Paleo vs. Keto: Which is Best for Weight Loss?

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Paleo vs Keto weight loss

Paleo vs Keto, are you wondering which is best for weight loss?  The Paleo and Keto diets are two of the most popular diets today. Both diets are similar in the sense that they both restrict the consumption of carbohydrates although Paleo is not considered a strict low carb diet.

Carbs are often the main reason behind weight gain and too many carbs could lead to various illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and high triglycerides. Not only will the Paleo and Keto diet help you to lose weight, but they also help you to stay healthy and fit.

To help you in deciding which diet is right for you, here’s everything that you need to know about these two low carb diets.

What Is The Paleo Diet?

The Paleo Diet restricts the consumption of grains but not the higher carbohydrate vegetables and fruits like keto diet does. It focuses more on high protein foods, as well as foods that are rich in fiber. Paleo puts emphasis on eating grass-fed, organic meats, vegetables, and fruits.

The concept behind Paleo is to follow the diet that our ancestors had thousands of years ago during the Paleolithic period. As stated on Dr. Mercola’s blog,

“During the Paleolithic period, many thousands of years ago, people ate primarily vegetables, fruit, nuts, roots, and meat, which varied depending on season and availability.”

Indeed, when researchers checked the contents of a 5,300-year old mummy, they discovered that the last meal consists of high fats in the form of animal and plants. During the Paleolithic period, there were no processed foods and high-carb foods. Most foods were healthy such as lean meat, vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains, which is totally different than the standard diet that so many people follow today.

Dr. Loren Cordain, a leading authority on the Stone Age diet and author of a number of Paleo books like this one, believes that if we’re going to follow what our ancestors ate, we would be able to normalize our system and improve our health. According to him,

“By eating your fill of satisfying and delicious meats and fish, fresh fruits, snacks, and non-starchy vegetables, you can lose weight and prevent and treat heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, metabolic syndrome, and many other illnesses.”

What Is The Keto Diet?

Just like the Paleo diet, the Ketogenic diet or Keto limits the consumption of carbs but much more strictly and it focuses on eating high amounts of healthy fats. The goal of the diet is to reach the state of ketosis where your body will end up using fats for energy instead of carbohydrates.

In order to reach the state of ketosis, most of your calories must come from fats. However, it’s highly recommended that your fats should come from healthier sources, such as avocados, seeds, nuts, and lean grass-fed meats.

Once your body is used to burning fats for energy, you’ll be able to lose weight easily. But other than losing weight, the ketogenic diet also comes with several health benefits.

Dr. Mercola, who has written about the keto diet in his book, Fat for Fuel, has emphasized the importance of eating healthy fats as the body’s main source of fuel. According to him,

“Ketogenic diet is not only ideal for people who are suffering from chronic illness or obesity, but also for those who simply want to optimize their health. This dietary approach can help improve your well-being in more ways than one.”

Paleo vs Keto: Differences Between Them

In order to know which diet is suitable for you, it’s important that you understand the differences between the Paleo and the Keto diet. Here are some of the most notable differences between the two:

Keto focuses mainly on macronutrient balance – as stated above, the goal of the keto diet is to put your body in the state of ketosis. To reach ketosis, your macronutrients should consist mostly of healthy fats, a moderate amount of proteins, and extremely low carbohydrates.

As for the Paleo, you can balance your macronutrients any way you want for as long as you make the right food choices by eating only lean, grass fed meats, vegetables, fresh fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Paleo puts emphasis on eating whole healthy foods – the Paleo diet encourages the consumption of whole, healthy foods that are beneficial for your body while the keto diet focuses on maintaining the right balance of macronutrients in order to stay in the state of ketosis.

The keto diet is very strict on carbohydrates – it’s very important that you restrict your consumption of carbs when following the keto diet or you’ll fall out of the ketosis state.

As for the Paleo diet, there’s no need to induce your body into a certain state, so even if you ended up cheating on carbs, you can still continue with the diet for as long as you go back to eating healthy.

Paleo diet restricts foods that are difficult to digest – the Paleo diet restricts food items that are considered hard for the body to digest and not around in the paleolithic era. Examples are dairy, processed foods, and sugar.

By replacing these foods with Paleo-approved foods, you can help to minimize inflammation in your body, which improves many chronic diseases and gut health. As for the ketogenic diet, it allows the consumption of full-fat dairy.

Loren Cordains Paleo cookbook

Which Is Best For Weight Loss?

When it comes to weight loss, both the Paleo diet and Keto diet are truly effective. However, in order for you to successfully lose weight, you must choose the diet that’s suitable to your lifestyle. You should go for the diet that is easy for you to stick to. That way, you will not go back to your original weight after you have shed some pounds.

There are other important factors that you need to consider when choosing the right diet for you. For instance, if you’re going to follow the Paleo diet and eat foods like that of our ancestors, you must make sure to eat fewer calories for effective weight loss. Sure, lean meats, vegetables and nuts are healthy, but if you are going to binge on a lot of Paleo desserts and snacks, you might actually end up gaining weight.

Check out Loren Cordain’s Paleo Cookbook to guide you on the diet.

In this case, you might be better off following the ketogenic diet. According to Konstantinos Spaniolas, Associate Director of Bariatric and Metabolic Weight Loss Center in Stony Brook New York,

“People successfully lose weight on keto because they tend to eat less. They can stick to a relatively lower caloric intake because of the reduced cravings.”

It’s also worth noting that both diets may come with unpleasant side effects and this is something to consider when deciding which diet to go for. With the Paleo diet, most people complain about feeling lethargic during the first few weeks as their body starts to adjust to the diet.

Followers of the keto diet may also suffer from keto flu when they are trying to transition into the state of ketosis although the Keto-Alkaline diet can help prevent it.  These unpleasant side effects should eventually go away once your body adapts to your new lifestyle.

Conclusion

Both the Paleo diet and Ketogenic diet are great for weight loss but the problem may have something to do with maintaining your new weight. It’s common for people to go back to their old lifestyle after they have achieved their ideal weight.

Remember, once you start eating carbs again after following a low carb diet, you could run the risk of gaining weight fast. So when it comes to choosing the right diet for weight loss, opt for the diet that you believe you can easily maintain even for the long term. Otherwise, all your efforts will just go to waste.

Image by Brooke Lark

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