In the fitness world there is this term often tossed around which usually goes “dirty something” be it dirty-bulking for those weight lifters who are eating to bulk up, or dirty lifting which can even describe the way in which those weights are lifted! It simply means doing something just good enough but not all the way, or taking the lazy approach which may get you results but isn’t exactly the best way possible.
When it comes to keto a dirty diet is still sticking to low carb and high fat eating but without taking the quality of your foot much into account. Think drive-thru burgers, diet soft drinks and as many prepackaged foods as they can find which still stick to the appropriate macro nutrients. It’s the quick & dirty approach to eating keto while not actually taking the wholistic and clean approach.
Can It Result In Weight Loss
In a word… yes. But just because you’re losing weight doesn’t mean you’re healthy. If you’ve never heard the old adage “garbage in, garbage out” then this is the perfect time for it. Some of the popular junk type foods folks indulge in while following a not-so-clean keto diet are:
- Fast food without the carbs
- Cheese and other dairy in high amounts
- Cured meats in high amounts
- Diet sodas
- And anything else that fits in their macros
They think if it fits those macro needs then it’s fine but is it really? Sure, it’s possible to still enter ketosis while eating this way and yes your body will be burning fat for it’s fuel instead of carbs but what about the rest of your metabolic details? Burning fat is not the only thing your body does all day, there’s other stuff going on in there.
Why Shouldn’t You Do Keto Dirty
You won’t feel the positive physical benefits for starters. All the beautiful benefits like mental clarity, improved physical performance and so much energy you won’t know what to do with it! All of this tends to come from scrapping the junk and letting your body run on a much cleaner diet. Another consideration is the fact that a dirty-keto diet isn’t very sustainable for the long term, you’re going to eventually end up growing tired of feeling less than great or even worse it could land you in a hospital since eating so much processed food for a long time can end up having adverse effects on your arteries and blood pressure.
Dirty keto food is highly processed
Snack foods are fine if they fit your macro needs, but attempting to live on these foods is risky. In many cases these items will contain bad fats along with sugar alcohols and of course artificial ingredients. There are studies out there to suggest eating highly processed foods will increase rates of:
- Food addiction
- Chronic inflammation
- Asthma and other allergies
- Poor digestion and GI disorders
Not so fun at a glance, is it? There are just a handful of foods which tend to be the largest culprit in this such as sugary drinks and high carb staples like burgers, fries, chips, ice cream and even cookies. There isn’t much research to suggest if eating these things while in ketosis is any better or worse but it’s safe to presume cutting these out or at least lowering the rate of consumption will serve you well.
Micronutrients are lacking in dirty keto foods
Sure, your macronutrients are what’s important in order to keep yourself in ketosis but let’s not forget about those micronutrients as they feed the body’s important needs. We’re talking about your vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which you’ll get from consuming whole foods that are essential for optimal health. These are found in things like:
- Nuts & Seeds
They help to keep your immune system strong while assisting in your normal, every day cell function and maintenance. They help keep your hair, skin and nails growing at a steady rate and even boost your energy levels which is one of the top benefits to expect while on a clean keto diet. Do to the fact most prepacked foods and fast foods won’t have everything you’d get in whole foods you prepare for yourself at home it’s going to be much harder to get the micronutrients necessary for your daily needs.
Remaining stuck in keto flu
If you’re reading this then you probably already know what the keto flu is but did you know that eating an improper keto diet can result in you never getting past the keto flu? Just imagine dealing with these side effects in a never ending loops as you try to shed weight and live your life:
- Muscle cramps
- Constipation & bloating
- Headaches or migraines
- Fatigue or even dizziness
- Heart palpitations and more!
Granted these are a bit on the extreme side of things and most people won’t experience more than some bouts of low energy, headaches, sniffles in some cases and mood swings but it’s important to know how bad it could potentially get.
In order to assist you in getting out of the keto flu stage we’ve prepared a helpful article which can be found ( right here) so give it a click, it will open in a new tab so you won’t lose your place here.
Additionally we have whipped up a great post on how to get past your sticking points if you find that doing keto right is a bit difficult for you. With a little help it’s not so bad, really. You can check that out, just ( click here ) and it will also open in a new tab for you.
The General Point
Although trying a dirty keto might work for some (probably most) in the short term, it’s not going to be a sustainable option. Somewhere down the line you’re going to run into problems because you’ll be feeding your body junk.
You need to develop a change in your habits and lifestyle for the better in order to have keto truly work for you. It’s okay to still eat out at times provided you’re doing it right. We have a handy guide for that too ( right here ) if you’re interested. But you have to work on changing those old habits which go you in your current situation of wanting to shed some weight in the first place.
Sticking with junk foods, high processed and prepacked foods and pretty much anything that comes in a wrapper of some sort that isn’t from your market’s butcher shop is going to get costly. The average American can spend upwards of $3,000 per year on fast food and dining out alone. At an average of $15 a meal when eating out it all adds up very quickly and that’s money you could be putting toward far healthier options.
You’re chances of ditching keto do to not getting the results you want and not feeling as well as you had hoped increase substantially when on a dirty keto diet. You won’t feel nearly as good as you could be if you went on a clean path, or you might end up feeling terrible in some cases. The idea here is to basically…
Just do it right!
I know, it seems so simple in writing and it’s honestly really simple in practice too. You will need to allow yourself an adaptation period, you have to get past the keto flu stage and it will take some time to break those old eating habits but once you get past all those sticking points then you’re reward awaits you at the other end and it’s so worth it.