The ketogenic diet is many things—effective, trendy, divisive… But if there’s one thing it’s definitely not, it’s ‘easy.’ No matter what its devotees may tell you, sticking to under 20-30 grams of carbs per day is no walk in the park. Sure, it’s very doable for a few days, weeks or even a few months if you’re super disciplined. But the thing about keto is that it’s not something you can simply do for a quick fix. You essentially need to do it for life—otherwise the second you start eating carbs again, you’re likely to put it all back on, and then some. It’s also not something you can do in half measures. You’re either in ketosis or you’re not. And once you’re kicked out of it, it can be really hard (and unpleasant) to get back in.
Don’t get us wrong, there definitely are people who can stick to a keto diet long-term, but for the average person it’s just not realistic. But the good news is, you don’t actually have to be keto to reap the benefits of a low carb diet (including fat loss, better digestion and improved mood and mental clarity). Here, LCHF (low carb, high fat) dietitian Vicky Kuriel and Eat Play Thrive founder gives us the low down on the ‘moderately low carb’ diet.
“The average Australian has around 250g of carbohydrates every day! Dropping down to around 20-30g, which is what is required to be in ‘ketosis’, may be a little extreme for some. You’ll be glad to know that MANY of the benefits of ketosis can be achieved by simply lowering your carbs to around 100g per day, which for many is far more achievable and sustainable.
Unless you are on a keto diet for therapeutic reasons (i.e. to assist with control of epileptic seizures or as an adjunct to cancer therapy) a simpler lower carb approach may be just as beneficial. The essence of both a ketogenic diet and LCHF is that both approaches should be based around whole real food. By removing processed food from your diet and focusing on packing your diet full of nutrient dense naturally occurring food, you will not only feel and look better, your body will thank you in the long run.
LCHF might also be a more realistic approach for us in this modern world. I mean can you honestly say that you will never again indulge in pizza and beer with a group of mates? LCHF allows us a little more freedom to do these sorts of things and not be concerned about taking ourselves ‘out of ketosis’. It becomes more about a mindset of making better, lower carbohydrate choices MOST of the time. LCHF is truly a lifestyle approach to diet.
There is no counting kilojoules or weighing and measuring foods or balancing of macronutrients. It is simple and easy to follow and certainly the way to go in terms of optimising health and weight in the long run (without any added stress).”
Popular YouTuber and Instagrammer Rachel Aust recently swapped a ketogenic diet (which she was on for nearly a year) for a moderately low carb diet, as she found it was impacting her gym performance. You can hear about her experience here. Eat Play Thrive runs 6-week low carb challenges, with the next one starting in May. You can join the challenge here.