Keto and Fat Loss
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Keto and Fat Loss

high fat food
Jun 16 2024

Keto and Fat Loss

The short answer is YES it works great if the calories are controlled, which they usually are because we can’t eat sugar, bread, rice, pasta, chips, candy, pop, or juice, on the Keto Diet.


But being in ketosis doesn’t help us lose weight faster. It’s all about managing calories in and out. 


Let’s dive deeper.


What is Keto?

Keto is short for the ketogenic diet. It is an extremely-low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that forces the body to burn only fat for fuel instead of fat and carbohydrates. But again this doesn’t matter if the calories are not managed.


Fuels for the Body

First of all keep in mind your body runs on carbs and fats and you are always burning both. Our bodies can also use protein as a fuel source (it gets converted into carbs and then used as energy).


Carbs are really easy to burn and most diets globally are about 50% carb. Different heart rates will prefer different fuels, for example, when sprinting, you need lots of energy! Fat is too slow to oxidize (break down) so during a sprint, you’re mostly burn carbs.


But after the workout, you will burn more fat than before because your metabolism is higher.


Conversely, when you are sleeping, you don’t need to burn many carbs because your heart rate is very slow. So you can burn fat. But you’ll burn some carbs too.


For fat loss it really doesn’t matter what you’re burning, as long as over a 4-7 day period, you have created a caloric deficit.



The Keto Diet is almost impossible to implement, because it is so restrictive. Any diet that is overly-restrictive is unlikely to be sustained. That’s just basic human behaviour. Especially once people learn that calories are the primary thing to manage, they usually go back to a more balanced diet and focus on the amount of food their eating, rather than doing Keto.


Keto’s restrictive nature can reduced opportunities to eat with friends and travel.


In addition to its logistical challenges, individuals on the Keto diet may experience low energy levels, mood swings, and difficulty with intense physical activities (because they do not have access to carbohydrate metabolism).




The Keto diet can lead to nutrient deficiencies and health complications since many fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are not eaten.


For example:

  • Fibre – helps us poop and prevents intestinal damage. Improves energy and satiety. Constipation is rampant on the Keto diet and hospitalizations to manually un-impact bowels are not uncommon
  • Vitamins C – helps with tissue regeneration (via collagen production) and immune system
  • B-complex – helps with energy and cell regeneration
  • Magnesium – energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis. It contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA
  • Antioxidants – scavenge free radicals from the body cells to reduce the damage caused by oxidation


Many of these nutrients are also involved in mental health.



More Risks

Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as pancreatitis or gallbladder disease, should not do Keto.


Keto may increase the risk of heart disease by affecting cholesterol levels due to high fat intake.


Another downside of Keto for fat loss is the potential impact on muscle mass. Without an adequate intake of carbohydrates, which are essential for muscle glycogen replenishment, individuals on Keto may struggle to maintain muscle mass, especially for those engaged in regular strength training or intense physical activities.


Yo-yo dieting is not harmless. It seems to be harder to lose weight the more yo-yos there are. At worse, crash diets contribute to binge eating behaviors.



So Why is it so Popular?

Keto is so popular because of the rapid weight loss that is usually experienced in the first few weeks of the diet. This is due to fat mal-absorption. In other words, our body is not used to digesting so much fat, so we poop most of it out. In a few weeks the body adapts and most of the fat is absorbed. Weight loss slows down or stops.




One potential upside is that some bodies are genetically suited to this diet. You probably won’t know until you try. But some people report feeling amazing on the Keto Diet and they maintain it for years. We call these people “liars”. Just kidding.


To be honest, we don’t know what this diet will do long-term. In 100 years, Canada’s food guide may be the Keto Diet. We just don’t know. So while we can point out all the flaws, we are open to being proven wrong.




In conclusion, while the ketogenic diet can be an effective tool for rapid fat loss, it’s not healthy in many ways, and not sustainable for most people.


Sustainable weight loss is about finding a balanced approach to eating, exercise, and taking care of ourselves, in the context of our lifestyle.


That’s why we are here, to help clients try different “diets” or ways of eating, to see which one works the best. And we help clients optimize these diets, and support their journeys.


Before starting any new diet, always consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to ensure it aligns with your health goals and requirements.


Book a free discovery call with us to see if we are a good coach for you.


Written by: Kyle Byron, BSc Human Nutrition
Article Researched & Fact Checked: Kalliopi Kyrani

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