Monday, September 26, 2022

Should I Do Keto Or Low Carb

How Do I Use Keto Or Low Carb To Actually Lose Weight

Keto vs. Low Carb What’s the difference and which should I do?

A lot of people just starting keto or low carb think that just choosing to stay within their daily carb goals means they are going to lose weight. This may be true for some because keto friendly foods are very satisfying and you typically eat less.

Eating fewer carbs regulates your hormones and blood sugar. Blood sugar highs and lows signal hunger. When we eliminate the blood sugar swings, we typically eat less. You can see this result was found in this study conducted on 10 obese individuals with type 2 diabetes.

But if you find yourself eating keto or low carb and still not losing weight, you may want to pay attention to how much you are eating. I do this by tracking my intake on the My Fitness Pal or Carb Manager app.

What To Avoid On A Low

Low-carb diets are mostly about avoiding carbs, but theres more to it than that. Basically, youll want to avoid:

  • Anything with added sugar
  • Most packaged foods

Youll also want to limit:

  • Roots, tubers, and starchy vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Most fruits

How much you indulge in that last list will depend on your low-carb plan. If youre keto, for instance, fruits and tubers will not be on the menu. Too many grams of carbs.

Different Types Of Ketogenic Diets

There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including:

  • Standard ketogenic diet : This is a very low carb, moderate protein and high fat diet. It typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbs .
  • Cyclical ketogenic diet : This diet involves periods of higher carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high carb days.
  • Targeted ketogenic diet : This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts.
  • High protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.

However, only the standard and high protein ketogenic diets have been studied extensively. Cyclical or targeted ketogenic diets are more advanced methods and primarily used by bodybuilders or athletes.

The information in this article mostly applies to the standard ketogenic diet , although many of the same principles also apply to the other versions.


There are several versions of the keto diet. The standard version is the most researched and most recommended.

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Reasons To Follow A Low

Jump to: What is Low Carb?Why not eliminate carbs?Type 2 diabetesWeight lossHeart diseaseTips for low carbTake home message

Everyone is unique and there is no magic diet that will suit everyone. As we are constantly bombarded with misleading diet-related information, it can be confusing to know whether to adopt a low-fat diet, low-carb diet, or whether to ignore it all.

A low-carb diet can have many health benefits, from weight loss to the prevention and management of chronic diseases. This research-based guide will explain why we believe a lower-carb diet results in the most weight loss and provides the most health benefits while remaining a sustainable way of eating in the long term.

How Keto Diets Work With Glucose

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When you restrict your carbohydrate intake, you deprive your body of glucose. When you need energy, your body will use up any glucose that’s stored as glycogen in the liver. When that’s all gone, it needs to find another source, so it turns to fat, the next best thing.

However, some cells, like the ones in your brain and muscles, can’t directly use fatty acids. Because of this, your body turns fatty acids into energy-rich substances called ketones or ketone bodies. When there are enough ketones in your blood, you enter the state of ketosis.

Some ketones come from the food you eat, but your body can also make ketones from your body fat and from triglycerides in your blood. That’s why many people experience rapid weight loss, or more accurately, actual fat loss when transitioning to a keto diet.

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How To Calculate Your Macros

When following a keto diet, most people consume 70-75% of their daily calories from fat, 20-25% of calories from protein and just 5-10% of calories from net carbs. Thats a ballpark range your individual macronutrient goals will vary depending upon your age, body composition, activity level, and any fat loss goals you may have.

Low Carb Vs Keto: A Shared History

First things first:

Food wasnt always as abundant as it is now, and our ancestors couldnt just drive over to the grocery store to get their next meal. Alternating between periods of scarcity and periods of plenty was the norm. And when plenty of food was available like after a successful hunt it usually took the form of energy-dense animals. Carbohydrate sources were hard to find, often only accessible after lots of effort.

In other words, our ancestors spent a lot of time eating low carband a lot of time eating nothing at all. The original paleo diet? It was also ketogenic.

Even our body composition provides some clues about just how natural keto is. We humans are 73 percent fat, 25 percent protein, and two percent carbohydrates. Our brains are 60% fat, too. Why not eat according to these ratios? Fat is the medium through which all types of good things happen it cushions our nerves, protects our vital organs, and helps regulate hormones.

Western medical research began catching on to these concepts in the 1920s. Thats when researchers from Johns Hopkins University started using fasting to treat patients with seizure disorders and diabetes. These researchers didnt know why fasting would be able to have this effect, especially given that these conditions were completely unrelated.

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How Low Carb Is A Low

The lower your carbohydrate intake, the more powerful the effects may be on weight and blood sugar.15 For that reason, we recommend initially following the dietary advice fairly strictly. When youre happy with your weight and health, you may carefully try eating more carbs if desired .

Here are three examples of what a low-carb meal can look like, depending on how many carbs you plan to eat per day:

A strict low-carb diet is often called a keto or ketogenic diet. Its not a no-carb diet, but it contains less than 20 grams of carbs per day.

Is Too Much Protein Keto

When Should I Count Calories On a Low Carb / Keto Diet? รข Dr. Eric Westman

Eating too much protein is one of the biggest concerns for people who are just starting the ketogenic diet.

After all, the body produces ketones from fat, so you should keep carbs and protein down to a minimum, right? Not necessarily.

Take the keto quiz

Carbs are the only macronutrient that can seriously interfere with ketosis, which is why its essential to watch out for hidden carbs and find the carb limit that works for you.

On the other hand, eating protein wont affect your ketone levels. You can eat high-fat and high-protein and stay in ketosis.

Thats why many people who transition from keto to the carnivore diet have no problem staying in nutritional ketosis.

But what about gluconeogenesis ?

GNG is a real and necessary process that is already happening in your body. Its not the enemy of ketosis. In fact, it makes ketosis possible in the first place.

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Why Everyone Has A Different Carb Limit For Ketosis

At, we recommend that everyone starts their ketogenic diet with the carb limit of 35 grams of total carbs. However, if you are not getting into ketosis or you want to find your personal keto carb limit, then you must know the other factors that contribute to ketosis.

Although this is a nuanced topic that is impacted by many different variables, lets stick to the four things that you have the most control over when it comes to achieving ketosis. Below, well go over these.

Practical Takeaway: How To Use Calorie Counting As A Tool For Keto Success

After seeing the science behind energy balance and macronutrients, you may get tricked into thinking that you must track everything you eat for the rest of your life. In reality, however, this rigid approach to weight loss often increases the likelihood that we gain the weight back.

Instead, a more sustainable tracking strategy is to use it as a short-term tool to recalibrate what you put on your plate. In other words, if you arent getting the results you want, try counting your calories and macros for 2-3 weeks.

This short-term experiment will help you develop a greater awareness of how much fat, protein, and carbs you are eating. By doing so, you can fine-tune your intuition based on what your body needs at each meal.

To get started with your calorie-tracking experiment, youll need the following tools:

  • A food scale This helps take the guesswork out of how much you are eating.
  • Our keto calculator By plugging your info into the calculator, youll get science-based estimates of how much you should eat to get the results you want.
  • A keto-friendly tracking app With the help of the right tracking app, you can use the numbers from the food scale and keto calculator to personalize your keto meals.

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Which Diet Is Better For You

After years of being told dietary fat is bad, an ever-increasing number of people are now aware it isnt harmful.

Growing research now show sources of carbohydratesother than low-starch vegetables and low-sugar fruitare responsible for many preventable chronic disease. This explains the surging popularity of the ketogenic diet.

The practice of eating ketogenic foods is approximately 100 years old. But, the original purpose of the diet was to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy rather than losing body fat.

Over the years, it was discovered that the keto diet has many other benefits too. Losing weight is just one of the advantages of strict carbohydrate restriction.

What Is A Ketogenic Diet

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In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the bodys main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies . Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

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Eating Only 20 Grams Of Carbs A Day Is Hard

The keto diet is a high-fat and low-carb diet. I would actually describe it as extremely low-carb-you’re allowed to eat just 20 grams in a day. Some people on keto follow a net-carb plan and you’re allowed to eat more carbs in a day. For my 30-day diet and for the sake of simplicity, I stuck with total carbs.

As a rule, I aimed for 20 grams each day-2 at breakfast, 5 at lunch, 3 for snacks and 10 for dinner. I found that if I aimed for 20, I’d land under 30. That was successful enough for me.

The key to hitting my number was to plan, plan, plan. I worked out all three meals, down to the condiments, plus snacks on the weekends. If I knew what I was having and what I was “allowed” to have while staying under my carb goal, I found managing the infrequent cravings and hunger pangs easier. I can’t stress enough the importance of planning for a keto diet.

Putting It All Together Calorie Counting Keto And Weight Loss

Though the key to weight loss is maintaining a calorie deficit, this doesnt mean

that you should always track what you eat for optimal weight loss.

In reality, one of the most successful strategies for sustainable results is eating highly-satiating foods that keep you satisfied as you lose weight.

Does this mean you can eat as much as you want and never gain weight on a ketogenic diet? Of course not. Even on a zero-carb diet, overeating calories will cause you to gain weight.

If cutting carbs isnt working as expected, your overall calorie intake may be the reason why. This is when tracking what you eat for 2-3 weeks can be a helpful tool.

To get started, follow these three steps:

  • Order and use a food scale to measure what you eat.
  • Download and configure a keto-friendly tracking app.
  • Personalize your macro targets and meals using our keto calculator.
  • Alternatively, if tracking becomes too stressful and time-consuming, we also offer a personalized keto meal planning app that will do most of the work for you.

    P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal planner. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.

    + The food will always fit to your macros and cooking preferences!

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    Low Blood Sugar Levels

    Another reason that low-carb diets may cause dizziness is because of changes in your blood sugar levels. LaMantia explains, “When you start on a low-carb diet, the level of sugar in your blood will reduce It’s possible your body could respond to this with low blood sugar.”

    According to the American Diabetes Association, one of the signs of a low blood-sugar level is dizziness, along with shakiness, nervousness, sweating, confusion, increased heart rate and hunger. Low blood-sugar levels can be dangerous, especially in people with diabetes. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you should speak to your doctor before starting a low-carb or keto diet, especially if you’re taking any blood-sugar lowering medications, such as metformin or insulin.

    Whats The Healthiest Way To Try Keto Cycling

    How Many Carbs Can I Eat & Be Keto (or at least Low-Carb)

    Despite the concerns, if you want to give keto cycling a try, experts recommend cycling in healthful sources of carbs instead of those craveable, heavily processed refined or sugary carbs. Think sweet potatoes, beans, milk and fruit over muffins, rolls and chips.

    Its also a good idea to make a plan for your carb-heavy days so you get the most benefit. For example, Spritzler says you might eat them on a workout day. Pay attention to how you feel on the days you eat more carbs, she says. Some questions she suggests asking yourself: Do your energy levels drop or soar? Are you happier and satisfied or anxious and hungry? Does your sleep improve or worsen? Pay attention to your answers. If you feel better off eating carbs occasionally and it doesn’t seem to interfere with your weight, keto cycling may be a good fit for you. On the other hand, many people do seem to benefit from staying consistently keto or alternating keto with low carb , she explains.

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    How Many Carbs Should I Eat Per Day

    Not everyone needs the same carb restriction for optimal health. Healthy, physically active, and normal-weight individuals may not necessarily have to restrict carbs at all, especially if they choose minimally-processed sources most of the time.21

    However, for people with a range of health issues or weight problems, its often beneficial to keep carb consumption relatively low. Generally speaking, the lower the carbs, the more effective for weight loss and for metabolic health problems like type 2 diabetes.22

    At Diet Doctor, we define three different levels of carb restriction as follows:

    • Ketogenic: less than 20 grams of net carbs per day
    • Moderate low carb: 20-50 grams of net carbs per day
    • Liberal low carb: 50-100 grams of net carbs per day

    To learn more about these levels and how to choose the one thats best for you, be sure to check out our helpful guide, How low carb is low carb?

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  • However, when starches are made industrially or packaged in food products, they are often combined with sugar which will make them tase sweet & larrhk

  • Studies have shown that starchy foods like rice and bread can raise blood sugar as much as sweet foods:

    Journal of Insulin Resistance 2016: It is the glycemic response to, not the carbohydrate content of food that matters in diabetes and obesity: the glycemic index revisited & larrhk

  • Increase Carb Consumption 12 Days Per Week

    The second phase of the cyclical keto diet involves choosing 12 days per week to refeed your glycogen stores.

    During refeeding days, you should consume more carbs in order to break ketosis.

    On refeeding days:

    • Carbs should comprise 6070% of your total calories.
    • Protein should account for 1520% of your total calories.
    • Fats should deliver just 510% of your total calories.

    Though the goal of the refeeding phase is to increase the number of carbs, carb quality also matters.

    Instead of relying on unhealthy sources like white bread and baked goods, you should get the majority of your carbs from healthy sources.

    Some examples of nutritious, complex carbs include:

    • Sweet potatoes

    After high-carb, refeeding days, you should consider intermittent fasting to return to ketosis fast.

    The most common intermittent fasting method involves fasting for 16 hours of the day.

    High-intensity workouts on the days following refeeding are also advised in order to achieve ketosis while optimizing muscle growth.


    In the cyclical keto diet, you follow a standard ketogenic diet most days of the week, then refeed with carbohydrate-rich foods a few days per week.

    Research on the cyclical ketogenic diet is very limited. Still, it may provide advantages.

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