Keto Vs Atkins Vs Paleo
The Three Most Popular Diets Go Vie For Your Attention
Three Diets Enter; One Diet Leaves!
The Keto, Atkins, and Paleo diets are very popular. At times, they are also very similar in so far as doing them may entail eating a low carb diet and, as a result, entering into the state of ketosis, which is when your source of energy is ketone bodies as opposed to glucose. These three diets, however, are very different in how they treat carbs. By the end of Atkins you may cap your daily allotment of carbs at 100 grams per day or just go all out and have a high carbohydrate diet, while the Paleo Diet usually caps carb intake at 150 grams daily. Since achieving ketosis requires that your daily consumption of carbs make up 5% of your caloric intake, Paleo and Atkins can end up being drastically different from Keto. Which diet you choose, then, depends on what your goals are and how challenging it is for you to live with dietary restrictions.
The Ketogenic Diet
The ketogenic diet focuses on eating more protein and fats, which means high fat foods like bacon and avocado become staples of your meal plan. When 5% of your caloric intake is carbs, you end up entering into ketosis. When that happens you burn fat at an accelerated rate because your body’s own fat becomes its primary source of energy. Additionally, you experience improved mood, focus, and energy levels because glucose is a source of energy that fluctuates depending on how many carbs you’ve consumed and when the last time you consumed them was. It’s the irregular nature of glucose that can lead people to crashing, feeling lethargic, and experiencing headaches.
The downside with keto is that it can be quite restrictive. Sure, you can learn how to eat sweets on the keto diet and there are plenty of keto friendly recipes to explore, but for some people it’s just too hard to give up wine and bread for the long term. For those who want high carb foods regularly the Atkins diet may be a better choice than keto.
The Atkins Diet
The Atkins Diet is divided into four phases. During the first phase, known as induction, you consume under 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. It's during this time that you may find yourself in ketosis. The second phase is known as balancing. It's during this time that you can add nuts, low-carb vegetables, and fruit to your diet. It's at this juncture that you may fall out of ketosis, although you don't have to since berries and leafy greens are okay when you're doing keto. The third phase, known as fine-tuning, is when you're close to your goal weight (some say 10 lbs away). That's when you add even more carbs back to your diet. Finally, there's the fourth phase, which is maintenance. This is when some people eat as many carbs as they can without re-gaining weight, or cap their daily carb intake at 100 grams.
The advantage of the Atkins Diet is that, eventually, you get to consume carbs. Potatoes, pasta, beans, rice, wine, etc are all acceptable. The main thing you have to keep an eye on is whether your daily caloric intake is so high that you regain your weight. The freedom to have carbs, however, begs the question: do you really need to eat starchy vegetables and other high carb foods daily? If the answer is no, then why not just make being in ketosis your default? Afterall, you get improved focus, mood, and energy levels! You also avoid the slippery slope of gaining your weight back.That’s good news for people who want to do keto on a 9 to 5 because they can lose weight and keep it off without having to exercise regularly! Although, wanting those carbs and still having easy access to the cognitive benefits of ketosis is why you should take exogenous ketones.
The Paleo Diet
The premise of the Paleo Diet is that the best diet for humans to eat is the diet of humans as they existed during the paleolithic era. This means you avoid processed foods and sneaky foods with added sugar. People doing paleo eat, fish, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and healthy fats and oils. That's a lot of overlap with the ketogenic diet! In fact, you can cater your paleo diet to be keto friendly.
The paleo diet, however, can be just as restrictive as the keto diet because you’re limited by the fact that paleolithic humans didn’t have modern technology. That’s a bummer if you know why you should take MCT oil (although you can have coconut oil as a substitute). So if giving up your daily bread and wine is a deal breaker than the paleo diet isn’t for you.
Luckily, the very premise of the paleolithic diet is flawed because 1.) humans have evolved since the paleolithic era and 2.) humans living during the paleolithic era were highly adaptable, which means that they would have been fine eating keto friendly foods (and, really, any food they could get their hands on).
The primary health benefits of the Paleo Diet come from the fact that you go out of your way to eliminate processed foods and focus on getting macronutrients by making healthy choices. That makes the diet so close to the keto diet that, again, one must ask one’s self: why eat high-carb foods? Sure, go ahead believing that Paleo is the best way to go, but do you really need to eat beans, bananas, and sweet potatoes regularly?
Keto Vs Atkins Vs Paleo
At the end of the day people do diets to lose weight and/or live a healthier lifestyle. And even though every one of these diets have at one point or another been dismissed as just another fad diet, they can help you lose weight. It’s in the maintenance phase, however, that we encounter the most challenges. That’s because people don’t realize that weight loss takes a part of your life while maintaining weight loss takes the rest of your life. What you need to ask yourself, then, is what makes maintaining weight loss easiest for you.
The cognitive benefits of keto may reduce stress enough to make maintenance easier. For some, however, keto’s dietary restrictions may themselves cause stress, inviting the sort of poor eating decisions that derail maintenance. What this means is that keto can take you part of the way but the rest of the journey requires a lot more steps (like knowing tips to eating smaller portions or eating keto friendly foods that can reduce anxiety). That’s why you need a lifestyle and not a diet.