There’s no doubt that the keto diet is one of the best ways to lose weight these days. Aside from helping you to lose weight, it also comes with several health benefits. It is for this reason that millions of people have now embraced the ketogenic lifestyle.
Related reading: 9 Proven Benefits Of A Ketogenic Lifestyle
And while keto is truly effective at burning fats, this diet is not really for everyone. It’s an extremely restrictive diet, which may not be possible for those who actually love their carbs. Because of this, some health experts came up with a solution and that is to switch between keto and low carb.
Also known as The Hybrid Diet, the diet is said to be a much easier way to achieve weight loss while reducing your risk of certain diseases. Let’s find out more about this and see if this is the diet that can work best for you.
Given the many different diets today, it can be a bit confusing for most people to decide which of these diets should they follow – will they go for a low-carb diet, plant-based diet, Paleo Diet, meat-based, or high-fat diet? With the Hybrid Diet, there’s no longer a need to choose because you can have the best of all these diets.
Related reading: 5 Top Tips for Getting Started on a Low Carb Diet
Developed by Patrick Holford, a health and nutrition expert, the diet requires that you switch between the keto and low carb diets. In his book titled, “The Hybrid Diet: Your Body Thrives on Two Fuels”, he explains this:
“The two most effective ways to lose weight are either a high-fat, ketogenic diet (think Atkins) or a slow-carb. Both have been shown to cause more weight loss than a conventional low-calorie, low-fat diet.
Switching between the two has even more health advantages. The hybrid way of eating gives the benefits of fasting without going hungry and reduces risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and cognitive decline, as well as slowing the ageing process.”
Basically, the Hybrid Diet mimics the evolutionary design of our body. Holford believes that our body is hybrid and relies on the ketones from fat or glucose from fat in order to function.
Alternating the keto and a low carb diet is said to be a healthier, easier, more effective and best way to lose weight. If you switch from a low carb diet to a high-fat diet and back, this will set a healthy cycle of cell growth and repair in your body, which burns fats in a more efficient way.
Hybrid Diet, the Best Way to Lose Weight
As you see, the Hybrid Diet seems like an interesting diet to try. It combines the best of both the low carb and keto diet and is much easier to do since it’s not very restrictive. But the question is, how to actually do it? Before we get to that, let us first distinguish the keto diet from a low carb diet.
While many would consider keto as a type of low carb diet, this diet actually involves eating less than 30 grams of carbs each day, which is very restrictive. Limiting carbs is essential in order to get into ketosis, a state where the body burns fat for energy instead of carbs.
Related reading: How Many Carbs Do You Need To Eat To Lose Weight?
On the other hand, a low carb diet does not involve highly restrictive carb consumption. Instead, it encourages you to eat low carb foods without eating a lot of fats, which is what the keto diet requires.
Both the keto diet and low carb diet have health benefits and are effective in losing weight. But as what Patrick Holford has pointed out, switching between these two diets may boost their beneficial results.
How to Alternate the Diets
So how do you alternate these two diets? The Hybrid Diet requires intensely following the ketogenic diet for a week. This means limiting your carbs to less than 30 grams each day and eating lots of fats.
After being on keto for a week, it’s time to switch to the low carb diet, which is less restrictive. 150 grams or more are allowed! Ideally, you should be on the low carb diet for three weeks before switching back to keto.
Alternating the keto and low carb diet means you’ll be able to eat both fats and carbs. Both of these are important sources of fuel for the body. You’ll be able to lose weight without fully restricting yourself.
Things to Keep In Mind When Following the Hybrid Diet
When you follow the Hybrid Diet, you need to remember that not all carbs are the same. While you are allowed to eat 150 grams or more carbs for the weeks that you’re on the low-carb diet, you cannot just feed yourself with any carbs.
Remember that there are good carbs and there are also bad ones. A low carb diet is a type of diet that’s based on the GL rating. GL means Glycemic load and it estimates the impact of carbohydrates in food.
In other words, the Glycemic load is a measure based on the amount of carbohydrate in a portion of food together with how quickly it raises blood glucose levels. The glycemic index does not take into account the amount of carbohydrate in a food.
Related reading: Is A Low Carb Diet The Same As Low GI?
When following the low carb diet, you should focus on eating foods that have low GL such as lentils and other vegetables. These foods break down slowly in the body, which releases sugar at a more stable rate.
You’ll feel full longer and your blood sugar level will remain stable. On the other hand, High GL foods like pasta and bread must be avoided since they are broken down quickly into glucose and could cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar.
The Hybrid Diet is a great diet to try, especially if you’re hesitant to give the keto diet a go due to its very restrictive nature. Alternating the keto diet with the low carb diet is much easier to do, plus it gives you the benefits of both diets.
For as long as you focus on eating low GL foods, then you’ll certainly be able to burn those unwanted fats off while staying healthy as well. But just like with following any type of diet, it may be best to consult a nutritionist or health expert before you get started with the Hybrid Diet. This especially important for people suffering from serious illnesses.