Keto Was Rated the Worst Diet—Try These More Effective Methods Instead

Ask anyone what the buzziest diet of 2018 is, and their answer would almost undoubtedly be the ketogenic diet. Keto success stories are peppered throughout Instagram and have infiltrated pop culture. (After following the diet himself and losing a considerable amount of weight, Vinny from Jersey Shore made his Instagram handle @ketoguido.) But even though it works temporarily in terms of weight loss, it isn't sustainable in the long term and, because it's such a high-fat diet, is disadvantageous to your overall health. In fact, U.S. News ranked it the worst diet (tied with the Dukan Diet) of 2018.

First, let's understand how this low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet works.

"Ketogenic diets cause our bodies to burn stored fat as fuel by affecting two hormones: insulin and glucagon," explains nutritionist Kelly LeVeque. "Restricting carbohydrates from the diet decreases insulin and increases glucagon. As a result, our bodies quickly move from storage mode to burn mode. We release triglycerides from fat cells and burn FFA, producing ketones as brain fuel. In addition to insulin and glucagon, a number of other hormones are also affected, all of which help to shift fuel use away from carbohydrates and toward fat."

Eat fat to burn fat? Sounds like a good deal. But eating such a scarce amount of carbs is actually depleting your body of the fuel it needs. Remember: Carbs aren't always the enemy.

"When you are on the keto diet, you drastically cut your carbs to only 20 per day," says nutritionist Lisa Drayer. "That's less than one apple! The keto diet is just not sustainable over the long term. It doesn't teach you how to acquire healthy eating habits. It's good for a quick fix, but most people I know can hardly give up pasta and bread, let alone beans and fruit."

Not far behind keto and Dukan was popular diet Whole30, another highly restrictive diet that's high in meat and sodium intake.

"While parts of the Whole30 diet are okay and it can definitely lead to weight loss if you follow it properly, I’m not a fan of anything that eliminates food groups," says Benjamin Suyematsu, V Shred lead trainer; expert in nutrition and kinesiology; and an American College of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer. "This is especially true if you don’t plan to eliminate foods for the rest of your life. Once the 30 days are over, you have no rules to follow, and if you turn back to what you were previously doing, the weight will come right back."