Keto And The High Fat Fallacy: Why More Fat Isn’t the Answer
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The longer I have been living a ketogenic life the more bull#$@# I hear online and from groups who are “supposedly” helping. Much of it is aimed at the beginners, like how gyms target them, they can get good results with almost any approach then when they aren’t losing anymore you blame them for their choices and kick them out.
This is something that is pervasive in the groups that especially don’t have well rounded nutritionist, body builders and other viewpoints. Or they purposely close down anything posted that goes against their personal viewpoint, the issue being they are closed minded and typically aren’t correct and know it.
Is a high fat keto diet healthy? The high fat keto diet is perfectly healthy and possibly better for diabetics and others who have issues with blood sugar control. The bigger concern is for people who aim at fat loss and that they are told to eat more fat when they should lower their consumption to remove body fat instead.
Lets explain in detail below each part of this fallacy and why it is causing stalls and issues down the road. These things that can cause you to believe you are having issues with the diet but have been built into your attempt at fat loss.
Fact – Keto Is a High Fat Diet
This is technically true while misquoted online frequently. While a ketogenic diet is in fact, high fat, the sources of this fat have to be understood and measured for quality, optimal results.
This is why when you are new you can get results even while eating 70% of your calories as fat, you are eating less calories than your body is expending.
Yes, that’s the cold hard truth. While I will agree the type of food can modify this in little ways the only part of the equation you can control directly is your calorie intake.
Stop, don’t say I don’t count calories. If you know the macro nutrients and are tracking them daily for results, guess what, you are calorie counting.
People always wonder why you can lose weight on a high fat diet, often confusing the fact that high fat doesn’t mean over consumption. Yes it is true, fat has a higher calorie load per gram than either protein or carbohydrate, but when you eat fat you get satiated faster due to this higher energy value.
What you need to know is that you need to figure out where your personal number of calories are. This won’t be correct from an online calculator, those can help you get a baseline to start from but people seem to take them as gospel when they are and aren’t losing weight.
Fiction – Keto Requires Eating High Amounts Of Fat
While your intake calories may show 70% from fat, this is really just poor information on where that 70% should be coming from.
That 70% on an overweight individual should be coming primarily from your body instead of the plate, where as if you are at 15% body fat then a higher ratio for energy would then need to come from the plate as there is less available from your body stores.
What does this look like you wonder? Take for example if you were to need a 2000 calorie daily intake and you are well overweight (35% Body Fat). So if the example of 35% body fat is used and you weigh 228.
That means you have approximately 148 lbs. of lean body mass. So you would then want to follow the traditional 1g of protein per pound of lean body mass, for ease we will round to 150.
You then remove the calories of the grams of protein from your 2000 calorie total to get 1400 calories left. You then can remove 100 calories for your carbohydrates, net carbs is BS don’t sabotage yourself with lies. This leaves you with 1300 Calories in fat you will need to have available.
2000 – (150*4) = 1400 Calories Available (Accounting For Protein)
1400 – (25*4) = 1300 Calories Available (Accounting For Carbs)
Fact – To Lose Body Fat You Must Eat Less Fat
Here is the magic part of actually getting the ketogenic diet to help you drop pounds of real body fat fast and not in a detrimental way to your overall health and wellness.
There is a level of approximately 50-70 grams for hormone wellness and for you to process vitamins which are fat soluble or dependent. This is all the fat you HAVE to intake, anything you eat after this means less lost from your body daily.
1300 – (50*9) = 850 Calories Remaining As A Deficit
As you can see if this deficit is ran consistently this would mean approximately a pound of body fat each 3 days would be lost. You want results then this is the way you will want to work with your diet to enhance or maximize the results.
This means your total caloric intake from food would be about 1150 calories daily, but you are insuring proper protein intake to maintain and not lose muscle which drives your BMR, this is a healthy way to eat lower calories and accomplish a goal without sacrificing health.
Fiction – You Need To Try And Be In Ketosis 24/7/365
This is frequently something stated online by new keto dieters worrying about “being kicked out of ketosis”. If your goal is fat loss then I would suggest you learn that being “in ketosis” doesn’t provide you any magical ability to lose fat.
Ketosis is just a state of the body which can yield benefits outside of weight, these are what you should be striving to be in ketosis for. Fat loss can, and many times is, a side effect of being in ketosis as you naturally feel full on less calories when they are nutrient packed.
Chasing ketones is an easy trap to fall into but it is not going to net you any success versus being goal oriented. If you don’t eat high carbs you are in ketosis, the higher the number doesn’t mean the more fat you are burning even if this is what you are led to believe.
If you want to play around with measuring the levels in your body feel free but I think it just puts more strain on people to “get to xxx”. Most people if you chug a lot of fats can see this ketone level spike to 3-5 mmol depending on the amount ingested, again this isn’t healthy or wise to longevity.
What If After This I am Still Not Losing Weight?
Then like I stated at the beginning, math isn’t a match for almost all people. If you aren’t losing any weight then you are still eating more than you are burning. More than likely you aren’t actually tracking your intake so you don’t know what you are eating and the caloric impact.
Steps To Follow To Lose Body Fat Correctly
- Track Your Damn Food
- Stop Tracking “NET” Carbohydrates
- Decrease soda, coffee, tea and other beverages and increase your water intake
- increase exercise – This doesn’t have to mean a gym, add body weight exercises like push ups, or get out and walk longer or faster or with an incline.
If you are tracking everything and still aren’t losing weight then maybe the gross calorie number you started with is not correct for you.
If you don’t work out at high levels and are more sedentary then I would suggest removing 100 calories from your fat intake (10g) not to go below 50g total at a minimum.
Then track for 1-2 weeks to ensure movement on a scale or through measurements.
Weight loss and especially fat loss isn’t going to be in a nice pretty line like you want, your body has specifically worked to save this fat to survive when food availability is low. It won’t give it up just because, stop weighing yourself daily if numbers going up and down makes you have anxiety.
If you want to learn to stop giving it power then start tracking it daily at the same time, same clothes or lack thereof. Then plot this data over a week and get your average weight on a week as to whether you are trending down or up. If you are trending down don’t waste time changing anything and maintain the course.
Please note that if weight is trending up then you need to think through everything, if you have been tracking like I said above then you know if you have been eating too much.
If you haven’t been eating too much then this could be caused by oncoming sickness, inflammation, and/or water weight (especially if you work out hard and often). If you work out I would probably extend the averaging to every 2 weeks but still weigh for the data point daily.
Final Thoughts on is a High Fat Keto Diet Healthy
I have been working hard to learn after losing my initial 90-95 pounds of weight. What I didn’t know is what is causing me a slow down currently.
Because I was focusing on the 70% aspect of fat intake from Facebook and YouTube gurus I lost weight, much of it body fat, but I lost a decent chunk of lean mass.
The loss in lean mass has caused me to slow my BMR meaning I need to eat less to continue losing fat. It has taken me a decent amount of time to re-plan around this issue and much of it is a paradigm shift mentally.
I no longer chase ketone values, I also no longer worry about “being in ketosis” as those are just gimmicks to your success.
Those gimmicks work well at first when you are starting but if you don’t understand how and why you will end up frustrated like I was, trying to figure out why it was so easy and now is so hard.
I have started body weight exercises that Ted Naiman does to start building real world strength. That should help get my BMR up which should amp up fat loss.
Please don’t feel that you are alone in issues you encounter, learn and expand you mindset, I promise you there are answers. If I helped you understand this topic better please share online, if you know someone experiencing this currently let them know they aren’t alone and to visit!
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