The differences between a Low Carb Diet and Ketogenic Diet and my 6 Week Keto Results!
If you're following my blog then you are most likely into a sugar free diet and many of you are also low carb. But I'm guessing there aren't too many of you following me that are on the keto diet so I figured a post all about the differences might be needed.
Most of my recipes are all low carb, some lower carb then others and fit nicely into a keto lifestyle. You'll see below my 6 week results. I'd love to hear if you are new to low carb, or on keto and your results, please share in the comments!
THE LOW CARB DIET
I've been on a low carb diet for the last four years. My meaning of low carb might be different from yours as there really isn't a one size fits all. Every persons body will respond in a different way to the amount of carbs you are taking in daily.
It's often understood that a low carb diet is one in which your carbohydrate intake is under 150 grams per day, yet others say under 100 grams is better. My low carb diet consisted mostly of carbs from veggies and fruits and my range was between 50-70 grams per day.
I was quite high in protein and ate a moderate amount of fat. It was just right since I was maintaining my weight, but not low enough to firm, tone and see the muscle I wanted to achieve. I've been seeing a trainer twice a week for the last year for full body workouts, but just wasn't satisfied with how my body was responding. I recently decided a keto diet might be best to really achieve the tone and muscle I was looking for.
When you're on a low carb diet, you can certainly lose weight, but you are still using glucose (sugar) from the carbs you are eating to fuel your body. This means you'll often have to eat every 3-4 hours because you'll be hunger and you need that glucose to function throughout the day.
THE KETO DIET
The Keto Diet may seem extreme to some of you at just 20 net carbs per day which is about 5% of your daily food intake, some people even do less! In fact, I was reluctant to trying this for a long time, years really, feeling like so low in carbs would be too difficult for me since I love my veggies.
Protein is more of a moderate approach consisting of about 15-25% of your daily food intake. If you're weight training and active like I am, 20-25% is appropriate. If you lead a more sedentary lifestyle you don't need as much protein, more like 15-20%.
The biggest difference is in the fat!! Your fat should be around 55-75% of your daily food intake! UPDATE 2021; How Much Fat Should You Eat to Lose Weight On Keto?!
When I first heard that, I was like, "Are you kidding, No Way, I will surely gain weight!" I was truly wrong and misguided. I think we've all been too accustomed to hearing for years and years that fat makes you fat! That is the farthest thing from the truth. Let's not blame the butter for what the bread did. Sugar and Carbs are the culprit to gaining weight among other health related issues.
Once you start eating this very low amount of carbs, your body will become keto adapted. You are starving it from the carbs therefore it needs to find a source of fuel. There is a bit of controversy on how many carbs a day will get you into ketosis, but a range of 20-30 is a good start. When you're in ketosis, your body will no longer have the carbs it once used to fuel your body. It will have to resort to using your own body fat for fuel. This is amazing because you'll lose body fat if that was your goal and many other benefits you'll see below.
It could take a few days to a few weeks to a few months, everyone is different. Since I've been low carb for a few years I really thought I'd get into ketosis in a few days, that was not the case. It took almost a month!
The Benefits of a Keto Diet vs Low Carb
- You're Not Hunger between meals. You can go anywhere from 6-12 even 16 hours without feeling starving!
- You don't have cravings for sugar as you once did. Instead you'll start craving good, healthy fat!
- Your hormones will be balanced. No crazy mood swings or irritability.
- You'll have great mental clarity. No more fogginess.
- You'll have a ton of energy without the need for caffeine!
- You'll lose body fat and see the differences in your body, not just the number on the scale!
ARE YOU IN KETOSIS?
Besides having the benefits mentioned above, if you really want to make sure you are in ketosis I would suggest buying a glucometer which is a blood test. A simple prick on your finger using ketone strips to measure. Anywhere from 0.5 and up means you are most likely keto adapted. It's definitely not cheap but it is the most accurate measurement. There are other methods as well, like using urine ketone strips but not as accurate I don't feel. There is also a breath ketone meter if you hate the blood pricking idea.
You'll find it's not as hard as you think it will be if you're just starting out. Keep the fat high and you'll be satisfied and never hungry. My recipes are low carb though some are not as low as others. If you are browsing my recipes, sticking to less than 10 net carbs per serving will easily fit into your macros for a keto lifestyle!
My 6 Week Keto Results
My video above goes into a lot more details of what I did for the 6 weeks. But basically you can see the results in the photos below. May not be as dramatic as I would have hoped in 6 weeks and I may need to change some things over the next few weeks if I don't see results, but overall I'm happy with my small improvements.
Like my Coffee shirt in the video? You can get one for yourself at this link!
I realize the right pic looks different or that I'm more tan looking, but it was just taken at night and the bathroom light was needed whereas the first pic was in the morning with daylight from the window.
Crazy right though? I just can't even believe it for myself until I see this picture of my mid section! I'm truly in shock how it was just 2.4 pounds I lost in 6 weeks and just a half percent in body fat. But clearly the keto diet produces results. I feel better. I look leaner and more toned and I'm just motivated to continue on even though I'm not one of those people who have lost a crazy amount of weight in a short time. I'm in it for the health benefits I mentioned above, but also I'm feeling pretty darn good in my size 6 pair of jeans!
MY 3 YEAR UPDATE HERE
IS KETO RIGHT FOR YOU?
Maintaining a healthy weight has never been easy for me. I've struggled with sugar addiction and weight gain since I was a teen. You can read about my whole journey here and see Before pics as well. But since I've been low carb over the last 4 years I've been able to easily maintain my weight. Now with keto, I'm hoping to change my body even more. I may not lose "pounds" but just seeing these results shows the scale number is just one measurement and to me the body fat number is more important.
It's worth it and I hope you'll be encouraged to do something different in your life if you are at a plateau or just dissatisfied. You can't keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
If you have any questions getting started, just leave a comment on this post. I'll be happy to answer as much as I am able and if I don't know the answer as I'm fairly a newbie to this, I will certainly do my research or ask a keto expert friend, since I do have a few of them!
Hi . My name is Amy and I just turned 50 in Sept. My whole life I was considered petite , I was 105 - 145 , at 37 yrs I moved to Central Oregon from Salem Oregon, at 145, and within a year I shot straight to 170 . I stayed at that weight for the last
9 1/2 years , but just in the last 6 months I balooned up to 200 then 210 and at this exact moment 225, I'm only 5'3" , .
"PLEASE". ,can you help me , I am diet iliterate , the instruction get all jumbled up wen trying to read what to and wat not to , low carb ,lower carbs ,
I'm so depressed , I don't have much of a support group , IS THEIR HOPE FOR ME? THANK YOU.
Thanks for the inspiration! Do you happen to have a post about what you eat before and after your workouts? I've been hearing from some sources to NOT do the protein shake after a workout. I'm hoping Keto will help with my mild hypoglycemia, because I usually feel pretty weak after a workout (weights, tae kwon do, running, swimming, etc.)
Strangely the best recovery food I've ever found is greek yogurt with unsalted potato chips (weird, right?) but I don't get sick in the morning if I eat this after a workout....but obviously potato chips are a no-go on Keto...So I'm not sure what to replace it with.
I used to almost pass out while at the gym before I started drinking electrolytes while working out. I don't need any food after I work out. I usually wait an hour sometimes more before eating my first meal.
I am new to this group and new to keto. I am looking forward to learning from you all. I do have one question...It looks as though we should decrease our protein intake, but most of the approved foods seem to be protein. How do I decrease protein on Keto? Thank you!
Thank you for this post, very accessible and informative, and thank you also for all you contribute to the low-crab cause.Thanks for sharing.
It was a massive weight loss with the Keto diet. The best part is there is no side effect.
I began my low carb diet (around 50 net per day) almost 3 months ago. I have only lost 2 lbs. I need to lose at least 30. I am 62 years old and in good health. Everything I have read leads me to believe that I am doing everything correctly. I even make my own Keto bagels! What do you think could be the issue? I tried going down to less than 20 carbs but I just cannot do it. Thanks for any help you can provide.
50 NET carbs is quite high because you are probably eating more like 70-100 total carbs. If you can cut down to 30 NET carbs you may see results. You really need to make sure you've upped your fat so you won't be hungry. After writing this post I'm now actually counting TOTAL carbs instead of NET and sticking to just 30 total carbs a day which is what has helped the scale move. Also be sure to get other measurements for yourself besides the scale. You could be losing inches and fat like I did for the 6 week pics.
Hi Brenda, I have been gathering your recipes on Pinterest for a while. I had weight loss surgery, have been maintaining my weight loss for over 3 years now. However the sugar addiction is real, and although I am thin now I just don't feel healthy! I eat healthy for the most part but a lot of chocolate and pastries when the kids are in bed! I have been researching Keto not only for me, but my 9 year old son as well. I am worried about his weight, he is very husky,and I am scared that he will struggle with the weight and health problems I struggled with for years as he gets older. I have read many good things about keto for kids, and not just for weight loss. I have tried a low carb high protein diet with him but after reading about macros and counting protein and calories, realized I had been doing it wrong. What are your thoughts on children being on a keto diet?
My children are on a low carb diet but have the occasional treat with Dad and friends with parties etc. I'm undecided on keto for children unless the child wasn't having success losing weight on a low carb diet. I think it would be best to speak to his pediatrician if he does have a lot of weight to lose. I can say being on keto does help with sugar and carb cravings more than anything I've ever tried. My friend Maria from Mariabodymindhealth.com has her children on keto 100% of the time.
With all of the fat, I'm wondering what your cholesterol is like?x
Great book to read on cholesterol,https://amzn.to/2JZ6kng
I started Keto back in March and have lost 20lbs but now I am stuck. I hit a plateau and can not seem to get past it. Do you have any suggestions? I find I get frustrated and I turn to foods I should not eat. I need ideas of how to get over this slump I am in.
Have you tried intermittent fasting? There's a great book on it by Dr.Jason Fung I read and started to do in my own life. Here's the link:https://amzn.to/2t75jTF
I would love to start doing the keto diet, but have no idea where to start. Any info you can give me or point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
I enjoyed reading the information and getting up to speed on http://www.dietdoctor.com. Hope that helps!
hi . i need to start keto. my macros are 17 gram carb , 113 grams fat and 68 grams protein . i have looked at many recipes . i have tried to make a personal meal plan for myself . im struggling big time to get it all to telly. In a day , should only the carbs balance out ? By that I mean the meals I'm having for breakfast lunch and dinner should all add up to 17 grams of carbs but then my fat amount goes a bit higher and the protein I can't get to only 68 grams. I have looked at diet doctor recipes and it's all mind boggling. I don't know how to plan my meals . Can you please give me suggestions and advice ?
Have you used multiple ket calculators like the ones I mentioned? I used 3 different sources and all a little bit different. I averaged for myself what I felt would be doable and try my best to stick with 5-10 grams of each category.
The Keto diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs. It’s a highly effective diet as it takes into account accurate tracking of your meals, to find the right body balance, followed by charting your goals! I'm a big fan of the low-carb diet. Not only has it been shown to be more effective than a low-fat diet, but it bestows many additional health benefits over a typical diet.
Looking forward to a post from you on what to eat daily on the Keto diet.
I honestly have no idea how to start, can you help?
You look fabulous.
I've been doing keto on and off for a year. Before that, I explored eliminating "inflammatory" or "reactive" foods based on another eating program. I have Celiac and autoimmune issues and I think one of the reasons people stall with Keto is because they are eating too many typically "inflammatory" foods--foods that your body has a harder time digesting and as a result create systemic inflammation which, in turn, cause weight loss plateaus. For those trying to fight through a Keto Plateau, I would suggest eliminating ALL dairy (try subbing ghee for butter), artificial sweeteners (including stevia and erythritol) and all nuts for 5 days. I know it sounds close to impossible but all three of these Keto staples are some of the biggest culprits of inflammation in the body. I found this suggestion on another Keto website and tried it and dropped 6 lbs in 5 days. Another typically inflammatory food is Eggs. If you can't eliminate all of these foods at once, try eliminating one at a time for a minimum of 5 days and see if there is any movement on the scale. For those who have stalled, chances are at least one of your Keto staples is holding you up. Good luck!
I've noticed this to be true for me. No nuts and limited dairy has truly helped me.
Great info and congrats on your success! I have been keto since August, lost 30lbs, and my kid/family are low carb.
That's wonderful congrats to you!
Hi!! I have been following you since I started Keto.... Dec 26, 2017. I have lost 41 lbs since then and in the last 3 weeks I can not seem to get the scale to move nor are the inches changing... I am 58 yrs old and lightly active (I work in retail and am on my feet all day.. 10 hrs per day... operating register, stocking soda, candy... putting grocery truck away) I have been running my macros at 16 carbs (I do not do net) fat 97gm and protein is 78gms which is for my calorie intake of 1258 5/70/25.... I am at a total loss as to what steps I need to take...but for the most part I generally only get in 700-900 calories per day... I am just not hungry. Days off are nightmares.... it seems all I want to do is eat... I have NO "bad" foods in my house... I mostly eat veggies on my days off... asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, radishes cooked in an oil of some sort olive, avocado, sesame....... I dearly love tomatoes but eat them sparingly.
Got any suggestions?? That will help me get off of this plateau?
41 pounds is wonderful! How much more do you feel you need to lose? I honestly think you're not eating enough with just 700-900 calories and then you're body is craving and hunger when you are actually home. I would suggest trying to be more at 1000 -1100 on each day consistently and give it at least a month. I've not quite figured out the plateau area yet for myself and since writing this post my weight hasn't budged and it's been 3 weeks so I am working on changing some things and will update if I have success with it. Also I forgot to mention Intermittent Fasting? Have you tried that? Dr.Eric Berg on youtube has a lot of info on that if you're interested. Good luck!
I was doing LCHF (under 20 carbs most days) , Type II diabetic on a little insulin, After less than 3 mos I brought my A1C from 10.9 down to 7.1.......off to a great start. Now.....I am not only diabetic, I recently had open heart surgery (quadruple bypass),meaning “cardiac diet”. Do you know of any diabetic/cardiac people that are doing Keto? Curious about high fat for cardiac. (FYI: My Doctors are following me closely so know what I’m doing.)
Thanks for any feedback, Brenda?
I don't know anyone doing keto with cardiac issues, but yes for diabetes. I've noticed though many doctors are not promoting keto at all and it's disappointing to be honest. I hope you'll find out what works for you or at least your doctor will research it before saying it isn't a good idea. Anyway, sound advice can be found from Jimmy Moore who has been doing keto for years and years and his website and podcasts are full of interviews with doctors. He'd probably be the best source of info for your condition. Best of luck to you!
Hi Brenda. I love your recipes and have been considering a keto diet. I've been wondering if being in ketosis is hard on the kidneys. Thanks, Debi
I've not been on keto for very long but everything I've learned and read would suggest it's not a problem for the kidneys. I've found lots of info through Jimmy Moore, Dr.David Jockers and Dr.Eric Berg.
Thank you! I'll look them up for sure!
Just discovered you, Brenda. Loved your experiment with keto vs low carb. I'm 76, 5'2", 195lbs. Went on atkins years (!) ago, loved the energy, well-being, and weight loss. Then got lazy, fell into old habits and weight climbed back on. You've inspired me to go keto again with an updated keto plan. Where/how to start over?
I'm concerned about how to handle keto while traveling in near future (Africa, Mexico). All, any help much appreciated. Glad to know you're a sister in the Lord. Thanks again for your work and research, cesle
I'm glad I inspired you! I'm also concerned about keto while traveling, I'll be heading on a cruise soon to Jamaica, and Mexico! I will be documenting my time and trying my best to stick to keto or as low carb as possible.
I'm going on a cruise in November, any suggestions on how to stay in Ketosis while on there?
I love the way I feel when I'm on keto. I got off and am desperate to get back on. It's just a little rough the first few days. I lost 93 pounds in about nine months. I have over 100 to lose. I love your comment, "Don't blame the butter for what the bread did!" I'm taking that with me!
I need a t-shirt for that phrase!!
This was very good general. I would love to see a menu plan of what you actually ate between low crab(like a sample day) and Keto. I also found it encouraging that it took you moths to be keto adapted even though you were already doing low carb. Is this because you found it hard to cut out the carbs? I have been trying to do Keto for weight loss and clear mind and focus since the end of December. I did well the first week, then had a bad day and got back to it.. I have a good week and then a bad day and that's been my cycle for 3 months. SO I have lost some weight 12lbs, but I really need to lose more. Nothing else worked for me to lose weight, My body really likes to hold onto its fat, most likely due to that it doesn't process stress well and I have a high stress lifestyle. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Thank you, I love your blog.
I think I might have been in ketosis sooner but after 1 month I took my blood test at night and I was surely in and I had felt all the good effects of it too, like no hunger between meals etc. It wasn't difficult to reduce the carbs to 20 net because you're replacing it with good healthy fat which is so filling. I think my body likes to hold on to the fat as stubbornly as yours and I agree stress doesn't help, but I have always been a slow loser. I'd suggest taking measurements and body fat and pictures so you can see the difference. If you really think you're not progressing you may have to reduce calories too.
Yes, some ideas on meal plans and very easy recipes would be very helpful. I'm 67, very overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure. My big love are all the carbs. This way of life seems impossible to me, all that fat just doesn't sound appealing. I can't see how to eat that much fat a day. Years ago, I did try Dr. Atkins diet but I had a very hard time with the very limited carbs. But now, I need to something drastic but haven't a clue how to start.
Atkins has a book with meal plans for 40 net carbs so that might easily work for you. Here's the book I read:http://amzn.to/2FHXw7b
Help! My skin looks terrible on keto, I resemble a dried up little apple head doll, even with coconut oil and lots of water. Any advice?
Are you taking any supplements? I take magnesium at night and electrolyte powder in my water every day.http://amzn.to/2Dziuzl
Brenda, here is the link to the article. From what I have been reading the diarrhea is not uncommon. I had been using KCT oil in my coffee and smoothies, that compounded the problem. I have tried several of the suggestions this article suggested and it has been a great help. My wife and I were wondering what fat sources are you using. We have been trying to get more fat into our diets. We do use butter, sour cream, full fat dairy products, and changed our hamburger meat back to 85-15, most of the time. Super love your articles, they show you care. That is what is missing in today's world.
Love your blog and recipes, thank you! Congratulations on doing keto - I've been sugar, dairy, grain and pretty much all carb free for over a year keeping my carbs to under 30 grams per day. My question is about coffee...did you give it up? I was drinking way too much coffee with heavy cream so I finally gave that up for Califia almond/coconut creamer sugar free of course! Did you give up coffee during the keto trial?
Nope I could never give up coffee. I was having a bullet proof coffee in the morning to get keto adapted, using MCT oil and kerry gold butter but now just have it with heavy cream and liquid stevia.