You can’t look for dieting information anywhere today without finding a myriad of information about the keto diet. It’s the trendy diet plan that thousands of people are attempting to use to lose weight and meet their body composition goals.
But, as with any diet plan that becomes a worldwide fad, the popularity makes people believe that it’s effective for everyone. This simply isn’t the truth for many fad diets that have come and gone.
If you are already sold on the diet, check out this beginner’s guide to the Keto Diet! Otherwise, let̵
What Is Keto?
Keto, short for ketogenic, is a very low carbohydrate diet that aims to put your body in a state of ketosis. This makes the body burn fatty acids for energy instead of glucose, your body’s preferred energy source.
Keto boasts the ability to reduce appetite since it promotes the consumption of high fat, high protein foods that are satiating. In turn, users also avoid highly processed foods that tend to be high in complex carbs or simple sugars.
The typical keto Staples include:
- High fat/low carb dairy
- Nuts and Oils
- Fibrous vegetables low in net carbs
The general rule of law for keto is to stay under 25-50g of total carbs per day, depending on the users’ activity levels.
This might fly in the face of some of the more recommended dietary plans that are high in carbohydrate sources like grains and fruits. But, that doesn’t mean you should just rule out keto as a great dieting tool.
Is It Supported By Science?
Keto has been well studied over the last decade or so. Many studies conclude that keto is effective for those that can adhere to the diet.
Many using the diet note the ease of sticking to the foods since they are savory and delicious. Imagine a diet where you can have eggs and bacon every day for breakfast if you wanted to!
So, does this mean it is the end all be all diet for fat loss? Is the ability to increase insulin sensitivity so important for fat loss that keto works better than other diets?
The answer is no. All diets that effectively control food intake to align with the goals of the user work in research and the real world.
The science proves this point when comparing different types of diets while equating calorie and protein intake. These types of comparative studies show almost identical fat loss for subjects, regardless of food choices.
So, what makes a diet effective if it isn’t just about carbohydrates or insulin?
How Do Diets Work?
While some dietary practitioners may stick to their guns and say a certain diet is better than all others, the ones who study the science can easily conclude that any diet that controls calorie intake below maintenance levels will result in fat loss.
Even better is if the protein intake is moderate to high since the thermic effect of protein is higher than other macronutrients.
When looking at food choices and how it affects body composition, there have been studies that show high sugar foods or highly processed foods may lead to weight gain. The limitation is that these studies don’t control calorie intake.
Instead, when calories and protein intake are controlled, food choices don’t significantly affect the outcome of weight loss or gain. Food should be seen simply as a source of energy, not categorized as healthy or unhealthy.
High sugar or highly processed foods are not a direct cause of weight gain. they are simply more dense sources of calories. It’s a lot easier to overeat candy and chips than it is to overeat vegetables and steak.
So, what makes a diet work?
Control your calorie intake and eat a moderate to high amount of protein every day. Food choices beyond that become almost irrelevant for body composition.
You still want to eat healthy foods for the sake of your health. But they aren’t the main driver of fat loss.
Keto is a great diet for those that can stick to the rigidity of the food choices. It allows a lot of freedom of food choices, as long as carbohydrates are limited.
Those who don’t want to give up things like fruit or grains should look elsewhere. There is no reason to restrict yourself from the foods you love.
Keto is effective at reducing calorie intake for most users, making it effective for fat loss. However, the best diet is the one you can stick to, regardless of food choices.
Author: Adam Steel is the editor-in-chief of ourfitness.life. A triathlete and avid gym-goer, he is currently training to complete his first ultra-marathon.
Control your calorie and protein intake and you’ll be setting yourself up for success, whether you try keto or not.