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How Low can a Low Carb High Fat Diet go?

Whilst you might think that a low carb high fat diet and the ketogenic diet weight loss plans are a new weight loss trends given the amount of media attention and publicity they are getting lately, you would be wrong. In fact, if you cast your mind back a few years (that is if you are ancient enough like me) and remember back to when the Atkins diet was top of weight loss hit chart so as to speak back in the 1960’s you might be surprised to learn there are a lot of similarities.

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Remember the Atkins Diet?

The Atkins diet also proposed that we should follow a low carb high fat diet  where carbohydrates were restricted, and fatty foods be eaten until satiety. Both of these trends being very similar to today’s trending ketogenic diet weight loss plan.

However, there are some notable differences when following the Atkins diet. You are allowed to enter glucose burning mode, when you have got past the initial induction phase of the diet. Whereas the basics of a keto diet are far more disciplined. The objective being to maintain your body in a metabolic state of ketone production. What this means in simple words that with a low carb high fat diet that your body is setup for ongoing fat consumption to sustain it for energy as opposed to burning glucose (sugar).little boy with hat over eyes

If you were trying to decide what diet was best for you to follow it’s enough to give you a headache trying to wade through the volume and range of material covering different diets and nutrition lifestyles, and that’s assuming they are even accurate in the information they provide, many haven’t even been tested.

What about Diabetics?

So, let’s look at what other types of diets are available. Remember we are focusing in particular on different types and uses for  low carb high fat diets since that is what we are interested in how well these low carb diets perform in the weight loss stakes.

It’s interesting to note that nutritionists and doctors have in fact prescribed and promoted low carb high fat diets for many years. Primarily to accommodate the requirements of their diabetic patients, who can only have limited sugar so that their blood sugar levels can be controlled given they have an inability to produce their own insulin. The ketogenic diet is being touted as a close to perfect solution for diabetics.

If you have even looked at a prescribed diet for a diabetic you might see that it would typically have small controlled amounts of carbohydrates. An example would be a half cup of pasta or similar as determined by their nutritionist and dependent on a number of factors such as size and weight.

However, this is not exactly what dieters are looking for when they search for “low-carb”, though there is no denying that a diabetes friendly diet could be helpful for some people who want to lose weight even though not diagnosed as having diabetes.

What Does a Low Carb High Fat Diet really entail?

Given the amount of attention in the media on the topic of the ketogenic diet and its claims to improve weight loss and health, people seeking to lose significant amounts of weight are keen to know more about keto or other variations of the lifestyle.

Low carbohydrate high fat diets are defined by the American Academy of Family Physicians as a specific diet that restricts carb intake to usually less than 20% of a persons daily caloric intake. This equates to between 20 to 60 grams per day. But the loose definition of low carb by the average populace is either elimination or limitation of sugars, cereals, pasta and bread from their diet.

There is no denying that low carb means different things to different people. And their perception of reducing their carbs might be vastly different to someone else’s. It’s a well-established fact that we are well on the way to becoming an obese nation from the poor quality and quantities of food that we eat.

However, we tend to over complicate things in so many arenas of life. Basically a low carb high fat diet also known as a ketogenic or keto diet is a menu plan that that limits your daily food intake to the following ratios. You are expected when doing the very basic keto diet to have a food plan that consists of  75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.

So, ketosis is part of a ketogenic diet right?

But there is hope in recent times and we are becoming better educated on the topic of nutrition and what we “really” need to be eating to stay fit and healthy.

It is quite common these days to hear the term low-carb and keto used in the same sentence. So, to take that a step further if you understand that a low carb diet is basically burning fat instead of sugar whilst maintain a metabolic state of ketosis, this is in fact describing the principals of a ketogenic diet.

picture of low carb high fat diet foodDon’t forget Paleo

Another popular contender in the diet stakes is the Paleo diet. You can read more about the possible risks and benefits associated with Paleo here. Just to give you a bit of background it is based on how we ate at the beginning of civilization. So, it should come as no surprise to learn that the diet itself is a combination of meats and plants per se. Again, you will find that processed carbohydrates like cereals, breads or pasta are not allowed.

Conclusion: Ketogenic Diet Rule KISS

People who follow a ketogenic diet that is a low carb high fat diet attempt to maintain their bodies in a constant state of ketosis. It is not uncommon to find on keto that the terms “low carb” and keto” can and often are interchangeable.

But you will however, come across the belief that occasionally you should give yourself a small low carb treat.  I would be the first to endorse this, since I do on occasion (within reason of course) and never found it has slowed my process in any way.

But having said that you need to understand that once you’ve allowed those carbs inside your body its highly likely that you will have changes your metabolic state, if you should get carried away. There is a very fine line between the balance of tipping from being in ketosis to a carbohydrate burning mode.

If you are determined to go “total keto”,  you’ll should steer clear of all of sugar filled treats and desserts, along with grains and pasta, potatoes, and several other root vegetables, plus basically anything that will raise insulin levels. At the end of the day the trick is not to let it all get to complicated, just keep it simple and you will have it mastered in no time at all.

Always Remember the simple mantra for a ketogenic  low carb high fat diet is roughly 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs, just stick with this and you will be dropping weight in no time.




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