What You Need to Know About the Ketogenic Diet Vs. a Low Carb Diet

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What You Need to Know About the Ketogenic Diet Vs. a Low Carb Diet

March 06, 2018 at 9:21 AM

Chances are you have heard about a low carb diet and a keto diet; however, if you are like a huge percentage of the population, you probably think they are one in the same. But this could not be further from the truth. There are very dramatic differences between what you eat on these two diets and how they react within your body. One option (keto) will improve your overall wellbeing and aid in weight loss success, while the other (low carbs) can leave you with terrible side effects.

Here is a closer look at what exactly these two diets are and why you want to make sure you are following the specific guidelines for the ketogenic diet instead of just eating low carbs.

Keto Vs. Low Carb Explained

First, let’s break down what these two diets actually mean for your diet and your body.

  • Low Carb Diet – A low carb diet basically means the only thing you focus on is limiting your carb intake. Most people on a low carb plan eat between 50-100 grams of carbohydrates per day, and then the rest of their diet is usually made up of high fat, high protein sources.
  • Ketogenic Diet – While also limiting carb intake, a ketogenic diet is much more complex. By consuming a very specific macronutrient profile—usually around 5% carbohydrates, 20% proteins, and 75% fats, but every body is different—you can literally change the way your body burns fuel. Once in ketosis, your body breaks down fat into ketones, and then uses those ketones as its energy source.

In short, following a low-carb diet is basically just making certain food choices and hoping for the best. As such, many low carb dieters are never able to reach ketosis because they are either consuming too many carbs, too much protein, or not enough calories. On the other hand, following a ketogenic diet is literally transforming the metabolic state of your body, allowing you to use fat as a reliable, sustainable fuel source.

Benefits of a Keto Diet

When you follow the specific guidelines of a ketogenic diet instead simply going “low carb” you can achieve many health benefits:

  • Increased Fat Loss while Retaining Lean Muscle – Your body uses ketones (which are created by burning fat) as its main energy source, leaving your lean muscle mass intact.
  • Better Brain Function – When you are truly in ketosis (most followers test their urine for the presence of ketones), your body is operating in a completely different way. Most ketogenic diet followers state that they have higher energy levels and they are able to focus easier.
  • Improved Satiety and Less Hunger – Again, while in ketosis, your body uses a readily available, sustainable fuel source (opposed to the temporary presence of glucose you are burning on the low carb diet), so you will never run out. As a result, you will experience reduced hunger pains and cravings.

Side Effects of Low Carb

On the contrary, when you are only focusing on consuming low carbs, you are not in a state of ketosis. Your body is relying on carbs for fuel, yet you are not giving it this fuel, so it will not be very happy. This can leave you feeling all kinds of less-than-ideal side effects, including: low energy levels, mood swings, hormonal disruptions, constant hunger pangs, and even weight gain.

We Monitor Your Ketogenic Diet

At Medical Weight Loss Solutions, we are firm believers in the keto diet; yet, we also know that it is a very scientific approach to weight loss and it must be closely monitored. We are dedicated to helping you reach your weight loss goals in a safe, effective way that will have you feeling better than you have in years. To learn more, contact us now.


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