This is a very extreme approach and it’s worth noting that there’s almost no research on the long-term efficacy or safety of carnivore diets – and nothing on long-term consumption by overweight people in the 21st century looking to drop a few pants sizes. One of the best long-term accounts we have is the notes taken by Vilhjálmur Stefansson back in the early 1900s – his report on the Inuit diet is interesting and cool but not really a great scientific foundation by modern standards. There are a lot of unanswered questions here about nutritional deficiencies, especially if you’re not eating a lot of organ meats.
A low carb diet essentially reduces the carbohydrate intake into the body. Examples of common sources of carbohydrates include bread, grains, tortillas, starchy vegetables, fruits and rice. This particular diet mainly focuses on protein intake since proteins provide most of the required muscle building compounds. The following are major benefits of the low carb diet.
When you’re following a traditional ketogenic diet, you consume around 75 percent of your daily calories from healthy fats, 5 percent from carbohydrates and approximately 20 percent from protein. In general, ketogenic diets typically limit daily net carb intake to just 20–30 grams, which is calculated by subtracting the number of grams of fiber from the total number of carbs.
The symptoms associated with ketosis are often temporary and may relate to dehydration. These may include headache, dry mouth, bad breath, fatigue and nausea. However, it’s worth noting that because the diet restricts carbs it is typically low in dietary fibre which may have a negative impact on gut health including the presence of gut friendly bacteria.
“What should my macros look like on Paleo?” – it’s a common question and it’s sometimes frustrating to hear that there really is no one “right” answer. As far as anyone can tell, Paleolithic hunter-gatherer diets probably had a wide range of different macronutrient ratios, depending on the season and the geographic location of the tribe. That’s certainly how it works with modern hunter-gatherer groups – groups closer to the equator generally tend to eat more carbs, while groups closer to the poles generally tend to eat fewer carbs.
Hi Michelle, You don’t necessarily have to “hit” macros to get into ketosis. Ketosis is achieved by restricting carbohydrates, that’s it. Fat is needed for satiety and protein is needed to prevent muscle loss. So make protein a goal and carbs a limit, then eat enough fat to stay satisfied and don’t go over your macros. You can get more individual help in our support group.
This article is very useful, i am happy to see a medical expert reporting on the benefits of a low carbohydrate and high protein diet. It is also very helpful to see some scientific thought being put behind the report and the analysis. I have been involved in coaching combat athletes, boxers and martial artists for almost 30 years and have also been a personal trainer working with body builders and strength athletes. I have always been an advocate for the use of Low carb/High protein for a number of reasons mostly though because this type of diet makes sense.… Read more »
This is how most people do keto – enough wiggle room in the carb count that you can at least have a salad and some cauliflower pizza crust, but not enough wiggle room to actually go out of ketosis. Unlike the carnivore plan, the goal of garden-variety isn’t to eat only meat and avoid plant foods; the goal is to get a specific set of macros (high fat, very low carbs).
I have been on a Keto diet now for 6 weeks and although I have lost about 6 lbs, I find I am constantly mildly nauseated. I talked to my doctor about it and he doesn’t know what to recommend. I have come to the conclusion that it is the amount of fat I eat, which is in keeping with the keto directions my doctor gave me. Granted being nauseated does keep my appetite in check, but it is not a fun feeling, especially since as a meal time rolls around, I know I need to eat, but nothing appeals to me. Any suggestions?
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.
This is a typical lipid response to a low carb high fat diet. TG going town and HDL going up is clearly positive. Normally a slight elevation of LDL-C is not a cause for concern. I would suggest you check your lipids on 3-6 months. If there is further elevation of LDL-C you might try to reduce the relative contribution of saturated fat in your diet and use other fats instead, olive oil instead of butter etc.
"The classical ketogenic diet has a ratio of 4g of fat to 1g of combined carbohydrates and protein. So basically it's 85–90% fat, [which] isn't a palatable or exciting diet, as you can imagine, due to the massive restriction in types and quantities of foods that contain carbohydrates, including breads and cereals, fruit, some vegetables and even dairy products."
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You can read my response to Melanie (from Feb 7). I, too, have experienced stalls in my weight loss. Like I said, I lost 16 lbs. the first 6 weeks, then only 14 lbs. in 2 mos., then nothing for over 2 mos. I just stuck with the regimen, then over 2 days I lost 5 lbs. The weight seems to come off in fits & starts rather than an even, steady pace. I’d like to lose another 35 lbs, so I would love to read your thoughts on how to best achieve my goal if you decide to write a blog as you indicated above!
Hi Megan, Sorry about that – there was an issue with that section and you should now see it in the FAQ above, explaining how it’s determined. The weight loss per week will depend on how much weight you have to lose, as weight loss happens more rapidly the more overweight you are. But in general, between 0.5 and 2 pounds loss per week is reasonable.
After imagining I'd have a Biggest Loser-type reveal, after two weeks on the diet, I was disappointed to find I'd only lost 1.5kg. But I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of hunger I experienced. For example, if I started the day with bacon and eggs, I wouldn't get hungry again till the afternoon, whereas my typical instant oats breakfast leaves me ravenous by 11am.
As the year comes to an end and the holiday indulgences just keep on coming (d*mn you, office cookie parties!), you may already be considering a weight-loss plan to try out for the New Year. One that's been around for years and likely isn't going anywhere? Cutting carbs. And then there's keto, the über-popular, high-fat extension of that. But if you're considering slashing those delicious carbohydrates at all, you might be wondering: What exactly makes keto different from low-carb diets in general? And really, who would win in a low-carb vs. keto face-off?