With every diet on the planet, massive conglomerates are lurking in the background looking to make a buck or two off the hype. People who are looking for solutions to lose weight are the most vulnerable and valuable customers to these companies. Why? Because if you promise miraculous weight loss results without giving up too much of your current lifestyle for just a small fee, who wouldn’t want to jump on that train? These are the cold hard facts of the food industry, and when it comes to the keto diet, it is no different.
The keto diet is hard, there is no doubt about it, and there are thousands of people looking for new ideas on how to make the diet more adaptable and break through the keto plateau. But are these variations of the diet better than the good old fashioned science behind the standard keto diet? For now, the jury is still out, but we can still use what the science tells us today to find out if diets like Slimfast keto or the 14 Day Keto Challenge are the answer to losing belly fat faster, or if they are just another money-making fairy tale like the shark tank keto pills.
What Is A Standard Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet is nothing new. In fact, Hippocrates, one of the world’s most renowned physicians in the history of medicine first recorded that fasting was the only treatment for epilepsy, which was actually a standard practice across the globe for nearly 2,000 years.
While many still use the keto diet to improve their health and control their epilepsy, it is now recognized as a weight loss diet too. The basic idea is to put your body into a “fasted state” by limiting carbohydrate intake, consuming high-fat foods and a moderate amount of protein to produce ketones (see ketone or keytone) and burn fat for fuel instead of glucose (carbohydrates). You can see by looking at the keto food pyramid, that your daily meals should be made up of 5% carbohydrates, 75% fats, and 20% of proteins to reach a ketogenic state.
What Is The 14 Day Keto Challenge?
In short, the 14 Day Keto Challenge is a blueprint format eBook bundle written by Jole Marion. The eBook titled “The 14 Day Keto Challenge” contains a two-week high fat diet plan that is, according to the author, designed to fire up your ketone production a maximize weight loss without actually entering a true state of ketosis. All this in two short weeks. The premise of the diet is built around something known as the French Paradox, which we will get into later, and the standard 1920’s keto diet. Ultimately, the diet focuses on eating high-fat foods, keto-friendly carbs, which are not traditionally permitted on the standard keto diet, and cheat or refeed days in between.
What Claims Are Made About The 14 Day Keto Challenge?
The 14 Day Keto Challenge is a result of the author’s personal challenges with weight. He goes on to explain how he lost 12 pounds in 2 weeks and a further 46 pounds after following the 14-day meal plan for 16 weeks. The recurring theme of the keto challenge is how the author has fixed many of the flaws of the traditional 1920’s keto diet, which as a result, eliminates common side effects of the keto flu such as brain fog, low energy levels, and fatigue.
The other hefty claims made are that the diet helps to:
- “Fight against today’s deadliest diseases”
- Directly turn stored fat into energy
- Eliminate a bloated belly
- Reduce inflammation
- Erase cravings and hunger
- Balance hormone levels
Just on the website alone, there are multiple claims and exaggerations made by the author of the 14-day meal plan, many of these claims are written in the typical bold and highlighted format you’d expect from cheap marketing tactics. Many of the statements used throughout the eBook and website are “ rapid results in only 14 days!”, “quickly burn more belly fat”, “shocking evidence”, and “remarkable results”.
Holes In The 14 Day Keto Challenge Story
Just based on the over-exaggerated claims and wow factor words used throughout the website and eBook, it doesn’t leave a very good impression on anyone interested in evidence-based results.
But, putting these sale tactics aside, let’s look at the other drawbacks of the 14 Day Keto blueprint.
The French Paradox
Many of the claims made are based on the French Paradox. The author goes on to say that French people are skinnier, healthier, and live longer even though they consume high fat foods like eggs, bacon, fatty meats, and cream-based sauces every day. Basically, the French have the secret to weight loss, health, and longevity without compromising the good stuff.
The French Paradox was a curious finding by three Frenchmen back in the ’80s. They found that populations who consumed more animal foods, saturated fats, and cholesterol seemed to result in a significantly higher rate of heart attacks among the population, however, Finland and France, showed entirely different results. Both countries were eating a high-fat diet, but the population of France suffered almost five times fewer heart attacks than Finland. There are different opinions on why the results were different, was it the vegetables? Or wine? But one opinion really stands out.
The French had only adapted an “unhealthy” lifestyle recently, while the American population already developed unhealthy eating habits 40 years prior. Most chronic diet-related diseases take a few years to develop, and countries like America already got a head start. This means that while the French may have a lower death rate caused by heart attacks, the figures are not set in stone. In fact, in 2014, the World Health Organization published data that showed adult obesity in France was on the rise and significantly higher than Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands.
One of the biggest flaws of the 14 Day Keto Challenge is the contradictions throughout the book and website. The author goes on to say that there are many flaws about the standard keto diet which are mainly related to the keto flu, but then a few scrolls down, and he gives the diet the utmost praise calling it the “the most powerful all-natural weight loss medicine ever discovered.” Then why is there a need for an upgraded version of the keto diet? The author also calls out doctors and nutritionists by saying that the standard keto diet is not about being in a constant state of ketosis, but that his version of the diet will force your body into producing more ketones sans the ketosis. The problem with this is that there are virtually no studies to back up this claim. Most of the links to scientific studies on the site link back to the effects of the standard ketogenic diet and not the author’s 14 Day Keto blueprint.
This in itself is another contradiction seeing that there are claims made on the website that there have been no new developments or research on the ketogenic diet. Hundreds of clinical studies are being conducted on the popular diet, many of which have been published this year alone.
As for the dreaded keto flu, the book highlights this as the ketogenic diet’s main flaw but fails to describe what actually causes the keto flu and how the 14 day meal plan alleviates these symptoms. The keto flu is a temporary side effect of carbohydrate withdrawal and usually happens when the body does not get enough potassium on keto. There is a direct connection between water and the keto diet. During ketosis, the body excretes more water, which causes vital minerals and electrolytes to be flushed from the system. If you do not supplement the nutrient gap, then you will experience side effects.
The book also describes the keto diet as boring because of the limited food choices and alcoholic beverages permitted, however, there are no recipes or any suggestions in the book that make the 14-day diet seem any less boring or restrictive. The meal plan only really allows for two or three ingredients to be served per meal, unlike the thousands of exciting keto-friendly recipes available online. Keto fat bombs, keto cake, keto chocolate, keto coleslaw, keto Starbucks hacks – you name it!
Does The Diet Work?
Low carb diets, in general, do have a higher success rate when it comes to weight loss, so in theory, the 14 Day Keto Challenge could promote weight loss, however, it is not the revolutionary diet it claims to be. It does have similarities to the traditional keto diet but fails to provide any solid evidence that it will rapidly melt off the pounds in just 2 short weeks. The meal plan itself is extremely complicated, more so than the standard keto diet, and the information provided on the website goes around in circles. First, we are introduced to the French diet secret, then the keto diet, and from there, it gets a bit messy and difficult to understand why it is so revolutionary. The 14 Day Keto Challenge may work for some depending on your health status, BMI, and level of activity, but it is by no means a one size fits all blueprint. It may help curb keto flu symptoms but it’s just as simple to do on the standard keto diet. With the right keto supplements, enough fats, and plenty of water, the side effects will subside.
For More Reading
Looking to expand your keto knowledge? Learn about keto collagen, quinoa and the keto diet, and even how to relieve leg cramps on keto, right here on the Approved Science® blog!