Hey there. I have been on a low carb diet for 5 years now. I lost weight in the beginnng but now I’m simply just maintaining my weight. I have gotten so used to eating this way I will probably always will. I just feel so healthy. My problem is my body has obviously gotten used to the way I eat and I can’t seem to lose any more weight. What do you suggest? I have done an “egg fast” for a week and maybe I lost a pound.
Keto diet is a low carb diet but the it’s parameters are more specific. The idea behind it is that you put your body in a state of ketosis where fat becomes your main fuel source. Generally people start with under 20 Net Carbs per day following a Keto diet. For an even more in depth explanation check out our article on Low Carb Diet vs. Ketogenic Diet.
Professor Jennie Brand-Miller, professor of human nutrition at The University of Sydney says, "There's not a lot in the scientific literature to judge [the health effects of the keto diet]. On the basis of current science, I wouldn't recommend it. Several observational studies suggest this diet [actually] increases mortality, diabetes and cardiovascular disease."
Anthony – Eating low carb around friends and family can be difficult. The only thing you can do is plan ahead. Find out what foods will be available (if you aren’t cooking) and if you need to, bring something extra for yourself. I do this a lot! You don’t have to make a big deal out of bringing your own food either. Use what you can from your family dinner that is low carb, and bring the rest yourself. As for friends, you would want to explain to them why you are eating differently and ask them to be considerate of that. Picking places to go out where you can eat a low carb meal is a big help. Planning ahead is the only way!
Two weeks of adaptation to burning fat – it does not happen instantly. The second cause of reduced early performance is not as quickly fixed. It simply takes time for the body to transition from being a sugar-burner to burning primarily fat for energy, even in the muscles. This may take takes weeks or a even a few months. The more you exercise while on a low-carb, high-fat diet, the quicker this will happen. The end result has many benefits (see below).
Just remember, before you do it, consult your doctor and ask for his advice because there might be individual issues that have to be addressed. Have baseline tests performed, let him or her check your blood pressure, blood sugar and blood lipids (total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides). In three to six months you can check these markers again for comparison.
Definitely! To successfully maintain weight loss from either (or any) diet, Zeitlin advises focusing on doubling your veggies, eating lean proteins (fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, shellfish, lentils, tofu), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocado, olive oil), fresh fruit, and whole grains. “That is what is going to help the weight come off and stay off,” she says.
But with all that said, there are a few big macronutrient patterns that tend to emerge within the Paleo/keto/ancestral health community because they work well for a lot of people and offer some kind of structure for people just starting out. For example, a lot of people adapt Paleo food choices to a ketogenic (keto) macronutrient pattern. But there are a lot of Paleo-friendly macro choices that aren’t anywhere near keto. Paleo is a way of thinking about food that could theoretically be adapted to a wide range of macros, while keto is a specific set of macronutrient ranges – you can combine the two, but you can also do Paleo in a non-keto way.
For instance, a 2007 controlled study in 43 young acne-prone men by Smith, et al, found that a low-glycemic-load diet led to a greater reduction in acne lesions than a higher-glycemic-load diet. What’s more, the low-glycemic-load group experienced a decrease in androgen and insulin levels, improvement in insulin sensitivity, and weight loss. By contrast, the other group had increases in weight, insulin levels, and insulin resistance.
Thanks for the reply. What’s most confusing is that keto introduced many low-carb but high fat, and therefore, caloric foods. So for instance, before keto, I drank black coffee. On keto I switch to full fat cream and I really like it so I’m still drinking coffee with full fat cream but that means I’m consuming about 5 times the amount of calories I would with my coffee. In ketosis it doesn’t matter because that fat is used up directly as fuel for the day, but if I’m not in ketosis should I switch back to black and start counting calories again?
Dr. Sigurdsson, This is a very interesting post that highlights the potential benefits of low carbohydrate, high fat diets (LCHF) for overweight and obese individuals. As someone who is very interested in healthy diet and lifestyle, when I ran into your post I was very much intrigued. I do, indeed, agree with your belief that the standard dietary recommendations do not factor in individualism and does not work for all of us. Like your personal successful experience through this particular diet, I have tried this too in the past and it was very much successful. Given my field of interest… Read more »
Hi Mellisa, I still recommend eating a variety of vegetables on a keto diet! You can include low carb berries as well. That being said, a multivitamin usually can’t hurt anything, so you definitely can if you feel like you are missing something. As always, I’m not a doctor and recommend consulting with your doctor for ultimate recommendations on these types of questions.