Saturday, November 21, 2015

LCHF or Keto Diet - What it is and Who it's for

You've probably been hearing a lot about the Keto diet lately.  Many doctors are now recommending it, not just for weight loss but also to improve health generally and even as an anti-aging diet.

So what exactly is it?

The Keto diet is short for ketogenic diet, and is so named because when you eat this way your body runs on ketones rather than sugar.  This is also known as the low carb high fat way of eating, or LCHF - more on this later.

Since this is a Paleo Primal blog, what I want to do today is explain the basic differences between a Keto and a Paleo diet so you can decide if it's for you.  A Keto diet can also be a Paleo diet, but not all Paleo diet forms are necessarily Keto.

The main difference is the percentages of carbs, fat and protein that you eat every day.  When you eat Paleo you're not really worried about this.  Since you aren't eating grains or sugar, your carb count is already quite low.  The recommended amount is usually between 50 and 100 grams. 

But if you want to have your body create ketones, you need to make it even lower.  A carb count of 5% to 10% of calories is usually recommended.  

You also want to make sure you're not eating too much protein.  Latest findings are showing that excess protein, just as excess sugar, can be turned into fat, so if you're looking to lose weight you want to watch your protein intake.  In a Keto diet, 15% to 30% calories from fat is the usually recommended amount.

This leaves a lot of room for fat in your diet, and fat is the majority of what you want to be eating - 60 % to 75% or even higher.  This will ensure your body is running on ketones, not sugar.

Here are some specific guidelines for weightloss on the Keto LCHF diet :
  • Same as recommended for the Paleo diet, eat Real Food.  Stay away from processed food, and don't fall for any of the fake low carb products that are out there.
  • Keep your total net carbs ( total carbs minus fibre grams ) to less than 50 grams. 20 to 30 grams is a good range to aim for.
  • Limit your fruits to coconut, avocado and an occasional small serving of berries.
  • Forget about 3 meals a day.  Only eat when you are hungry, even if that's only once a day.  Eating more fat will keep you fuller longer - and that's a good thing!
  • Don't worry about counting calories.  Eating this way will make you naturally want to eat less.  
  • The only time I would worry about calorie counting is if your weight loss stalls.  Then it's probably a good idea to check your food intake for a couple of days, just to make sure you're keeping the right ratios.
  • It's very important to make sure you drink a lot of water.  Coffee and tea as well as mineral water all count.  Just make sure you drink lots. 
I'm not going to go into the science here.  I don't have the room or, frankly, the expertise.  If you want to know exactly how it works I recommend you read Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore.  I think this is the best and easiest to understand explanation out there. 

You should also check out the Diet Doctor.  This is a great ad-free website run by a Swedish doctor, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, and is a great introduction if you are considering this way of eating.  Dr. Eenfeldt covers not just weight loss but all the health benefits as well, and has many informative guest interviews.  

You can sign up for a free video course that will tell you exactly what LCHF is and how to do it. 

This website has no sponsors, counting on memberships to pay it's expenses.  The cost is ridiculously low ($9 US a month) and you can get a free one month trial.  I decided to become a member because I really believe in this way of eating and want to support Dr. Eenfeldt in spreading the word. As far as I'm concerned, all the information is just a great bonus.

The website again is 

But remember, as always, if you are considering a diet change, you should always check with your own doctor first to make sure it's right for you.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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