Have you been struggling to lose weight and are not sure which diet is right for you to start?
There are many diets out there that promise quick weight loss, but they can be hard to stick with.
One of the most popular is the keto diet. It’s low in carbs and high in fat, which forces your body into a state called ketosis where it burns fat instead of sugar for energy.
But what about those who don’t want to give up carbs?
Well, there’s another diet that has been popular for a long time. It’s called the low-calorie diet.
The keto vs low-calorie debate is on which one has the best results for weight loss.
It all comes down to how you go about it and what your goals are when you start.
So is the low-calorie diet plan for you? Or is keto the better option? Read on to find out more.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet is used by people who want to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way.
It’s low in carbs and high in fats, which makes your body burn stored fat for energy instead of sugar from food.
When glucose is lacking in the body, it triggers the liver cells to create more glucogenic proteins. This causes the body to go into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for energy instead of sugar.
This means there is no need to count calories or feel hungry when on this diet.
Foods high in fat include grass-fed meats (like beef and lamb), fish, cheeses, avocados, nuts (like almonds, cashews, and macadamia), and specific oils like coconut and olive.
Foods moderate in protein include eggs, dairy, legumes, and nuts. You can also eat some condiments which are high in fat, but low in carbs like sour cream or mayonnaise.
Foods low in carbs include leafy greens, cabbage, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower. You can also eat some fruits like berries or olives (which are high in salt).
The keto diet is well suited for people who are looking to improve their health by losing weight but still want to feel fuller after meals.
What Is The Low-Calorie Diet?
Low-calorie diets work by restricting calories so your body doesn’t get all the energy it needs from a single day.
You may lose weight quickly, but that can also mean you’ll put back on those pounds when you go off the plan.
If you do choose to go with a low-calorie diet, make sure to find one that is balanced and sustainable.
- Are safe for most people if done properly
- Are can be used as a short-term weight loss solution
- Are not recommended as a long term plan to maintain your weight
- Have been linked with some bad side effects, like gallstones (1)
There are two types of low-calorie or “low-fat” diet plans:
- The low-fat diet. Low-fat diets work by cutting back on the amount of fat you eat and include more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. They also emphasize plant proteins like beans over animal proteins like meat, dairy products, and eggs. Meat is still allowed in moderation, but usually only about a third of your daily calorie intake.
- The low-calorie diet. These diets work by restricting the number of calories or portion sizes you eat, usually through meal replacements and smaller portions at each meal.
They work by making you eat smaller portions of food with fewer calories.
How Do Low-Calorie Diets Work?
Low-calorie diets are based on the idea that when your body is deprived of energy, it starts to slow down and burn stored fat for fuel.
Low-calorie diets can be a great way to lose weight fast. However, they’re also easy to get wrong, and doing too much of them can lead to an increase in cholesterol levels, loss of lean muscle mass, increased stress on the kidneys, and slower metabolism over time. (2, 3, 4)
The low-calorie diet also involves calorie counting to keep track of how much you eat.
Low-calorie diets are often recommended for people who don’t have time to exercise regularly or those who suffer from obesity.
As mentioned above, people that follow a low-calorie diet should also be aware that they have a higher risk of developing gallstones and other digestion or absorption disorders.
Which Diet Is Better For You – Keto or Low-Calorie?
It also may help you lose weight faster than a low-calorie diet, but not as fast as a fad diet that limits overall calories.
When participants in one study followed a keto diet for 3 months it helped them lose an average of 12 pounds more than those on a low-calorie diet. They also lost 4 inches from their waist and had a better improvement in blood sugar levels.
This is because of the anti-inflammatory nature of keto. (7)
The advantage of the low-calorie diet is that it’s easier to follow, less expensive than other diets, and can be paired with an exercise program to help keep you motivated.
If you’re very overweight, have a medical condition that could be better addressed with weight loss, or are older than age 50, this may be a good option for you.
The keto diet can help reverse health conditions linked to insulin resistance such as type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
It also tends to be easier to follow and more effective for weight loss than a low-calorie diet.
However, it is very high in fat and if you’re considering keto as a way to lose weight, work with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure it’s right for you.
Pros And Cons Of Each Diet Plan (Ketogenic vs Low-Caloric)
You may be wondering which diet is better for you: the ketogenic or low-calorie. Both have their pros and cons, but it really depends on your goals.
- It may reduce your risk for chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.
- It may help you lose weight faster than a low-calorie diet, but not as fast as a fad diet that limits overall calories.
- When participants in one study followed a keto diet for 3 months it helped them lose an average of 12 pounds more than those on a low-calorie diet.
- It is very high in fat and if you’re considering keto as a way to lose weight, work with your doctor or a nutritionist to make sure it’s right for you.
It can be difficult to follow because it requires you to count calories, measure foods, and consider the number of carbs in your diet.
Low-Calorie Pros and Cons
A low-calorie diet can be easier to follow because you have more variety of foods to eat, you don’t need to plan ahead for every meal, and it doesn’t require as much time. It also has the advantage of getting results sooner than other diets.
The disadvantages are that people often gain the weight back over time if they don’t maintain their weight loss and don’t work out along with their diet and that there is a possibility of side effects from eating too few calories for a long period of time.
How To Stick With Your New Weight Loss Routine (Keto Or Low-Calorie) Even After It Stops Being “New”
It’s hard to stick with a new diet after the novelty wears off.
It can be difficult to maintain your motivation and willpower when you’re not seeing results as quickly as you’d like.
You may find yourself feeling discouraged or tempted by unhealthy foods, which makes sticking with your plan even harder.
Find ways to make healthy eating fun and exciting again so it doesn’t feel like such a chore.
Here are some ideas for how to keep up your enthusiasm for healthy living:
- Make sure you’re eating the right types of food. If you are on a low-calorie diet, make sure to eat protein, vegetables, and grains for every meal. Cut out sugars and processed foods. On the keto diet, it’s important to track your carbs, calories, and fat intake accurately while making sure not to overeat.
- Find a way to get some exercise that works for you. For people who like running or hiking, try incorporating those into your routine 3 times a week; if you’re more sedentary or have lower fitness levels, experiment with finding something new like walking, biking, or swimming 4-5 days per week.
- Remind yourself of the goal you set out to achieve by starting your diet and reward yourself for achieving it! Find a way to keep yourself motivated.
- Identify potential obstacles that may get in your way of sticking to the diet and develop ways to overcome them! Make sure you don’t have too much on your plate so it stands a better chance of success!
- Reward yourself for small, consistent steps towards or achieving your goal whether it be weekly weigh-ins, mile times, or steps in a day.
Ketogenic diets are very popular because they have been shown to help people lose weight faster, especially when used in combination with exercise.
However, it’s important that you work closely with your doctor and/or dietitian to make sure keto or low-calorie is right for you.
The best approach for weight loss is to combine a healthy diet with regular exercise.
Knowing what to eat and how much of a certain food you can have on each diet is essential for getting results. This will help you achieve your goals of losing weight and keeping it off.
The key to successfully losing weight long-term is finding a diet and exercise plan that fits into your life and allows you to stick with it over time. It’s important to stay motivated and find a way to make healthy living fun.