Ketogenic diets seem to be all the rage right now. But what exactly is this strange sounding diet?
In essence, its a Very High Fat, moderate-Low Protein and Very low Carb set up. With the idea that after a set time your body will eventually end up in a state of Ketosis (running off ketones)
So why would you want to do this?
The main benefits shown are that of a decrease in the feelings of hunger.
People have reported that they are able to go longer in-between feedings.
Which no surprise helps with weight loss.
However, this is down purely to the ingestion of fewer total Calories overall.
A recent study published by Dr Kevin Hall (2015) looked at 19 obese adults who were confined to a metabolic ward. Over a 2 week period, they were able to closely look at the effects of cutting Carbohydrates and Fat.
What they found was cutting carbohydrates increased net fat oxidation, but when they cut fat by the same amount in Calories it had no effect.
When they cut Fat this resulted in more body fat loss, but only when measured by the metabolic balance.
One other said benefit of Keto is the increase in Fatty acid oxidation. However, this study showed that it didn’t always result in fat loss, and sometimes was the opposite.
So, in essence, no difference when Calories are matched. #CICO (Calories in VS Calories Out)
The ketogenic diet does work but its no different to any other method of dieting and must also play ball with the Calories in Vs Calories out hypothesis.
Another study which backs up all above was published by Eileen T Kennedy et al (2001)
They looked at a range of popular diets and used surveys of food intakes to across a whole host of variations.
They concluded that :
“weightloss is independent of diet composition. Energy restriction is the key variable associated with weight reduction in the short term.”
Basically saying no matter what method you use they must all conform to the energy balance equation.
To further back all of this up a huge Meta-analysis (lots of studies) was undertaken by Bradley C Johnston et al (2014) to look into the comparison of named weight loss diets in obese adults.
They used 6 large databases to collate all of the information. Focusing on BMI at 6 & 12 Months.
Can you guess what they concluded?
Yup – Significant weight loss was observed with any of the diets, low-carb or low-fat.
The differences between the diets were so small they’re insignificant.
I quote :
“This supports the practice of recommending ANY diet that a patient will ADHERE to in order to lose weight”.
Moral – Do what works for you, just don’t think one is more superior than the other.
p.s Please don’t fall for the heavily biased keto ads which keep popping up all over social media.