The topic of fad diets is always a hot debate. People often disagree on which diet is better for you so today we are going to break down what the differences are between the two and which one we would say is an overall better option. Both diets have been around for years however recently they have both become very popular. They have their similarities and their differences and if you follow each of them correctly, you can lose weight. However, if you follow them incorrectly, you can gain weight!
What Does Each Diet Focus On?
The Paleo diet is nicknamed after the Paleolithic era. The overall idea of Paleo is to only eat the foods that our ancestors had access to more than 10,000 years ago. Paleo focuses on foods that are high in protein, low in carbs, and rich with fiber. There is a strong emphasis on lean meats, fruits, and vegetables.
The Keto diets main goal is putting your body in a state of Ketosis. During ketosis, your body will use fat instead of carbs as its primary source of energy. When your body enters ketosis, fat travels to the liver and makes an acid called ketones, which enter your bloodstream and are converted to energy. During this time, a good amount of your calories needs to come from fats. Typically, this number ranges from 60-80 percent. The idea is that all the fat that is burning will help you lose weight.
Which Diet is More Restrictive?
On the Paleo diet, all grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugars, potatoes, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, and salt are off limits. The Keto diet is even less flexible. Only about 10% of your daily diet can come from carbs. Keep in mind that even healthy foods have natural sugars and you must monitor this very closely to stay in a state of ketosis. In general, dieters cannot exceed 20-30 grams of carbs a day. An example of this would be a ½ cup of uncooked oats. That would be your carb intake for the entire day.
Paleo is the winner of the more flexible diet, especially long term. With Paleo, you are not required to maintain a state of ketosis, there is no need to closely monitor carb intake, it’s more of a lifestyle, its less labor intensive, and overall its just a lot easier to follow. Keto on the other hand is hard because if you eat a banana or too many nuts (which have sugar in them), it could easily knock you out of ketosis.
What are the Side Effects of Each?
During the beginning of your Paleo diet, it is common for people to feel lethargic at first as the body needs to adjust to the low levels of carbs. Aside from that, you generally will be taking in less calcium and vitamin D which can lead to weakened bones and a weakened immune system.
At the beginning of the Keto diet, most dieters get what is known as the Keto flu. Because of the extremely low levels of carbs, your body may get headaches, nausea, muscle cramping, and suffer from fatigue. Also, because you will not be consuming as much fiber as you normally would, you most likely will be dealing with constipation.
Which Diet is Better for Weight Loss?
The Paleo diet does not guarantee weight loss but instead focuses on healthier food choices such as lean protein, fruits, and veggies. You can gain weight on this diet if you over-indulge on the foods allowed. To successfully lose weight on the Paleo diet you need to make sure you are not overeating the calories your body needs per day.
People tend to be more successful on Keto with weight loss because they tend to eat less. On Keto, your cravings generally will subside after a few weeks. Once this happens, people tend to eat less food. Aside from that, your food selection is less so you naturally will be eating less when there is not as much to chose from. However, when people stop following the Keto diet, they typically will gain weight.
Overall, it comes down to calories in vs. calories out. While both diets may work, your body still needs to be burning a certain number of calories to lose weight. If you are following either of these diets and not noticing a change in the mirror or on the scale, we recommend tracking your calories for a week and see how many you average over the week. From there you can adjust the amount according to what your body needs.
The Paleo diet is overall a better option because it is easier to follow and less restrictive. It also includes very healthy foods including lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables which are very beneficial for your health. It is more of a balanced, moderate diet approach. The Keto diet is good for weight loss however, it could cause people to obsess over their carbohydrate intake and develop an unhappy relationship with food. Overall, the best and healthiest diet for you, will be one that is full of healthy foods and one that you can follow every day of your life.