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My Thoughts on Keto

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

"Weight loss requires a strategy, not a diet"

By Tony Vassallo

Ketogenic Diet by Tony Vassallo
My Thought on Keto

Photo by Casey DeViese on Unsplash

We are into the New Year or what I refer to as “Diet Season.” I have been overwhelmed with this We are into the New Year or what I refer to as “Diet Season.” I have been overwhelmed with this question: “Tony, what do you think of keto?”

Keto is just the latest flavour of hundreds of diets in the last several decades. Granted, it’s a popular one; even some medical and nutrition people peddle it to make an easy buck as an easy solution to lose weight. But let’s take a closer look.

First take note of the name “ketogenic diet.” It has the word “diet” in the title. Sustained weight loss requires a strategy not a diet.

DIETs are Dead in Every Turn

Ask yourself is it really different than Atkins? Very low-carb (practically none), lots of meat and fats. At first glance, the dieter sees the trade-off: “Yes I must give up carbs but I get to eat lots of meat and drown it in fat. It’s worth it!” The drastic reduction in carbohydrates results in initial significant weight loss. But how many times have you been here before? In the typical diet you lose weight at first then gain it back with interest. Rule number one in sustained weight loss is: Whatever you do while losing weight, you must sustain the action to keep it off.

Let’s take a closer look at the sustainability of this diet. My first issue is fruit; the only fruit that is acceptable under this diet are berries and rhubarb. Don’t get me wrong – I love berries and rhubarb but do you think you can sustain this for weeks, months or longer? Think about the next time stone fruit season rolls around: No peaches, plums or apricots; no fresh, crisp Ontario apples or juicy pears in the autumn; no tangy citrus in the winter; no grapes; certainly no tropical fruit like papaya, kiwi, melons or even the very convenient, satiating, soluble fibre powerhouse known as the banana. Can your palate handle that limited fruit? I doubt it.

Let’s talk beans, otherwise known as legumes and pulses. This is where I fall off my chair; anyone preaching the elimination of this plant-based protein powerhouse of nutrition should delve into the data of benefits. Dietary fibre is referred to, in credible medical and nutritional circles, as the antidote for many diseases including some types of cancers. In the world of microbiology, more and more evidence suggests a lack of fibre since the 1980s has contributed to many lifestyle disease and obesity epidemics. Fibre is also a key tool needed towards stabilizing blood glucose levels and aids in long-term weight loss. Granted some people may have bowel-related issues and may need to reduce or restrict types of fibre. In most circumstances reducing fibre could result in dietary track issues that never existed before.

Let’s look at other limitations such as certain vegetables. A fundamental rule of nutrition is to consume a wide variety of whole foods and colours of fruits and veggies. Not possible on keto as it restricts all roots vegetables including the innocent onions and carrots. Onions? Really? These microbial gems are gut health celebrities. And from a culinary point of view, try making a tasty soup or many healthy ethnic dishes without onions. The keto diet also restricts carrots. Sadly, in the eighties, dietitians recommended curbing or cutting consumption of the innocent carrot. Thankfully that recommendation got ditched with the acid wash jeans. What were we thinking in those days?

Now let’s chat about grains, perhaps the most controversial. I’m a big fan of entire grains (oats, bulgur, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, quinoa (ok, quinoa’s a seed but it’s also banned on keto)) for health and sustained weight loss. Some folks may have dietary challenges with wheat or grains but also, in my experience, the elimination of grains causes further cravings for simple carbohydrates and results in relapse, especially for men. I know many will challenge me on this; I say to them I have much more on-the-ground experience working with hundreds of men. By consuming the entire grains, particularly in the morning for breakfast, they provide a slow release of glucose throughout the day. That’s what the body wants. Entire grains level blood glucose and aid weight loss. Yep, here I go talking about fibre. You notice a theme on fibre? If you’re obese you need energy to lug around the extra weight so consuming entire grains early in the day is beneficial.

Let’s take a look at animal protein recommendations. It recommends grass-fed animal protein and dairy; while I highly encourage grass-fed animal protein, many people can’t afford or do not have access to this type of protein. More and more evidence is indicating we need to reduce our animal protein consumption and move towards a more plant-rich diet for longevity and brain health.

Many who do keto experience side effects such as fatigue, bad breath, bloating, nasty mood swings, headaches and constipation; hence, they coined the term “keto flu.” The reason they are constipated is the lack of fibre. As mentioned, fibre is the antidote not the

The only things I can agree with on keto are the elimination of processed foods and confections, so I ask you why not ditch the processed crap and confections and just eat whole foods?

The only things I can agree with on keto are the elimination of processed foods and confections, so I ask you why not ditch the processed crap and confections and just eat whole foods?

J.E.R.F. Just Eat Real Food!

BY Tony Vassallo

Founder of MODA for Men & The Real Food Revival Movement c/o MODA Nutrition Inc.

Contact Tony: Tony@ModaNutrition.con

Learn More at MODAforMen

In 2010, Tony was 37 years old, morbidly obese, with a host of medical issues: Type II diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, gout, joint pain, constant indigestion and acid reflux. Simple tasks like putting on socks, climbing a flight of stairs, fitting into an airplane seat or restaurant booth and getting out of bed were big challenges for him. Every afternoon, he would have a sugar crash, leaving him with little energy to get through the rest of the day. He was always sweaty and tired. He began avoiding the outdoors and eventually just avoiding life

He lost 130 pounds in 2010-11 and has kept it off ever since. When he changed his lifestyle, the many medical issues he suffered—all of them—vanished.

Tony Vassallo Weight Loss Transformation

Founder of MODA Nutrition & Weight Loss.

Learn More at MODAforMen

These are Meals I Ate While I Lost my weight

Visit My Recipe Blog JustEatRealFood

MODA For Men Weight Loss


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