The Best Diet for Weight Loss
A while back, I made a silly Tik Tok about not being able to find the research supporting the keto diet as being a better method for fat loss than a high-carb diet, and I was told that “I’m not looking hard enough.”
Instead of continuing to go back and forth with some guy who thinks that keto is the best way to lose weight, I’m here to share some content regarding the difference between high-fat/low-carb and high-carb/low-fat approaches to fat loss.
Long story short, there’s no significant difference between the two types of diets if you want to lose fat. But let me back up that claim!
The Best Diet for Fat Loss
Let’s start by breaking down a meta-analysis study by Hall and Guo (2017). They looked at 32 controlled feeding studies (aka they monitored the food intake of every person) with a total of 563 participants.
In each study, participants ate the same amount of calories and protein, but the difference was the percentage of calories they ate from carbs vs. fats. In other words, the difference was whether they ate a higher fat and lower carb diet or a higher carb and lower fat diet.
The researchers found that the people who ate higher carb, lower fat diets increased their energy expenditure and lost more body fat than those who ate lower carb, higher fat diets.
But before you toss out your coconut oil, you need to know that although the result of this study was “statistically significant”…
The people in the lower carb, higher fat group burned ONLY 26 more calories per day. The researchers described this slight difference as “physiologically meaningless.”
Keto and Fat Loss
So what does this research mean for keto?
Basically, this tells us that the keto diet is not any better for fat loss.
With negligible exceptions, all controlled intervention studies to date that match protein and total calorie intake between ketogenic and non-ketogenic dieters have been unable to provide evidence that a “keto advantage” exists for fat loss.
The question shouldn’t necessarily be whether high fat or high carb is better for fat loss, but instead, the question should be which diet you prefer and which one makes you feel the best.
Sustainable Fat Loss
The most important thing to remember when entering a fat loss phase is that if your diet isn’t sustainable, your fat loss won’t be sustainable either.
Figure out which style of eating works best for you, and use that approach.
One caveat here is that we do have some evidence that consuming a large majority of your carbs from refined sources might lead to increased visceral and liver fat, which is not good for your overall health.
But overall, you should focus on what makes you feel your best, perform your best, and ultimately whatever makes it the easiest for you to hit your goals.
My body definitely likes carbs and performs well with them (they are our body’s preferred source of energy, after all), but there’s nothing wrong with preferring fats over carbs.
If you want to learn more about macros, including what they are and how you can use macro tracking as a sustainable tool for fat loss, you should check out my FREE Macro Tracking Quickstart Guide.
This guide will teach you all the macros basics and how you can use them to reach your health and fitness goals without restriction. Click here to get yours.
Check out my original post here.
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Hall, K. D., & Guo, J. (2017). Obesity energetics: body weight regulation and the effects of diet composition. Gastroenterology, 152(7), 1718-1727.