Research shows that half of the world’s population is overweight or obese . Most of these people have tried to lose weight at least once. And most are still looking for the best diet to lose weight because their attempts failed to yield long-lasting results. The obvious reason why so many people are struggling with weight is that popular weight-loss diets simply don't work.
The ketogenic diet is a whole different story. It takes an unorthodox approach to weight loss. Countless studies show that it leads to greater weight loss compared to traditional weight-loss diets . But because keto goes against traditional wisdom of healthy eating, it has gained a bad rap. However, there’s ample research evidence showing keto not only being the best diet to lose weight, but also great boosting overall health.
To help you understand why keto is the best diet to lose weight despite opposing claims, we give you 5 science-backed reasons in case you need convincing. We also talk a bit about what keto is and how it works. Keep reading and see if you find our arguments convincing enough to head on your own keto journey.
The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet originally designed in the 1920s as an epilepsy treatment . The diet forces the body to burn fat to make molecules called ketones, which protect the brain against seizures. It's popularity as an epilepsy treatment, however, fell with the introduction of anticonvulsant medication. But interest in the diet as a weight-loss treatment began to grow in the past decade.
Most health authorities recommend eating carb-based diets low in fat to lose weight. But given that this approach is proven to be ineffective, at least in the long run, it's no surprise that interest in keto is growing. After all, this diet forces your body to burn fat. It also stabilizes blood glucose, improves metabolic health, and keeps you feeling full while you lose weight.
There are, however, concerns regarding the safety of using keto for weight loss. That's because the diet is high in saturated fats, a nutrient traditionally considered bad for your arteries. However, evidence shows keto actually decreased triglycerides, LDL (bad) cholesterol and glucose while boosting HDL (good) cholesterol - essential factors for cardiovascular health . The proof is obviously in the pudding, a creamy, high-fat one in this case.
Things that determine how much weight you gain include your genetics, your calorie intake, and your activity levels. But as a simple explanation: eating more calories than your body can burn is the number one cause of excess weight gain . Keto stops this because it prevents you from eating too much and also makes your body burn more. Here's how it does that :
Keto reduces your appetite thanks to the satiating effect of proteins (which you will eat within optimal levels). Eating fewer carbs also causes drops in blood glucose with subsequent changes in your hunger-hormone levels. Ketone bodies also contribute to this appetite suppressing effect of the best diet to lose weight.
Ketosis, as the primary goal of the ketogenic diet, reduces fat formation and boosts fat burning in your body. That's because ketosis mimics fasting but without the hunger attacks.
When your body isn't busy burning its own fat stores on a keto diet, it's utilizing the fat you're eating for ketone production. We know this is true because researchers measured a reduction in resting respiratory quotient on a keto diet, which is a good indicator of greater fat utilization  . That's because carbon dioxide is the byproduct of fat utilization.
Carbs are a low-cost fuel as far as your body is concerned. Proteins require more energy for digestion, absorption, and use than carbs. In other words, your body is spending calories trying to use all that protein you're eating. Gluconeogenesis, a metabolic pathway that is upregulated during ketosis, also spends calories.
But the effects of a ketogenic diet on your metabolism and health go beyond these observations. The simplest explanation many keto-ers like to use in describing keto benefits is that it transforms you from a sugar burner into a fat burner. The result of this is weight loss and better overall health.
If you need more convincing to give the best diet to lose weight a try, read our overview below. We give the top 5 solid reasons keto is the best diet to lose weight so far.
1. Keto is Proven to Work
Most dietary guidelines recommend that you cut down on fat and eat more whole grains (complex carbs) in order to lose weight. But newer studies show that eating low-carb foods and boosting protein and fat intake is the way to go. Keto can help you eat as little carbs as necessary for foolproof weight loss.
The reason reducing carbs helps you lose weight has to do with your blood glucose and hunger hormones. Carbs cause blood sugar fluctuations that lead to insulin spikes and hunger pangs. The more refined a carb (white bread, table sugar), the greater these blood glucose fluctuations. Keto, being a low-carb diet, does not cause dramatic changes in blood sugar. Instead, it keeps these levels low, suppressing your appetite naturally and making you eat less.
Besides that, keto is the only diet putting you into nutritional ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state of greater fat burning. Normally, we’re in a state of sugar burning and our body’s tendency is to store fat for later. Keto forces your body to use all that precious fat simply because it can't rely on carbs anymore.
What everyone dreads about dieting is the unrelenting hunger that goes with it. A diet that can help you burn excess body fat while keeping you feeling full? Yes, that's what keto is about. As already explained, the ketogenic diet has a strong appetite-suppressing effect. This comes from the increased ketones themselves but also the higher intake of satiating nutrients and lack of hormone fluctuations.
If you read keto diet guidelines, you'll also notice that none recommend watching your calories. That's because chances of going overboard with the calories on keto are low. If you still want to make sure you're not eating too much, then go ahead and calculate your daily calorie intake. Otherwise, feel free to enjoy this diet to the fullest.
Standard weight-loss diets simply don't work as made evident by the ever-growing obesity epidemic. That's why you need to give non-traditional dieting approach a try at least. Keto turns the food pyramid and everything you know about healthy eating upside down. The result? Weight loss like you have never seen before.
The diet is completely free of grains which are the staple and base ingredient of all diets. That's because our bodies are used to running on grains. It's only logical that cutting down on grains will force your body to look elsewhere for energy, like fat stores, for example.
But then, you might thing: won't eating more fat increase my calorie intake and lead to weight gain? Not if you're cutting back on carbs to below 50 grams a day. That way, you can neither overeating on fat nor can your body run only on the fat you eat. With all that explained, try going against the grain and give keto a try.
4. It Improves Overall Health
Any diet that helps people lose weight is also good for overall health. That's because excess body weight is the leading cause of deadly diseases like diabetes, atherosclerosis, and cancer . By losing weight, you also reduce your risk of these diseases. However, keto provides health benefits beyond weight loss . Some of these benefits include:
- Better brain health – Ketones protect the brain from epilepsy, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. They also reduce oxidative stress in the brain and increase energy production in brain cells. Many keto dieters feel these effects directly as mental sharpness and better focus.
- Reduced cancer risk – Cancer cells grow with the help of glucose. By being in ketosis, you starve cancer cells of their primary food. Ketosis also reduces inflammation in the body. Inflammation is one of the many known causes of cancer.
- Diabetes control– Diabetes is a disease of carb metabolism. By cutting down on carbs, you not only reduce your risk of diabetes, you also control diabetes without medication. Keto stops blood sugar fluctuations and even improves insulin sensitivity.
And with better overall health, you are also more likely to lose weight and keep it off. Obesity and overweight are conditions marked by higher levels of inflammation. They're also a result of a metabolism gone awry. Keto boosts metabolism functioning helping you lose weight and keep it off forever.
5. Keto is Easy and Energizing
In the beginning, most keto dieters find the diet too complicated to stick to. They also experience symptoms of the keto flu, which can make them shun the keto diet. But once you go past these setbacks, keto will come naturally to you. It takes at least two weeks to become adapted to keto and used to this way of eating.
The reason keto is easier than you think has to do with the type of food you'll be eating. Lots of satisfying and filling butter, cheese, bacon, avocados, and full-fat goodies are quite easy to enjoy.
You'll also see that you don't have to eat all the time to keep your energy levels optimal. When you're in ketosis, your body is running on a much more efficient fuel than when you're burning carbs. No more blood sugar drops and mid-day slumps; with keto, your energy supply is almost endless.
From boosting fat burning and decreasing hunger to improving health and metabolism functioning, keto is definitely the best diet to lose weight right now. Giving this non-traditional dietary approach a try will help you burn fat while keeping your energy levels high, your mind sharp, and your health in check.
In case you're worried about keto being unsafe, rest assured that this diet is safe for most people. After all, it's been around for a whole century and doctors are prescribing it to children with health problems. Just make sure you're eating enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber to stay healthy and you'll have no reason to worry.
To learn more about the ketogenic diet and ways to start, we suggest taking our Ketocademy course. It's a free, learning course designed to give you the nitty-gritty of starting a ketogenic diet. Losing weight on a ketogenic diet is easy once you know all the facts and rules of low-carb eating.