What’s up with the KE diet?
If you’re not familiar with the KE diet, allow me to fill you in on the details. It falls in line with the wildly popular crash diets that most people try out when they want to lose weight quickly, though it has quite an extreme take on crash dieting. Indeed, the KE diet makes the infamous cayenne pepper diet seem like a cakewalk.
The KE (KE stands for ketogenic enteral nutrition) diet is one that involves certain medical equipment, by which I mean a feeding tube and a special liquid formula of nutrients. Specifically, it involves being fed nutrients through a small tube that goes in your nose, through your esophagus and stomach directly to your intestines. The tube deposits a steady stream of proteins, fats, and other nutrients mixed with water into a person’s digestive system, relieving them of the stress of selecting healthy foods. This diet gives you the bare minimum of your daily protein and fat intake, but sidesteps almost all other nutrients. Accordingly, this diet gives you almost zero nourishment compared to a balanced diet of proteins, complex carbs, fruits, vegetables, and so on. As you might expect, this diet is touted to help patients lose weight fast. And you thought fasting was bad!
How the KE diet became a trend
I first heard about the KE diet from a story on ABC’s Good Morning America about a bride-to-be who wanted to lose weight quickly so she could fit into her wedding dress. Instead of exercising and dieting well ahead of the occasion, she opted for the KE procedure in order to lose at least 10 pounds in a few days. The extreme weight loss measure was overseen by a Florida doctor, who approved it and carried it out the procedure. The bride to be did meet her target goal, but some question if it’s worth the risks.
The KE diet’s original design
As Dr. David Katz explains in a recent article in The Huffington Post, the KE diet is not typically used as a dietary procedure. It’s a method of feeding for hospital patients who are either too sick or too weak to eat on their own, a way to fill people with enough calories so they can remain in a stable condition. For those of you not in med school, ketogenesis refers to the body produceing ketone bodies (molecular units of energy for the brain and heart) as a result of breaking down fats. The KE diet is designed to force bodies to burn more fats than carbohydrates, because there are virtually no carbs in the liquid mixture pumped through the feeding tube. Given that context, it’s strange to think that such a procedure would be seen as legitimate for people hoping to lose weight, much less doctors who allow their patients to have it.
The main draw of the KE diet is that you don’t have to do anything at all in order for it to work; the feeding tube does everything for you. All you have to do is tolerate a tube in your nose and you’ll get around 800 calories a day without any of those pesky carbs or saturated fats, just the bare nutritional necessities. Of course you might have to explain WHY you have a tube in your nose to all your family and friends, but that problem doesn’t seem to affect those desperate to lose weight in a pinch.
What’s your take on the KE diet?
Extreme dieting is nothing new, but there’s something particularly creepy about the KE diet. Maybe it’s the overt medical nature of the diet, the fact that you need a doctor’s approval to go through a procedure typically reserved for people in a coma. But it seems like the KE diet might just be too extreme of a measure for something that you can earn through smart dieting and exercise. What do you think about it? Let me know!
This is a guest post by Nadia Jones who blogs at online college about education, college, student, teacher, money saving, movie related topics. You can reach her at nadia.jones5 @ gmail.com.
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