I got a request to explain and give my opinion on the Keto diet. While IIFYM Women is primarily focused on Flexible Dieting, I am happy to address all diets!
What is keto?
Keto is a very low carb, high fat diet with a majority of calories coming from fat. Usually less than 20g of carbs will be consumed in order to put you in ketosis. Ketosis means that your body will use its secondary fuel source, fat, for energy. Keep in mind, you’re consuming large amounts of fat so your body will be burning dietary fat, not necessarily body fat. In order to lose body fat, a calorie deficit is still required. Does keto work for fat loss? Absolutely. Can you gain weight on keto? Absolutely. It all still depends on your calorie intake.
So what do I think of keto?
Personally, I do not like it for several reasons.
1. Carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. Lack of carbs can cause many people to become fatigued and lethargic. Food is fuel. Eat to perform.
2. I enjoy eating carbs. If you can achieve your goals without being completely miserable, then why not?
3. I believe having a balanced diet is the healthiest. By cutting out carbs, you’re cutting out a large variety of foods including nutrient rich foods. Micronutrients are important too. Remember, fruits, veggies, and grains are all carbs.
Many people think of chocolate, cakes, cookies, etc when talking about carbs; what most fail to realize is those things are also half fats, not just carbs.
4. For me personally, keto (yes, I tried it in the past) is not satiating at all. Many carbs like rice, starchy veggies, or pasta keep me nice and full because they’re pretty high volume and only 4 calories per gram. High fat foods are 9 calories per gram and tend to be low volume. For example, 100g of dry rice is 365 calories and 100g of butter is 717 calories. Big difference.
Keto is not going to create any faster fat loss than other diet. You might initially drop more water weight, but that’ll soon even out. Time and time again, it’s been proven that keto is not superior for fat loss. If you like it, do it! But if you have a hard time adhering to it, don’t do it. Go with your preference. Just know it’s not better like some think.
Low Fat vs Low Carb for Fat Loss
Low Fat vs Low Carb comparison with matched protein
Comparison of weight loss diets
Dangers of low carb
Keto has no metabolic advantage
Fat loss depends on energy deficit