Choosing whether or not to use a fat-based ketogenic diet, such as the Metabolic Advantage Diet, is a more complicated task than many think.
First, you need to understand how and why fat-based diets work and then you need to understand all of the specifics accompanying this type of diet, including lifestyle changes which will probably entail a major change in your eating habits.
In this article, I’m going to discuss how and why keto diets help many drop body fat, in addition to other important information you need to know in order to make an informed decision with regard to the dieting style you choose.
All Diets Manipulate Calories And Macros
When considering whether or not you want to use a low or high fat diet, you need to understand the basic fundamentals of how weight loss diets actually work, so that you can make an informed decision and understand the effort required to apply the diet successfully.
Doing so will put you in a much better situation for success than starting and realizing a month later that you hate the diet you’re following.
When considering different diets, just remember they are all attempting to manipulate both calories and macronutrients; it’s just that they attempt to do so in different ways. However, at the end of the day, the primary goal is to make it easier to reduce calories, when it comes to dieting for weight loss.
That’s a point that is lost on many people. Essentially, there’s no one diet that will be effective, but rather what is key is the dieting approach that is easiest for you to successfully use and, therefore, to be able to stick to. If eating a high fat diet allows you to remain happy while better managing your calorie intake, it will probably work for you in terms of weight loss.
As One Macronutrient Increases, The Others Change As Well
Adjusting macronutrients is usually the route that most diets take, such as increasing protein and adjusting carbs and fat. However, what many don’t consider is that along with changing one macronutrient, the other macros need to change as well.
The reason for this is that macronutrients have a caloric value. Carbohydrate and protein are worth 4 calories per gram, while fat is worth 9 calories per gram.
When consumed together, these macronutrients make up your total calorie intake. Thus, as one macronutrient increases, in order to maintain the same amount of calories, the other macros will need to decrease.
As an example, my Metabolic Advantage diet is what is considered to be a ketogenic diet, which research has proven to be an effective strategy for weight loss by decreasing protein and carb intake in favor of increasing fat intake significantly (1-8).
When diving into the specific requirements of this style of dieting, you’ll notice that since fat intake is so high, carbohydrate intake and protein intake both have to decrease. In addition to the calorie balance part of the equation, there are other reasons for this as well, which I’ll touch on later.
Essentially, you just need to understand that taking on a high fat diet doesn’t mean just increasing fat intake. It also means manipulating your intake of the other macronutrients.
Understanding How Fat-Based Diets Work
Before jumping right into a fat-based diet, you should understand what is actually necessary and why those steps need to be taken if you hope to be successful.
As mentioned earlier, as one macronutrient increases, typically the other two have to decrease. In the case of using a fat-based, ketogenic diet, that is absolutely the truth for specific reasons.
First on the calories side of the equation, if fat is increased significantly, but other macronutrient remain the same, obviously you’ll be consuming more calories than you expend, which means you’ll gain weight.
Second, ketogenic diets work by reducing your body’s reliance on sugar in favor of using fat as fuel. Essentially, this optimizes the body’s fat burning ability, which can equate to fat loss.
However, if carbohydrate and protein intake is too high, this can prevent the body from switching to fat as fuel. In that case, it’s more likely that the body will store the food you’re eating as body fat.
Essentially, it’s important to remember that with a fat-based ketogenic diet, as fat intake increases, protein and carbohydrate intake will need to drastically decrease at the same time, otherwise the diet won’t be effective.
Important Considerations For A Fat-Based Diet
While fat-based diets are fantastic options for dropping body fat, using this diet approach requires some close attention to detail and specific restrictions that you should understand. After you consider and understand these variables, you can make an informed decision for yourself.
1. You’ll Have To Remove Carbs
First, you need to know that on a fat-based diet, you’ll need to almost entirely remove traditional carbohydrates from your diet. This means no bread, pasta or other starches.
While you will have some carbohydrate through fibrous vegetable intake, overall the total amount you’ll be able to eat will be quite low.
Since you’re increasing fat intake, doing so in terms of health isn’t a big deal but it can turn out to be quite difficult for some, especially those who enjoy eating carbohydrates regularly.
Unfortunately for keto to actually work, you’ll need to severely restrict carbs. But keep in mind that in place of carbs, you’ll also get to increase consumption of delicious foods such as bacon, avocado and even butter.
2. Keto Diets Can Optimize Fat Burning
The amazing thing about fat-based diets is that they can optimize the fat burning process.
This is primarily because you’re switching the body’s primary fuel source away from sugar (glucose) to that of fat. So, once you put yourself in a caloric deficit by reducing calories, it’s extremely likely that the weight you do lose will be from body fat.
This is the number one reason I built the Metabolic Advantage diet, to put you in a position that, when you’re losing weight, it comes from body fat rather than precious muscle.
3. Keto May Present Challenges When Eating Out
Just because you go out to dinner, it doesn’t need to mean your diet stops. If you’ve decided to use a keto approach, you should be prepared to order food that fits within your dietary needs.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks I’ve learned over the years to make that process easy.
For the most part, most restaurants offer meat and vegetable dishes, which is great since that’s the best option for a keto diet. In this case, I always suggest opting for a fatty cut of meat or other protein and then some form of vegetable for extra fiber.
Second, you can consider getting salads with meat added. This is a great way to consume protein, fat and fiber all in one meal.
Third, order dishes that are modified, such as replacing a bun for a burger with a side salad. While many enjoy burgers, consuming the bun isn’t exactly a good idea for keto. However, simply replacing the bun with vegetables is a simple, keto-friendly solution.
Is Keto The Right Diet For You?
Even though keto-style diets are insanely effective, as indeed is my Metabolic Advantage diet, they do come with a host of specific pieces of information that you need to understand before you jump right in.
With understanding this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that will put you on the path to success, if you do decide to use a fat-based diet.
- Rocha Ataide, T. (2013). Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(07), 1178-1187.
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