Why I Don’t Recommend Keto

by Don Smith

All products and services featured on this site are independently selected by our authors and editors. If you buy something through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The other day, I shared our healthy habits weight loss program and got this comment.


The ketogenic diet, or “keto,” seems to be the latest fad these days for losing weight. There's little doubt that it can work; a quick Google search will bring you tons of success stories. It's not challenging to learn either with courses out there like “Crash Course 2 Keto – Ketosis Made Simple” which are relatively cheap and can teach you everything you need to know in a few hours.

So why don't I recommend keto?

The short answer is it's a diet. And like most diets, it is intended for short term use. There are also some concerns about long term health when it is used for long periods. Keto was not even originally intended for treating obesity, although in more recent years it has been.

Here's what Mayo Clinic (which is where the Ketogenic diet originated)[1] has to say about Keto.

Mayo's verdict: While the ketogenic diet may be recommended for some people with uncontrolled epilepsy, the high fat content — and especially the high level of unhealthy saturated fat — combined with limits on nutrient-rich fruits, veggies and grains is a concern for long-term heart health. [2]

While it is hard to argue the fact that people have gotten benefits from this, I've also witnessed what happens after someone comes off of keto or any other heavily restricted diet. I've seen a close friend do this, and shortly after quitting keto, she went back to her old habits and gained back even more weight than she took off.

I've seen this over and over with diets. While they may work in the short term, it's easy to fall right back into old habits later, which is how you got to where you were in the first place. Not everyone goes back to their old habits, of course, and I admire people who have gotten their health back through keto or any other program, but many do.

It’s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to drop it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss isn’t just about a “diet.” It's about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.[3]

If you do decide to use keto to lose weight, research has shown that cycling this with the Mediterranean diet can be useful in keeping the weight off.[4]

On the other hand, you may want to create healthy long term eating and exercise habits and skip keto altogether, which is what I do recommend.

Why I Don't Recommend Keto


1. Wheless JW. History and origin of the ketogenic diet (PDF). In: Stafstrom CE, Rho JM, editors. Epilepsy and the ketogenic diet. Totowa: Humana Press; 2004. ISBN 1-58829-295-9.
2. The truth behind the most popular diet trends of the moment by Mayo Clinic Staff
3. Losing Weight – CDC
4. Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? – National Institutes of Health

About the Author 

Don Smith

Happily married with five kids, Smith owns a technology company, is the founder of this site, has served on the board of directors for multiple companies, and loves playing soccer, hiking, and mentoring.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Work-life balance, that's the catchphrase these days, right? I'm sure you've heard phrases like “Never get so busy making a living that

Read More
Finding work life balance: How I worked nearly 60 hours this week and still spent quality time with family and friends.

Eight months ago during our first session, my personal trainer, Jeremy, told me to go grab a pair of ridiculously light dumbbells.

Read More
When your personal trainer tells you to pick up a light weight

My personal trainer was sick the other day, and I found myself filling in and helping the other people he usually trains

Read More
Why I Use a Personal Trainer When I Can Teach the Class

In the book “Built to Last,” a study of highly successful companies, the authors identified rejecting the “Tyranny of the OR” and

Read More
Reject the Tyranny of the OR

I've completed 3 Tough Mudders, these are 12-mile obstacle courses billed as some of the toughest events on the planet. Never heard

Read More
5 of the Best Tools to Get in Shape. Fast.

Today's fast-paced, ever-busy way of life may actually become a threat to your health in the long run. Although the spirit is

Read More
Creative Ways to Relax In 2021

Exercise is a great way to lift your mood and is especially important for kids to help them maintain good mental health.

Read More
Physical Activity and Exercise in Youth Mental Health Promotion

What are some of the most useful things to know in life that I can learn right now in 10 minutes? 1. 

Read More
What can I learn/know right now in 10 minutes that will be useful for the rest of my life?

A comment from my personal trainer this morning got me thinking. He was talking about his tough clients who make excuses all

Read More
Ninety Percent of Success Comes Down to the Basics

As an executive and business owner, I have to chuckle sometimes when I see books like “The 4-Hour Workweek.” Work-life balance is

Read More
Work-Life Balance May Not Mean What You Think

Stress relief is very important, especially if you are living a hectic life. Let’s discuss some great relaxation techniques to relieve stress.

Read More
Best Relaxation Techniques for Stress Relief

Four weeks ago, I admitted that I had slipped out of the healthy weight zone, and committed to my readers that I

Read More
Getting back to healthy: Week 4 complete – 6lbs down – weekend struggles


Get new articles and course discounts from leading providers every Friday in your inbox with your free subscription!