If it’s all about calories in vs out, why is Keto so recommended

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If it’s all about calories in vs out, why is Keto so recommended

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It’s the latest fad and works because it forces people to skip over the foods that are the most calorie dense, simple carbs.

It’s another fad diet, recommended because it’s “cool” and “different”.
Keto was sometimes recommended by real medical professional for things other than weight loss.
Such as epilepsy (before we invented proper medications) and has been suggested to help with other brain issues.
But it was never about weight loss.

This fact is ignored by people trying to sell diet books/plans/merch.

It puts your body in ketosis – when your body starts burning fat rather than burning carbs since there are no carbs to burn off. It’s still about calories in vs out. A person wouldn’t lose weight on any diet (keto or other) if their body took in more calories than their body needed.

Well “calories in” is measured at the bloodstream level, not the mouth level.

Eating keto starves the body of simple carbs and sugars. This forces the body to make energy less efficiently from fat reserves. While there are available calories in the protein you eat, it’s harder to access.

Its not just a calories in vs calories out. Where your calories come from is a more important question to look at. Protein and fat give the most when talking satiety, and “bang for your buck” some extra nutritionally dense carbohydrates if you’re on the more active side (think sweet potato, not bagel).
Keto has it’s place, if done right.

I have a friend who trains professionally for mma and is always doing Keto so I had him explain it to me.

He told me the idea of keto is to stop eating carbs so that your body will burn fat. With no carbs in your diet your body will be forced to burn fat in order to create energy since you are no longer getting it from the carbs.

Edit: to add to this and further answer your question, a diet full of carbs allows the body to store its fat instead of burning it. The reason for this is because it takes more chemical reactions to burn fat than it does to burn carbs. You have to stop eating carbs to really force your body to get to work on burning the fat.

Your body stores energy in three “cups”: the carb cup, the fat cup, and the muscle cup. When it needs energy, it first takes from the carb cup, but if that’s empty then it takes from the fat cup, and finally it will take from the muscle cup. The keto diet is designed to keep the carb cup empty so it has to take from the fat cup. A non-keto diet with similar calorie intake would add to the carb cup, which would then be taken from, so not as much would be used from the fat cup.

As a PhD in Exercise Physiology, I have to say using the word “recommended” is inaccurate and misleading.
Calories in/calories out certainly is a good way of explaining at a base level how metabolism works, but it fails to include things like muscle mass, fiber types, types of exercise, sleep, caffeine intake, etc.
your body uses carbohydrates as its primary source of energy; “fat burns in the flame of glycolysis.” By building muscle mass, you enhance the efficiency of glucose metabolism which, in turn, leads to more fat being “burned”. This takes place regardless of your diet and there is minimal research that definitively shows high carb vs high fat diets being superior to one another. The most important component in your diet is always going to be protein; fat and carbs are used to fill out the rest. Based on my research, generally the best diet breakdown for anyone who is training is going to be around 50% carbs, 30-35% protein, and 20-25% fat, but it really does come down to individual preference.

One thing I haven’t seen mentioned here yet is that being in ketosis can significantly reduce hunger

It is not about calories in and out. That’s a gross oversimplification of hundreds of biochemical pathways.

Your body stores carbs and fats to burn for energy. The body is greedy and will do anything, including lowering its metabolism, so it won’t burn precious body fat. That is it’s last resort when facing starvation! So the trick to lose weight (i.e. lose fat) is to get the body to keep burning fat when carbs run out. By eating lots of fat, and little carbs, your body gets into fat burning mode. So you are tricking it into burning body fat without dropping its metabolism by eating mostly fat in your diet.

Sugar is also toxic (in high doses) and in the common USA diet, we are harming ourselves with it. Keto eliminates this problem, which makes you healthier almost immediately by removing this toxicity.

Keto also is a slow burn. Sugar levels in the blood rise and fall like tides, but when burning fat, there is a steady stream of BHB in the blood which gives you consistent energy, which most people describe as increased energy levels.

All the buzz about Keto is warranted. It is the first diet that universally works.

Keto is recommended to make you feel better and actually burn fat.

Obviously one of those is a lie. If you compare r/keto (success story after success story) and r/loseit (mostly failures & new starts) you will find out which one it is.

A lot of diets are based on restricting certain foods. You get sick of the foods you are allowed to eat and thus will eat less of it.

A gummy-bear-only-diet will also work for weight-loss for example.

Carbohydrates are like fuel for your muscles and brain. Without carbs they don’t work efficiently. So i personally would not recomend a keto diet to anyone especially athletes. The only problem with carbs is if you eat too much refined carbs such as white sugar, white pasta, and white bread etc. So i would recommend cutting back on those and not to think only in terms of calories and fat, carbs, and proteins, but also in vitamin intake. Also i would like to point out the importance of sleep. Not just to get minimum 7-9 hour but also maintaining a consistent sleepschedule. To go to sleep at the same time every night and to wake up the same time every morning is vastly underrated and overlooked when talking about health imo.

A calorie is a measurement of thermal energy. Gasoline for example has calories, a lot of them I might add, 2000 per cup.

**From a metabolic standpoint calories are not all created equal.**

Blood glucose (sugar) is the primary source of energy for your cells, other things [proteins/fats] can be used as energy but require enzyme pathways to be used. Consuming glucose will directly increase your blood glucose levels with 0 enzyme pathways, consuming starch is just 1 enzyme *Amylase* away from becoming glucose.

Carefully monitoring your carbohydrate consumption should be pretty paramount to just about any weight lose program. Keto is popular because it works, it derives its name from *ketosis* which is the state your body goes into when it doesn’t have readily available or very low blood glucose. Personally I think the diet might be extreme but it’s hard to argue with results.

It’s not all about calories in vs out. It’s important, but disregards the process of how fat is stored and burned by the body. One reason behind low-carb diets is that when you eat carbohydrates, your body produces insulin. One of the things that insulin does is to stimulate fat storage, meaning that eating too much should in theory result in you gaining less fat. The other thing is that removing carbs from your diet will lower your blood sugar, which forces your body to start breaking down fat for fuel.

So the idea is that diets like keto work by looking at exactly how fat is stored and used to find the most efficient way to keep body fat down. Unfortunately, (as far as I’ve seen, at least) actual research on effectiveness seems to show mixed results when compared to calories in/out methods of dieting, and the body of research is honestly not as big as it probably should be, so it’s really hard to make a call on how well low-carb diets work.