Let me start off this article by saying that not all diets are effective for everyone. So, before you try any type of diet – be it a fad diet or a diet that’s actually based on science and supported by doctors – it’s always best to consult with your doctor so that they can determine the best type of diet for your body types.
While the Veeramachaneni Ramakrishna Diet Plan was only created in South India in 2017, it is starting to catch the attention of people in the west looking for an effective weight loss diet. According to articles and online reviews about it, the diet claims to not only lose as much as 30 kilograms (around 66 lbs) in a matter of months, but also claims to cure people of their diabetes, thyroid ailments, and other serious diseases.
It sounds like a stretch, but the diet plan comes with one caveat: aside from setting carbs aside (which a lot of diets in the market already tell people to do), people under his diet plan cannot take any medication.
So, just how effective is it? We show you all the claims provided online and break it down for you.
Who Is Veeramachaneni Ramakrishna Rao?
The Veeramachaneni Ramakrishna Diet (popularly known as the VRK diet) comes from an Indian man named Veeramachaneni Ramakrishna Rao. Originally an accountant from South India, his diet plan became popular in 2017 in the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. He has no medical background prior to developing his diet plan.
According to one source, Rao had heard about the ketogenic diet, commonly known as a “keto” diet, which involves a low-carb and high-fat diet. He then modified the diet to fit the food accessible to native India and called it his K.E.T.O. diet. He then tried this diet with a friend to see if it worked. However, a second source contradicts this, saying that Rao developed his own special diet called K.E.T.O. and had never heard of the western keto diet and is surprised that both his K.E.T.O. diet and the keto diet have the same low-carb, high-fat basis.
Regardless of how Rao claims to have come up with his diet plan, he claims that his diet helped him lose 30 kilograms out of his reported original weight of 123 kilograms (around 271 lbs), though sources are contradicting whether he lost it in two or three months. His friend, however, was cured of his Type 2 diabetes within the same amount of time.
Rao then developed the VRK diet and released it to the public. It then became popular in his area and was hailed as an “Aahara Maantriku,” or a “diet magician”. He saw his diet as a lifestyle change for those looking to get healthy.
However, unlike some diets and healthy lifestyle plans that focus mainly on food and exercise like yoga or going to the gym as a means for weight loss, his takes dieting to an extreme not many will get onboard: according to Rao, in order for the diet to work, people have to give up all types of modern medicine in exchange for old traditional health remedies.
The VRK Diet
The VRK Diet is basically the keto diet minus medicines. According to Rao, anyone can use this diet for fast weight loss except for the following:
- Minors under 18 years old
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women
- People with eating disorders
- People recovering with medical surgery
- People with existing medical conditions
- Mental health patients
Rao believes that the reason for people’s belly fat and increasing waistlines are carbohydrates (especially oil white rice, flour, sugar, and white bread common in everyday Indian food) and people eating more than they need to eat. He claims that eating less carb and more meat, vegetables, and an increase in intake.
Similar to the science behind the keto diet, the VRK diet wants to destroy the notion that all fats are bad. Adding healthy fats coconut and olive oil, ghee, and butter provide benefits to the body. However, he takes it one step further by claiming that these fats have properties that can reduce the risk of diabetes, thyroid ailments, spondylitis, and other ailments.
Rao claims that it will take up to three months or as short as two weeks before you can start to see results. For people with diabetes and other medical conditions, they will be cured by three months. However, the diet will not work if you consume carbs, sugar, vices like alcohol and tobacco, and non-organic non-traditional medicines. People who give in to their cravings and cheat on their diet, practice unhealthy sleeping habits and do not lead a healthy lifestyle while practicing the diet will not see the benefits.
Other guidelines include:
- Eating a certain amount of non-vegetables per day depending on your sex
- Not eating for at least two hours after eating or only when you are hungry
- Eating no more than 10 pieces of nuts every day
Saying Goodbye to Modern Medicine
Rao doesn’t believe in modern medicine like tablets, pills, and antibiotics and claims that the diet will not work if a person takes medicine for their condition. According to sources, he believes that taking a tablet for diabetes is akin to burying oneself in a graveyard.
Instead, he believes in the healing abilities of foods and other edibles. For example, instead of taking medicine for diarrhea, he will prefer to eat yogurt or other food known to help treat an upset stomach. While there is nothing wrong with looking towards natural remedies, it’s the biggest reason why health experts are against this view as there are some conditions that cannot be cured with old remedies alone.
Why the VRK Diet Is Unsafe
This is honestly a dangerous fad diet that should not be followed for many reasons. First of all, Rao has no medical background, making it unsafe for him to go around and tell people what to do with their bodies and people actually listening to him rather than nutritionists and doctors who have spent years studying to accurately determine what kind of diet works on a person. The VRK diet, on the other hand, had no scientific experiments done to prove its effectiveness.
In response to these accusations, Rao points out that doctors cannot solve all problems which is why patients continue to suffer from diabetes and other ailments. He insists that if people follow his diet and use traditional remedies, they can find themselves losing weight and “being cured” of health issues. He also points out that, so far, no one has complained about his diet plans.
But the thing is, people continue to suffer ailments because of the choice of their lifestyle (which they can change to avoid worsening their condition) or because of genetics (which they cannot change but live a certain way to avoid the risks of their condition developing).
To suggest that he, an accountant with no medical background, is in the same league as doctors who spent years studying the human body because he created a keto diet plan (and not the keto diet and the science behind it but a (meaning one of many diet plans on the internet) keto diet plan) is an insult to professionals who are equipped to tell other people how to modify their lifestyle.
Second, the fact that he claims diabetes can be cured through eating fat should be a red flag for people looking for diets. First of all, diabetes cannot be cured. It can be managed to the point that a person with diabetes will not have serious health effects if they live a certain healthy lifestyle, but it cannot be completely removed from the body like a virus, because it’s not a virus.
Third, studies have already shown that people who have diabetes and consume a high-fat diet are at risk of worsening their condition. Keto diet can be used to manage one’s carb and sugar intake, but to promote a diet filled with fats without separating good from bad fat can be dangerous to one’s health.
And finally, like a lot of diets that promote fast weight loss, even if you lose a lot of weight, that weight can be easily re-gained when you spiral out of control and decide to stop your diet. Studies have shown that people who lose weight slowly are more likely to keep their new weight in the long run.
I would not recommend the Veeramachaneni Ramakrishna Diet simply for the reason that its claims of “curing” diseases like diabetes and effective weight loss are not based on science. Without any scientific evidence to back up the diet’s claims, I (and I believe a lot of people who base their health decisions on science) would not feel comfortable giving up tried-and-tested modern medicine for a fad diet that may have unseen health risks in the long run.