With a keto diet for weight loss, I’ve lost over 140 pounds as I write this and I know as well as anyone that it is very difficult to be strict over many, many months. The keto diet IS strict. You reduce carbs to such a degree that your body no longer fuels itself on sugars and starches. It burns fat, including your own body fat. If you fall off the wagon, it just starts burning sugars again. It IS strict and, over many months, like any diet program in this universe, it IS A GRIND. It is. I know we are supposed to love it and embrace the new way of life but all things requiring strict adherence are always a grind, at least in some small way.
Sooo, do we need to do keto in the first place to lose weight? Is a keto diet necessary for weight loss?
I am not dogmatic about food and food choices but this I know for sure: You will lose MORE weight if you follow a ketogenic diet.
Low carb will work. Low carb plus intermittent fasting will work. Intermittent fasting and eating whole foods will work.
For me, the combination of keto and intermittent fasting blew the lid completely off my world. Never in my life of nearly 50 years, and the many decades of losing and gaining weight, has anything worked this well and been this easy to implement.
Do I think you should try it? I say: What on earth are you waiting for?
Do I think you should be as strict as I was? I say: If you need to, absolutely. If for some reason you can’t be, get on the slower train because it’s going to take you there too and, by golly, it’s a great place to be.
In the video below, I talk about why you really want to be in ketosis if your goal is to lose weight. I present a series of stylized graphics about how your body burns fuel. It burns you calories first, then the stores of “sugar” in your liver, and only then your body fat. Eating a ketogenic diet empties out those sugar stores so that each day you will start burning that body fat sooner.
Burn the fat every single day.
Burn it until you sit in a chair and you can feel your actual bones (maybe for the first time ever — *raises hand*).
Burn it until you can paint your toe nails and actually breath while doing it.
Burn it until you can tie your own shoes without huffing and puffing.
Burn it until you can feel your clavicle and your hip bones.
You will burn it every day more quickly if you follow a low carb, keto diet for weight loss. The carbs that you eat are just going to fill up that sugar storage again and you’ll have to burn that before you burn the fat off your tail each day.
A keto diet allows us to eat plenty of fat but if you’re goal is weight loss, you can over-do it. I discuss this at ~~this specific point~~ in the video.
Simply put, if you really want to starve the fat off your tail so that you can feel your tail bone when you’re sitting in a chair, live off that fat instead of keto fat bombs or extra coconut oil in your coffee. You have to burn those sources before your body will burn the fat off your tail. Don’t overly embrace the added dietary fat until you’re feeling that tail bone. Definitely don’t go “low fat” (via the 1990s) but don’t swim in fat either (via the millennial keto diet).
That said, if you need a break or you’re planning a holiday dinner, fatty recipes are a great way to stay in ketosis and meet some of these socially satisfying needs at the same time. Do what you need to do but do be mindful that you will not have aggressive weight loss if you’re eating a mountain of fat, particularly not if you are a middle-aged woman like I am. (Some of you guys out there might have a little more leeway.)
So do I recommend a keto diet for weight loss? Heck yes!
Does that include a mountain of bacon? My own world of keto is very vegetable-heavy. I direct you to my resource on intermittent fasting meal ideas to give you a sense of what I ate all of those months to lose all that weight. (Spoiler alert: It was little bacon and a lot of greens.) I expect my focus on vegetable helped keep me fuller longer and helped keep me supplied with a fuller spectrum of micro-nutrients. As you consider the keto diet for weight loss, consider focusing on the vegetable offerings in the keto world to win the long game.
Read more about how I did it:
Amanda Rose, Ph.D. lives in the Giant Sequoia National Monument with her husband and two sons. She founded the Eat Like A Bear website to support the awesomely inspiring community on Facebook, Eat Like A Bear!
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