Low Carb Vs Low Calorie Diet

Pros And Cons Of A Low Carb Diet

Low Calorie vs High Fat Diet (Low Carb Weight Loss)

To compare low carb vs. low calorie diet, it would help if we take a look at the pros and cons of each of these diet plans. Here are the pros and cons of a low carb diet.


  • Many people experience rapid weight loss.
  • It eliminates unhealthy processed foods and sugar from the diet.
  • Dieters do not usually need to keep track of their calories.
  • It helps people to feel full longer and minimizes unhealthy cravings.
  • Low carb recipes and meals can be delicious and easy to prepare.
  • There are several different types of low carb diets to choose from.
  • It comes with many other health benefits including reducing blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol.


  • Some people end up consuming a high level of unhealthy fats.
  • The diet eliminates healthy whole grains and legumes, which have nutritional benefits.
  • Its highly restrictive and difficult to maintain for some people.
  • May come with side effects especially in the initial stage.

Time Restricted Eating For Weight Loss

For those who like simplicity , there is some promising research on time restricted eating, otherwise known as intermittent fasting .

There are many versions of time restricted eating including the popular 5:2 diet, the 16:8 eating window and circadian eating.

There is a growing body of research showing both weight loss and other health benefits to fasting regimes with early time restricted feeding recently doing well for both weight loss and improving blood sugar, blood pressure and inflammation.

Theyre simple just eating to appetite and eating for health . Of course, its important to note that fasting works for weight loss primarily because youre eating less calories than you burn in a day, so it still adheres to the eat less, move more paradigm.

Fasting is definitely not for everyone , but it can take some of the guess work out of weight loss.

Its still a good idea to get advice around WHAT to eat in your eating window and its not recommended for anyone with a history of disordered eating.

A Brief History Of Calorie Counting

Though fad diets change with the seasons, counting calories is the quintessential weight loss regimen. While it used to be relegated to the nutrition label on many foods, youll find the calorie content in bold print on restaurant menus, signage, and even vending machines. Health conscience people want to know portions and calories for everything they eat.

Although calorie counting is the oldest method in the low calorie vs. low carb dilemma, its still a recent science. For years, scientists who studied fuel and energy used the French word calorie to designate how many units of heat was required to power a machine. In the late 19th century, diet and health researchers discovered that food used calories to fuel our bodies, and an excess of these caused people to be overweight.

One of the first 20th century physicians to champion the low-calorie diet was Dr. Lulu Hunt Peters. As an ample-figured lady among the culture of the rail-thin flappers, Hunt restricted her calorie intake to achieve modest weight loss success. She spent her professional career writing and lecturing extensively on how to count and limit calorie intake to lose weight.

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Changes In Nutrient Oxidation

In the metabolic ward, respiratory quotient , a measure of fuel utilization was also measured. An RQ of 1 indicates 100% carbohydrate oxidation and an RQ of 0.7 is 100% fat oxidation. Protein is generally ignored and you will also see non-protein respiratory quotient used for this reason. But measuring RQ and energy expenditure allows the amount of carbohydrate and fat that is being burned by each subject to be measured/estimated.

And when that estimation was made, the reduced carbohydrate group increased fat oxidation from baseline by 51 grams per day and carbohydrate oxidation dropped by 148 grams per day. This is a known effect of carbohydrate reduction and, as Ive discussed, its the reduction in carbs and not an increase in fat that drives this . In the reduced fat group, carb oxidation went up by 36 grams per day and fat oxidation fell slightly by about 10 grams per day from where it started.

But dont start drawing conclusions yet. Because while fat oxidation went up in the RC group, they were also eating more total fat. And even though fat oxidation went down a little bit in the RF group, they were eating less total fat.

And this is important because fat loss is determined by the difference between fat oxidation and fat intake. That is, it is the fat balance that is important here rather than the absolute values for either fat oxidation or fat intake.

Protein And Gluconeogenesis While In Ketosis

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets: What

Suddenly eating way less carbs? And now youre eating more protein to replace carbs? Well, if you have too much protein, the protein can convert into glucose .

This process is called gluconeogenesis. If youre in ketosis, it means that the protein you eat is not being converted into glucose. Another win for the ketogenic diet compared to standard low-carb!

And it doesnt matter, just in case youre wondering if the protein is from healthy sources such as grass-fed beef. When youre eating too much protein, some of it may convert into carbohydrate.

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Keto Keto Diet Vs Low Carb Diet For Fast Weight Loss

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Problems With Both Reviews

Just as a side note, both reviews had some issues, most notably that a lot of the low-carb diets werent. A lot of these studies included up to 40% calories form carbs in the low-carb group thats certainly lower than a typical American diet and lower than the high-carb control group, but its nothing at all like low-carb by Paleo standards.

Just to give you some context, if you ate 3 eggs fried in butter with a big pile of wilted spinach for breakfast, a salad with beets, leftover pork roast, and vinaigrette for lunch, a handful of almonds for a snack, and then a baked sweet potato with 2 chicken drumsticks and some fried onions for dinner, your day would be roughly 27% protein, 56% fat, and 17% carbs. Thats a moderate-carb diet by Paleo standards, and it still has half the carbs of some of the low-carb study diets.

Its worth noting that even the 40% carb diets were more effective than the high-carb study diets for naturally reducing calorie intake, but still if youre trying to get an idea of the results youll get from eating low-carb Paleo, a 40% carb diet probably isnt it.

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Goal: Good Physical Performance

Improved fat oxidation from following a low-carb, high-fat diet such as keto can increase physical performance, reduce inflammation, and aid muscle recovery.

It is suggested that eating carbs is necessary for sporting activities and strength training although you dont need to eat high-carb regularly to improve your performance.

It is quite possible to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet most days and then use a cyclical keto diet strategy which allows you to fuel up on hard training days and before sports competitions.

Could Keto Give Us Slight Fat Loss Advantage

Low-Carb vs Low-Fat Diets for Weight Loss

However, it is also possible that keto diet can increase satiety and weight loss more than a non-keto, low-carb diet because by cutting carbs low enough we can leverage the benefits of a low-carb diet along with the hunger-suppressing properties of ketones.

How much extra weight loss someone can get from being in ketosis is unclear. Research has yet to directly explore the effect that ketones can have on our calorie consumption and body composition.

In summary, the data suggest that non-keto, low-carb diets, and keto diets lead to similar amounts of weight loss. Even if future research shows that keto increases weight loss more than other low-carb diets, I doubt the difference will be significant enough to crown the keto diet as the best diet for weight loss for everyone.

However, we must remember that weight loss isnt the only thing we should be focused on when making diet decisions. The most important variable to consider, first and foremost, is how your diet and lifestyle affect your overall health.

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Dietitians Explain How To Balance Low Calorie Vs Low Carb

When it comes to a healthy eating plan, have you considered low calorie versus low carb? Are you among the millions of people across the country who are tired of trying to get rid of excess fat? The obesity pandemic in America has heightened awareness of the diseases and disorders that are linked to it.

With the plethora of diet programs touted in the media, you struggle to determine the scams, the ones are legitimate, and which programs are right for you? When you clear the table of magic pills, supplements, shakes, food combining, and restrictive eating plans, the basic diets of low calorie versus low carb remain. Both include significant restrictions, but which is the best healthy eating plan to help your weight loss goals?

Low Carb Vs Low Fat: Which Diet Is Better

Traditional diet advice over the last fifty years, still espoused by most health authorities around the world, holds that if you want to lose weight, you need to cut down your fat intake. In the last few decades, a number of alternative diets have sprung up claiming that you should instead be cutting down your carbohydrate intake. These include the LCHF, Atkins, paleo, and more recently the ketogenic diets. But what do the randomized controlled trials say? Should you cut down on fat or carbs if you want to lose weight?

Before we get in to the meat of the article, we need to clarify one thing. There are basically four different dietary sources of energy available to humans. These are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and alcohol. If you get less of your energy from one source, that necessarily means you will need to get a greater proportion of your energy from one or more of the others. So a low carb diet generally means you will be getting a greater proportion of your calories from fat, and a low fat diet generally means you will be getting a greater proportion of your calories from carbs.

The idea behind the traditional advice to cut down on fat is largely based around the cholesterol hypothesis, which we have recently debunked. Basically, it was thought that a high fat diet made you fat and caused heart disease, which was the basis for recommending that people cut down on their fat intake.

So, what were the results?

On to the results.

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Other Weight Loss Benefits Of The Keto Diet

There are several studies that suggest ketogenic diets are highly beneficial for obesity. It seems that when looking at low carb vs. keto for weight loss, being in a state of ketosis is an added benefit of keto.

This study concludes a ketogenic diet offers physiological and biochemical basis and is able to induce effective weight loss along with improvement in several cardiovascular risk parameters.

In other words, a ketogenic diet isnt only great for weight loss but it also protects your heart.

Which Diet Is Better For You

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets: What

After years of being told dietary fat is bad, an ever-increasing number of people are now aware it isnt harmful.

Growing research now show sources of carbohydratesother than low-starch vegetables and low-sugar fruitare responsible for many preventable chronic disease. This explains the surging popularity of the ketogenic diet.

The practice of eating ketogenic foods is approximately 100 years old. But, the original purpose of the diet was to treat neurological disorders such as epilepsy rather than losing body fat.

Over the years, it was discovered that the keto diet has many other benefits too. Losing weight is just one of the advantages of strict carbohydrate restriction.

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Counting Calories Or Carbs To Lose Weight

To lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit. That means you need to burn more calories than you consume. In very simple terms, it means that most of us need to eat less and move more. You can burn more calories through exercise or increased daily activity . You can also create a deficit if you consume fewer calories each day. So calories do count.

But your intake of fat, sugar, and carbohydrates can affect the total number of calories you consume each day. That means you should pay attention to those numbers as well.

The Benefits Of Restricting Carbs

As compared with low-fat, higher-carb diets, the low-carb diet improved the profiles of a range of blood lipids related to insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease. The low-carb diet also increased adiponectin, a hormone that promotes sensitivity to insulin and protects against atherosclerosis .

The low-carb diet also reduced lipoprotein, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease that previously wasnt thought to be influenced by diet, by nearly 15 percent on average. By comparison, there was a 2 percent reduction with the moderate-carb diet and a slight increase of 0.2 percent with the high-carb diet.

Surprisingly, the low-carb diet did not adversely affect LDL cholesterol, even though its saturated fat levels were far in excess of current recommendations, notes Dr. Ludwig.

In , Drs. Ludwig, Ebbeling, and their colleagues specifically implicate refined carbohydrates rather than just excess calories in fueling the obesity epidemic. Foods like white bread, white rice, most breakfast cereals, and highly processed snack foods cause spikes in blood sugar and insulin that increase hunger, may slow metabolism, and set the stage for weight gain.

This study was supported by the Nutrition Science Initiative, New Balance Foundation, Many Voices Foundation, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

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Almost everyone is concerned about their body weight and they are looking forward to going through an effective weight loss program. In today’s fitness-centric era, weight loss has turned out to be one of the priorities for individuals who want to stay fit and active.

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Which One Is Easier To Follow

Low Carb vs Low Fat Diets – Which is Better for Fat Loss?

One of the most important dietary principles that many of us forget about is how easy is to follow. Most of us can get motivated for short-term weight loss, but will you have the discipline to sustain your dietary approach for longer than a few months?

When it comes to improving your health and losing weight, consistency is key. More specifically, we must follow a diet that can consistently help us achieve our goals and sustain our results without rebounding.

In other words, if you cant turn your dietary approach into your new long-term lifestyle, then it is best to avoid it.

For most people, the more restrictive a diet is, the harder it will be to sustain for longer periods of time. This means that it may be more difficult for many of us to stick with the keto diet compared to a non-keto, low-carb diet.

When you are choosing a dietary approach, you must be completely honest with yourself. Dont forget to consider factors like what your family eats, your food environment, your lifestyle, and your current habits.

Do you think you could stick with this diet without rebounding back to old habits months later? If not, what do you think you can do to help you achieve and sustain your results without it being a constant struggle?

Need help? Here are some strategies that can make your results easier to achieve and sustain:

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Tim Ferriss Slow Carb Diet

The Slow Carb diet was created in 2010 by author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss, who published the rules in his best-selling book The 4-Hour Body.

The diet follows these five simple rules:

  • Rule #1: Avoid processed foods, bread, pasta and anything made with refined flour.
  • Rule #2: Eat the same few healthy meals repeatedly
  • Rule #3: Dont drink calories
  • Rule #4: Dont eat fruit
  • Rule #5: Have a cheat day where you can each anything youd like

The bulk of calories on the slow carb diet will come from:

  • Proteins: Grass-fed beef, poultry, pork, fish, seafood and lactose-free plain whey powder.
  • Legumes: Lentils, beans, chickpeas, and soybeans.
  • Low-glycemic vegetables: Leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, asparagus, peas, and other non-starchy veggies.
  • Fats: Nuts, dairy-free creamer, macadamia oil, olive oil, and grapeseed oil.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic salt and herbs.

With the occasional:

  • Cottage cheese: Its the only dairy product allowed.
  • Red wine: Its the only drink with calories allowed.

Although there has been no research done on this diet, it seems to promote similar weight loss and health improvements as other low-carb diets. This diet may be a good option for those who dont want to give up carb-rich foods completely.

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