We get this question a lot. The best first step is to gain a good understanding of your individual metabolism and the theories behind popular dieting methods.
Let's talk about what category Ketogenic diets fall into. There are diets that focus on calorie restriction and diets that focus on carbohydrate restriction. Keto is a tool in the carbohydrate restriction category.
Is the Keto diet good for weight loss?
The truth is, your past dieting history and your personal circumstances influence how your body will respond to keto and other weight-loss strategies. Some people respond better to carb control than others. Most people notice their body doesn’t respond the same way the second or third time on a low carb diet.
Keto works by nudging your body to burn more fats for fuel instead of it’s preferred source of carbs and sugar. The higher fat content is satiating (filling), and can help some with sugar cravings. If you struggle with sugar cravings, you might find some value with a dieting method that focuses on carb control. The problem we find with this tool is that people don’t understand that they’re signing up for a lot of other things too, when starting a low carb diet.
One thing, in particular, you are signing up for is carb sensitivity. When your body goes too long without having that macronutrient it becomes sensitive to it. A night of indulgence can result in surprising weight gain if you don’t understand how carb restriction works. We see this phenomenon leading people into cycles of yo-yo dieting and rebound weight gain.
Keto usually isn’t the best choice for inconsistent dieters. You’ll get the carb sensitivity without all the benefits. If you’ve already gone low carb, be sure to include a reintegration period to gradually introduce carbs back into your diet. This helps your body to ease out of carbohydrate sensitivity.
Does that mean low carb dieting is a bad tool?
No, low carb dieting is not a bad tool. At MetPro, we use carb restriction when we analyze your data and identify that it will produce the right kind of leverage. Your goals and lifestyle must be considered when selecting which diet approach is best for you in your personal season of life. We never pick just one tool or the same tool for each person, and rather than making broad recommendations, we identify the strategy that’s going to work best for you. If carb control is identified, there will always be a game plan and time frame for what comes next. Having insight into your current metabolic rate and pairing that information with your goals lets us identify the areas where you personally have the most leverage. If you'd like to dive into this further and learn more about your metabolism, we’re here to help.
Our final thoughts on low carb dieting are, it’s a great tool with a lot of science behind it. However, to use it properly you must understand the biology of how it works, what you are signing up for, and if applying it — use it as a tool that’s part of a broader strategy.