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Weight Loss and 3 Main Effects of Carb Restriction

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The ketogenic diet is not only a great weight loss tool, but it has been shown to improve many health conditions. It's a diet that causes ketones to be produced by the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilisation.

The keto diet is an effective weight loss tool, but it doesn't guarantee instant weight loss. It helps you reach your healthy goals in an easier way. There are three main effects of low-carb diets, including keto diets...

Three Main Effects of Low-Carb Diets

Satiety Effect = No Hunger Issues

Firstly, you eat very sating and nutritious food that makes you less hungry and less likely to experience cravings. It's a fact that people naturally eat less on a low-carb diet. Protein and fat are the most sating macronutrients by far. Achieving satiety and natural appetite control are the most important effects of low-carb eating.

Insulin, which is a hormone released by your pancreas when you eat carbs, influences your appetite and with more carbs, you'll experience more cravings. Also see Dr Briffa's article: Contrary to what some may say, fruit and veg not great for filling us up.

Low-Carb Diets Are Better For Fat Loss

Secondly, eating fat helps your body release fat and lose weight, while carbohydrates have the opposite effect. This has to do with how insulin affects your body and as you may know, insulin is mostly produced when you eat carbs. With decreased insulin levels, your body will use body fat for energy and you will lose weight.

Potential Metabolic Advantage

Finally, there are studies that appear to support the idea of a potential "metabolic advantage" of low-carb diets. This means that you could achieve weight loss at a higher level than the calorie intake would suggest.

When ketones are made from the breakdown of fat in the liver, urinary ketones are excreted and may contribute to fat loss. However, this effect is not significant and the energy lost as urinary ketones is no more than 100 kcal. For more about metabolic advantage of low-carb diets, check out this article:  Is a Calorie Really a Calorie? Metabolic Advantage of Low-Carbohydrate Diets

In  this study, participants following a low-carb diet experienced increased energy expenditure (by 300 kcal) compared to those following a low-fat diet. Although it didn't result in a larger weight loss, it definitely questions the laws of energy balance.

Calorie expenditure may also increase slightly due to higher rates of gluconeogenesis, which is the process of “making new glucose” for the few tissues that can’t use ketones (Insert this after “no more than 100 kcal” in the paragraph above.

If you have troubles losing weight on a ketogenic diet, have a look at my post: Not Losing Weight on Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet? Don’t Give Up and Read Further

I hope you enjoyed reading my post. To find out more about the ketogenic diet and keto-friendly recipes, check out my apps KetoDiet, KetoDiet Basic and my new cookbook!

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

About the Reviewer

This article has been reviewed by Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE who is a qualified expert. At KetoDiet we work with a team of health professionals to ensure accurate and up-to-date information. You can find out more on the About us page.

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Comments (16)

I am new to the keto way of life, and this blog, website, app gives me such inspiration & motivation to get my life back on track...  Keep up the great work, your knowledge, and constant source of interaction is fabulous!!!
Thank you,
Happy new keto 'er, lol

Thank you very much!!! 😊

Hi Can you tell me what you mean by slow weight loss. Moderate weight loss and fast weight loss ?  My macros say that for fast weight loss I need to survive on 860 calories a day. I think it's because of my age. I could maybe do that but trying also to keep the fat at around 75% means I would not get much to eat at all. Thanks, Jacki

Hi Jacki, I have to admit that the terminology should - and will be changed in KetoDiet Buddy. It should say large energy deficit instead of fast fat loss etc. - it requires some coding and I'll upload it soon. I can see that in your case (and for many others) it will be better to stick with slow fat loss which necessarily doesn't mean it's better than the other recommended values - it's simply a small calorie / energy deficit which is more reasonable if your maintenance level is low. I would not recommend following any diet that is too restricted in calories (see the note above the calculations here: KetoDiet Buddy - Easy Macro Calculator for the Ketogenic Diet). Hope this helps!

thanks martina for the valuable article but i have aproblem i am on ketosis for 1 month with 15-20 gm carb and macros 5-20-75 keto strips almost in purple zone calories ranging between 1200-1300 , i am 61 kg and 160 cm in height 27 years but i didn't loss weight in oppsite i feel that i have water retention  i take magensium , thanks

Hi Maha, you may not be eating enough - check out your macros here: KetoDiet Buddy - Easy Macro Calculator for the Ketogenic Diet (avoid low-calorie options). Hope this helps!

I don't understand if im supposed to eat 20g of net carbs or 20g of total carbs. Ive been going by 20g of total carbs .am i ruining my diet?

Hi Angie, have a look at this post: Total Carbs or Net Carbs: What Really Counts?

Hi what about milk cheese and things like that, how do they fit in thanks

Hi Debi, whole dairy can be a part of this diet as long as you can tolerate it. Cheese, cream and full-fat yogurt are all on the "eat" list but milk contains too many carbs. You may have some whole milk but you need to be aware of the extra carbs.

Thanks so much! And I thought I need to be in ketosis if I want to lose fat. Great to know that!

The truth is that no diet works for everyone and some people can't do VLC (very low carb). You can still lose weight and feel great even if you are not in ketosis. Good luck!

Love your blog! I'd love to see a post about how to do keto if you are a vegetarian, just a hint 😉

Thank you Bella, I've been working on it and will post it soon 😊

Hi - any update for vegetarian keto ? Its hard right now - am on protein shakes mostly. thanks!

Sorry about the delay. I had more projects to manage and didn't count with so much work (books, app updates, cancer research, etc). Yes, it will be done this month. What I'm trying to do is to post another 5-8 vegetarian recipes on the blog so I can make the diet plan. I have it in my to-do list in about 2-3 weeks and will finally have time to do it 😊