2017 was the year the ketogenic diet stormed Nigeria. I was sometimes asked,
“Have you heard of the Ketogenic diet? What’s your take on it?”
As keto gained popularity, I began a series on Facebook titled “Help me Please! I am Desperate to be Thin.” As old as the diet is, one would think that since it had been alien to the majority of Nigerians for all the years it has existed, the trend would have at least begun with a trickle. It's sudden boom in 2017 was confirmation that it just was another fad. Just when we thought we had come up for air from the gluten free hullaballoo, then came Keto. Fad dieting will always be a part of our society. It is what happens when we do not commit to a life style and culture of sound nutrition and wholesome eating coupled with targeted physical activity.
At the height of the Keto boom, I received a phone call from a man who said he was referred to L&B by one of our customers. The conversation started off on a cheerful note when he said he was told that we had the best establishment for healthy eating in town. Then he told me why he was calling me. He wanted a loaf of bread made with Almond flour or Coconut flour and absolutely no added sweeteners. I asked him if he was diabetic, and he said no, but he was on the Ketogenic diet. I asked him if he was overweight, and he said that he was. I told him that since he was overweight, what he really needed was a total overhaul of his relationship with food, and he had to make a conscious commitment to targeted physical activity (exercise). Sadly, he was more interested in quick fixes and instant results.
As the keto diet amassed a cult following, I was invited to speak at a mentoring event. A lady approached me and asked me if I knew of the Keto diet. She said that she had been on it but it made her very ill. She was taken to the hospital, and was told her kidneys were being impaired. She believed her symptoms began with keto. Of course, the Keto diet may very well not be the culprit. Thankfully, for her she ended the diet.
Keto has its relevance in certain conditions, and is said to have begun as treatment for epilepsy with close monitoring by a physician. The random, individualize use of this diet more often than not, results in its abuse.
Behind every fad diet is a silent cry to gain control and freedom from the strong hold of food. Food is indeed only a tool. Deeper issues would have to be uncovered still- depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety, low self-esteem, gluttony, body shaming and loathing, laziness, and other limitations. How I wish it were as easy as just dieting, but for every dieter, until the strong hold is broken, food will continue to be the master puppeteer and the dieter will always remain the puppet. Something’s got to give for total freedom, and be assured; the answer is not in another diet. Oh most certainly not even with the Keto diet.
Live and Blossom
when we thought we had come up for air from the gluten free hullaballoo, here comes Keto. Yet, we need not be surprised. Fad dieting will always be a part of our society. It is what happens when we do not commit to a life style and culture of sound nutrition and wholesome eating.