Keto Misconceptions pt 1
The ketogenic diet is becoming more popular and as with all health topics that grow in size this means an increase in articles and opinions will also develope. Many of which will be either be wrong or at the very least misleading. I just want to take a little bit of time to define some terms and address some common things shared across the keto community that can be counterproductive if taken out of context. I’ll start with one of the most popular and go from there.
#1 – Eat Fat to Burn Fat/Keto is a high fat diet
This is almost true which is why it can be one of the more counterproductive misconceptions. This statement should really read something like this: “Keto is a high fat utilizing diet.” The easiest way to debunk this is to bring up fasting. If you are in the fasted state you are creating and using ketones for energy and breaking down free fatty acid stores. The body doesn’t need any fat consumption to burn fat (but for hormonal reasons a certain level of dietary fat is beneficial). The only thing truly required for any diet to become a ketogenic diet is to limit carbohydrate to the point where ketones are produced. Even protein can be consumed in relatively high levels without noticeable effects on ketosis (I’ll very likely cover glucogenisis vs glocogenolisis in the near future.)
What this means is that a person with the goal of losing fat should consume less fat than a lean athlete who needs the extra energy from their diet. Fat is your lever for meeting energy goals not the mechanism to induce body fat usage.
Macro-nutrient breakdown example.
Subject 1: Moderately active athlete wanting to maintain weight
Stats: 6’, 200 lbs 15% body fat (170 lbs lean mass/ 30 lb fat mass).
Macro breakdown may look something like this
Total calories – 2,822 kcal, 0 kcals burned from body fat stores
Subject 2: Sedentary office worker wanting to lose weight, but unable to exercise.
Stats: 5’10”, 230 lbs 35% body fat (149.5 lbs lean mass/80.5 lbs fat mass).
Macro breakdown may look something like this at a 25% caloric deficit
Total calories – 1,514 kcal, 505 kcals burned from body fat stores
Don’t be afraid of fat, but if your goal is to lose body fat make sure you leave room in your diet for it to be used. Keto is great for appetite and energy which often makes weight loss easy, but be aware that it is not magic and still follows the law of thermodynamics.