Especially if you have been carrying excess weight for a while now. So, for the last decade, ketogenic (or keto for short) diet has been gathering traction and sometimes referred to as the ‘best way to lose fat’.
In this article, we debunk the idea of a keto diet with a little support from scientific research. There is only one way to lose weight effectively and we will discuss the solution towards the end of this article.
Let’s first explore the mechanics of a keto diet and how it exactly works:
A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet which triggers the body to go into a state called ketosis. During this state, our body breaks fat into organic compounds known as ketones, which are basically used for energy. Keto diet advocates say that since carbohydrates which are the first choice for energy are not readily available during a high-fat low-carb keto diet, the body thinks it’s starving and thus burns fat for energy.
Is it true that eating a high-fat low-carb diet burns more fat?
As much as we as a human species always try to uncover deep hidden secrets, we usually are disappointed when we realize that none exist. In a famous study of 2009, 811 overweight adults were randomly assigned to one of four diets:
This is what they had in common:
Guess which diet won?
None.. after 2 years, weight loss remained similar amongst the 4 groups. Researchers concluded that reduced-calorie diets result in clinically meaningful weight loss regardless of which macronutrients they emphasize.
New research has uncovered that both high- and low-carb diets increase the long-term risk of mortality.
Does that mean moderation is actually the best? Well, it really depends..
Do you want to lose weight?
Then nothing really matters except how many calories you intake and expend day to day.
Do you want to lose weight while maintaining muscle?
That is a completely different story as the above study only focused on weight loss, not on the differences in muscle and fat loss. Your muscles require a positive nitrogen balance within the body, especially when you are in a calorie deficit and your body wants to break down your muscle for energy. So make sure to keep your protein intake high when limiting your calories.
Do you want to lose weight and live longer?
Eat carbohydrates and fats in moderation or in other words, stay away from extremes. Although the basis of the new research makes sense at first glance, it is still new and so should not be something that we should whole-heartedly believe or follow yet. However, if we are to follow a moderate-carb diet, we know that we can still lose the same amount of weight without putting our body through macronutrient extremes. The possibility of an increase in lifespan is just an extra bonus!
Links to the studies mentioned above:
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