of the above foods and drinks, no problem at all
- I get far more nutrition and micro nutrients than Keto users will (restrictions on potatoes, carrots, fruit, kidney beans, peas, lentils, oats etc. are not smart moves AT ALL)
- I get far more variation and fun
- I can spend time with friends, family and women and share food without having to worry about anything
- I can drink with friends whilst watching football
- I can drink with anyone else and enjoy myself
- I can spend time with a special woman if I want to, drink, share food and whatever else
- I can travel to countries with strange non-Keto-friendly food (which is most food, haha)
Sounds a little bit better doesn’t it? It really is a lifestyle thing, that people coveniently seem to forget when embarking upon a new diet such as Keto. If you want it to last, it has to be a lifestyle.
Now, to be clear, any diet is hard work. You must put yourself into an uncomfortable and testing negative energy balance. You must work hard on your meal prep, track progress religiously and do your cardio. Getting down to a true 8% body fat is absolutely brutal. You literally start dreaming of food. Nightmare. Maintaining 8-10% isn’t anywhere near as nasty though.
Adding to this difficulty through excessive rules is pointless – needless restrictions make it worse. Especially in the long-term. If you want to sustain it, you would be wise to eat less calories, do more cardio and eat cleaner food, but without putting insane restrictions on yourself.
I talk more about my system here.
I hope this has given you some food for thought, as I have demonstrated the insanity of Keto in more detail than ever before on more of a micro level, and made some direct comparisons to what I do instead, and why my way of doing things is better for diet adherence in the long-term.
As always though, it’s up to you what you do. Low carb, temporary fat loss from the magical Keto fairy, versus long-term success and happiness.
The decision is yours.
If you enjoyed this article and are motivated to lose weight, feel free to check out my coaching services here. Also, sign up to weekly exclusive content by email – the form is in the top right of the screen (if you’re on a computer), or at the bottom (if you’re on your phone). Thanks, I appreciate it.