While quick weight loss may be a seemingly attractive feature of the keto diet, its gratifying benefits seemingly end there. In fact, the keto diet can have incredibly damaging effects on the body and brain over time, contributing to disease, illness, and deterioration of the body. These are five of ways the keto diet is destructive to your physical and mental well-being.

Messed-Up Metabolism

The keto diet promises quick and efficient weight loss, but in reality, it destroys an individual’s muscle mass rather than their fat cells. Since muscle burns calories at a higher rate than fat, the keto diet can seriously disturb one’s metabolic cycle. As a result, someone is likely to gain back any lost weight–mostly in the form of fat–once they stop the diet. While it advertises fast weight loss, it can actually be super destructive to an individual’s weight and metabolism in the long term.

Immediate Sickness

What’s referred to as the “keto flu” usually starts not long after someone kicks off the highly restrictive keto diet. Their body continues to crave essential carbohydrates, and when their need for this bodily fuel isn’t met, feelings of sickness often follow. This can include fatigue, dizziness, irritability, insomnia, memory issues, fogginess, and much more. While this sickness may fade after a few days, the initial shock throws an individual’s body for a sometimes dangerous, irritating spin.

Dangerous Ketosis

The keto diet gained its name from ketosis, yet this state is not as healthy as the diet lets on. Ketosis, across time, leads to a significant loss of muscle mass, fatigue, tiredness, depression/anxiety, and more. Eventually, it plummets one’s body into a mode of starvation, which decreases brain functioning, damages memory, harms one’s organs, and drastically increases the risk of mental and physical illnesses. And ultimately, a chronic state of ketosis makes it even harder to lose weight and keep it off.

Diabetes And Other Diseases

Considering the keto diet is so low in essential carbohydrates, which make up a large portion of the human diet, many people struggle to find healthy alternative foods to consume. The keto diet promotes healthy fat consumption, yet many may turn to highly fatty and unhealthy foods, increasing their risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Our diets require healthy carbs, proteins, fruits, veggies, and more, and when any of these areas are neglected, unhealthy cravings increase, glucose balances are disturbed, and the risk of diseases skyrockets.

Poor Athletic Performance

While many athletes have praised the keto diet, it’s often incredibly damaging to athletic performance. Without any nourishing, restorative carbohydrates, the keto diet ultimately results in decreased muscle mass, fatigue, and an inability to push to peak performance level. In athletes, this strict, restrictive diet result in slower exercise speeds, lower stamina, and longer recovery periods.