We have all gone through periods of our lives where we weren’t living as healthy as we should. We pick up countless habits as we go through this life, and the worst ones tend to be the ones that stay with us the longest.
Let’s talk today about two of those, namely: 1- Smoking, and 2- High-sugar intake, to answer the question: is leaving one of them, (i.e. abandoning sugar to do the Keto diet) must mean that we should stop smoking as well? What effects does hookah have on our weight loss journey? And is it possible to still be enjoying it while doing a low carb or a Keto diet?
Well, the answers are not so simple. That’s why I think it’s best to spread the answers you’re looking for through 10 bullet points of Must-Knows when it comes to hookah (Shisha) and low-sugar diets.
1- Hookah Will Decrease Your Appetite (Hooray?!.. Not So Fast.)
It’s awesome when something you enjoy consuming also has the effect of making you crave fewer calories, thus leading you to eat less, isn’t it?
Well, yes and no.
When you find something that helps you lower your appetite by, for example, using your own energy reserves instead of external energy, AKA food, well, that would be awesome. **Which is, by the way, exactly what Keto as a diet does to your body.**
However, when you decide to use a tool that brings your body nothing but negative and dangerous repercussions, from serious heart conditions to lethal lung diseases, then it doesn’t sound so wise to decide to stick to it, just because it helps you eat less.
2- It Has Almost Zero Carbs (Won’t Kick You Out Of Ketosis)
If you’re worried that you might get kicked out of ketosis because of smoking hookah, let me ease your mind: you won’t.
Hookah has a very marginal carbohydrate content that, for most people, won’t even be noticed by the body. So it shouldn’t result in kicking you out of ketosis.
In fact, I ran a poll to see if smokers would say that cigarettes and/or hookah affect their ketosis state and 83.3% said they didn’t notice a difference, 12.1% said that their results stalled but they weren’t sure smoking was behind it, while 4.6% claimed that smoking on its own kicked them out of ketosis.
3- It Has Almost Zero Calories (Won’t Affect Your Caloric Deficit)
If you’re worried that you should also start adding the calories from hookah o your daily intake, then this, too, shouldn’t be something you worry yourself about.
Hookah has almost as little calories as it has carbs.
So in and of itself, it won’t contribute in an overconsumption of calories.
However, it has the ability to cause you to overeat in a way that you wouldn’t normally think about, as you’ll discover later in the article.
4- It Doesn’t Break Your Fast
This is another point where hookah seems so peaceful, so innocent.
If you’re doing intermittent fasting along with Keto, a hookah session won’t break your fast, simply because of the previous two points discussed earlier.
4- It Will Make Exercising A Nightmare
The evil side of hookah is starting to show now. So let’s be real.
Smoking in general, and hookah specifically has the ability to take one’s athletic performance down the drain.
“Athletic performance” sounds super fancy. I’m not just talking about athletes or people who religiously practice sports. This applies even more to regular people, who for example, decide to add exercise to the weight loss routine they’re building.
This is one of the instances where we actually see hookah messing with our fitness goals. Exercising is a key part of many people’s weight loss journey. And when they perform poorly on a daily basis due to hookah sessions, then that almost always ends up hindering their weight loss progress.
5- It Works Against Keto When It Comes To Your Skin
When you start cutting down sugar as you begin Keto and reach the point where it’s completely cut out of your life, you will notice your skin glowing like never before.
When the toxic effect of sugar is eliminated, collagen and elastin within your skin will go back to working like they used when you were little.
However, when smoking hookah is a part of the equation, unless you quit both, your skin will still look rough and old.
Don’t let that deter you from going into Keto, though. One of the worst things you can do to yourself is the All or Nothing Mindset. It will be very hard for you to decide to, in one day, abandon two things your body is so used to.
You just have to keep in the back of your head that whatever you decide you want to give up first, you will also be going after the other, a little ways down the road. Starting next week, maybe?
6- Your Teeth Won’t Be Thankful
This is very similar to the skin dilemma we discussed a moment ago. Hookah and sugar have very detrimental effects on the teeth, and abandoning only sugar while continuing to consume hookah won’t make you reap the health benefits Keto has on your teeth.
In addition to the infamous ugly yellow teeth smokers are known for, hookah can cause gum infections and the development of layers of plaque and tartar on your teeth.
7- You Will Feel Weaker and Older
We feel older when things that we used to do yesterday with our eyes closed require us now to actually be making efforts to get it done. And so many hookah smokers report experiencing that.
For instance, one person said they used to get tired climbing the stairs on the 4th floor, after becoming a hookah smoker (3 sessions per week) they noticed they now need to hold their breath each two floors.
This makes its way to almost every corner of a smoker’s life, and destroys all the progress that would have been possible as a result of starting Keto.
But let’s be honest, a bad diet plus smoking is a lot worst than a healthy diet and smoking.
The point here is if you’re reading about all the great things that should be happening to your body on Keto and you’re wondering why you’re not experiencing them, you can blame your frenemy hookah for that.
8- It Makes It Easier For You To Cheat
For many people, hookah is not just a cigarette. It’s a mood. It has an atmosphere to it. There has to be a drink and a snack around for it as well. For most people, it’s something like candy, chips, alcohol or sugary drinks.
So, as you’re starting Keto, every time you’re preparing a hookah session, you tend to start thinking about the other components of the party and looking for a way to have them in a Keto-friendly way. But since there’s no time to prepare or go buy that alternative, you decide to settle for that sugar-packed snack, and you’ll say to yourself, “I’ll fit it in my macros”.
However, that can start a dangerous trend for you that will make you a lot more susceptible to cheating and getting kicked out of ketosis, as you’re trying to preserve the traditions of your weekends.
9- Your Recomposition Process and Muscle Gains Will Suffer
I don’t want you to look at muscle building like that thing only bodybuilders are after. In fact, as you read more about keto, you realize that building muscle is actually one of the main objectives for those who do Keto to be building some muscle mass as they’re losing fat.
This helps with strength, body power, and aesthetics. Without it, a body just looks skinny and weak, especially as one is getting over the age of 35.
When you decide to go for that body recomposition on Keto, to lose fat and replace it with some muscle mass, hookah can be the barrier in the way.
The heavy CO2 inhaled during hookah sessions deprives your body’s tissues of the oxygen they need. And muscles need that oxygen to function properly, let alone be able to grow and thrive.
Moreover, smoking makes the workout a nightmare, as you’re tired and can’t perform as well as necessary to challenge your muscles enough to push them to grow.
Hookah can also mess with your sleep and keep you up at night. 31.8% of those who answered a poll I ran, said that smoking gives them insomnia.
This is critical because rest is one of the most decisive factors when it comes to building muscle.