If you’ve started your journey to health and fitness, you’ve probably have heard of the ketogenic diet.

You might have one friend who swears by it and gives 100 percent credit to keto for losing all of her weight. Now you’re in a position where you are considering trying it in hopes to lose that “ten pounds” you’ve been so desperately trying to get rid of.

Quite simply the ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. This diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Usually, the carbohydrates contained in food is converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body to then be used for everyday activity and exercise. When there is little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis. Ketosis is the whole point of the ketogenic diet as it relies on fat as a fuel source when carbohydrates are not available.

If this diet sounds familiar to you, it is. Remember the Atkins diet? Atkins and Ketogenic are very similar in nature. High protein and low carbohydrates. Everyone has been through this before. The fitness industry goes through cycles. About every ten years things circulate back and are recycled and reused.

What most people don’t know is initially the ketogenic diet was invented to help children with epilepsy in children. Almost fifty percent of children in a study, with epilepsy who have tried some form of the ketogenic diet, saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. How did a diet that helped children with epilepsy become a fad in the health and fitness industry?

No clue.

The other thing to know about the ketogenic diet is that majority of people do it incorrectly. To be in ketosis, you’d have to take urine samples or blood tests to check. Most people out there on this magical diet are probably not checking their blood work on a daily basis to ensure they are in ketosis. Especially when there are certain foods that could push you right out of ketosis in an instant.

The real reason why the ketogenic diet works for so many people is that it’s a structured and restrictive diet. If you take an individual that hasn’t been on a diet for a while, they will lose weight. If someone decides to track their calories and go into a deficit, they will lose weight. If you tell someone to limit their carbohydrate intake, they will lose weight.

Do you see the pattern here?

I’m not saying that the ketogenic diet is terrible for you. Maybe the ketogenic diet fits perfectly with your lifestyle and will give you permanent results. But you should note the number of diets that have been around for decades, and we still face an obesity problem. Maybe it’s not so much about what secret diet that everyone is talking about but the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis.

There is no magic diet, pill, workout, machine, protein shake, etc. that will fix years of inactivity and poor eating habits. Sustainable weight loss comes from hard work, consistency, and patience.