One of the most frustrating things about the peri and menopausal years is the unexplained and often unexpected weight gain that may occur. This is especially true if you regularly exercise and follow a healthy diet. When those unwanted pounds creep around your midsection for no apparent reason and with no significant changes to your diet or exercise habits, it can make you feel helpless and out of control. That feeling leads many women to search for ways to take their bodies back, including trying different diet plans that promise quick results.
The Keto diet is one trend that has been gaining traction over the past few years for the way it promises to turn the body into a fat-burning machine. How? By drastically cutting carbs and protein and increasing the amount of healthy fats consumed to up to 90% of your daily caloric intake. If eating fat to burn fat sounds too good to be true, it isn’t. This way of eating throws your body into a state of Ketosis where it no longer has enough carbs to use for fuel and instead relies on fat for its primary energy source.
While tricking your body into using its fat for fuel sounds like the stuff a middle-aged woman’s dreams are made of, there are some downsides to the traditional Keto diet. First, it requires tracking your macros and monitoring every morsel you put in your mouth. If you are not already a macro tracker, you may be surprised to learn that the handful of berries you top your morning yogurt with could take up your entire daily carb allowance!
Plus, when you factor in things like holidays, business dinners, vacations, and other situations where you are not in control of the menu, accurately staying on top of your numbers can be an issue. Then there’s the fact that not all fats are healthy fats. When people hear that fats are allowed, they often overconsume saturated fats, which can clog arteries and lead to potentially life-threatening complications. Take heart before you roll your eyes and reach for that second cinnamon roll. There is a new Keto option making the rounds that, while it may not work as quickly, offers what some say is a more user-friendly way to approach the traditional method. Enter Keto 2.0.
What It Is
Considering the pitfalls of the traditional Keto diet, Keto 2.0 offers a less restrictive approach that is easier to follow and maintain for the long haul. In other words, welcome back carbs. No, that doesn’t mean you can jump headlong into a bowl of pasta (this is still a carb-restrictive diet, after all), but it does mean you won’t blow your entire carbohydrate allowance on an apple.
In the new and improved Keto plan, up to 20% of calories can come from carbs versus only 2-10% in the original version. You are also allowed about 10% more protein, while the fat drops from a whopping 70-90% of your caloric intake to just 50%. More flexibility in food options makes it easier for people to stick to the plan and allows them to incorporate more vitamin and nutrient-dense, fiber-filled fruits and veggies.
What It Isn’t
Some argue that the new Keto 2.0 isn’t as effective as the original. Why? Because for the body to achieve a state of Ketosis and start using fat for fuel, the carbohydrates must be in that 2-10% sweet spot. According to “Healthy in a Hurry” co-author Karen Ansel, R.D.N., per Prevention, when you get 20% of your daily caloric intake from carbs, “it’s impossible to reach ketosis anymore.”
So, if you aren’t in Ketosis, then what is the point of Keto 2.0? Misleading name aside, it is still a low-carb diet, and low-carb diets have proven to be an effective way to lose weight, just maybe not as rapidly as going 100% Keto.
The Bottom Line
The only diet that works is one you can stick with over time. Chances are that people who find the original Keto too time-consuming or restrictive will not follow it long enough to make a significant difference. Furthermore, they may gain weight if they consume too much fat without correctly cutting carbs. Keto 2.0 offers people a more manageable way to try the low-carb lifestyle, which may result in a slower but more sustainable weight loss.
Keto 2.0 offers more balance by giving enough room to consume more fruits, vegetables, and fiber, which can help keep things moving smoothly, digestively speaking. It is important to note, however, that both versions still call for a higher percentage of fat, along with lower carbs and proteins than are recommended by the national dietary guidelines for the average adult. So, while Keto 2.0 may be more flexible, that doesn’t necessarily make it something you should do for life.
Before beginning this or any diet, you should always consult your doctor to ensure there are no underlying problems that may be exacerbated by consuming a high-fat diet.