Diets explained part 2: Low carb/high fat (keto)

This is the second blog post in a series of posts about the 3 most important diets: high carb/low fat, (s)low carb/medium fat and low carb/high fat (keto).

These diets are the main building blocks for everyone who wants to lose body fat and/or gain muscle mass. There are no other "secret" diets out there. Everything else is just a subset of one the above.

Because in the end, calorie balance and macro nutrient distribution is what matters the most!

Every one of these posts has the same structure, to make it easy for you to compare. They contain the necessary information to start your diet right now. Because you don't have to spend hours to understand the fundamentals of fat loss, it's quite simple. So I kept all posts as short as possible.

Now, let's dive right in! This post explains the low carb/high fat diet, also known as ketogenic diet or short: keto.

Macro nutrient distribution

  • Less than 50g of net carbs
  • Roughly 2g per kg body weight of protein (you could potentially go a bit lower)
  • Remaining calories from fat

Simple as that. No, fat does not make you fat, that's nonsense! Too many calories make you fat. Period.

Don't be afraid of dietary fat! In this diet, it's your primary fuel and you need it. If you follow the plan outlined below, you'll be fine. Don't under-consume!

Focus on

Very low carb fruits like berries and vegetables, like broccoli or spinach. No high carb foods like potatoes, rice, banana, bread, pasta etc. or even legumes. 50g of net carbs are not much.

High quality protein from fatty meat and dairy or soy products, if you're vegan. Don't be scared of the fatty cuts. Enjoy some bacon!

Healthy fat sources like fatty meat, fatty fish (or fish oil), nuts, cheese, butter, eggs and avocado. No trans fats! All other fats are fine, including saturated fats. Just make sure to get a good mix of all fats.

No or very little alcohol.

Sample meal plan structure

Subject: 80kg | 16% body fat | male

Keep in mind:

  • Carbs: 4kcal per g
  • Protein: 4kcal per g as well
  • Fat: 9kcal per g

If muscle gain is the main goal

  • Caloric needs to gain muscle mass: 2.900kcal
  • Macro breakdown
    • 50g carbs = 200kcal
    • 160g protein = 640kcal
    • 2.900kcal - 200kcal - 640kcal = 2.060kcal remaining = 229g fat

Keep in mind that high fat diets can be used for muscle gain, but are not optimal!

If fat loss is the main goal

  • Caloric needs to be in a caloric deficit: 2.100kcal
  • Macro breakdown
    • 50g carbs = 200kcal
    • 160g protein = 640kcal
    • 2.100kcal - 200kcal - 640kcal = 1260kcal remaining = 140g fat

Done. Hit these macros and you're good to go. Job done! Seriously. That's it. You don't have to hit them religiously of course. But if you shift your macros, try to rather eat more fat and protein and less carbs, in order to stay in a state of ketosis. Don't eat more than 50g of net carbs. Not relevant to fat loss, but you'll most likely feel better.

You don't have to do any exercise to lose body fat, but you will get quicker results, if you add some.

Who should do low carb/high fat

People who:

  • Are mostly sedentary
  • Have bad insulin sensitivity (do you feel sluggish after a high carb meal? then you have bad sensitivity!)
  • Are (pre-)diabetic
  • Struggle with satiety with a weight loss diet based on carbs
  • Enjoy fattier meals, rather than starchy ones (eggs, bacon, butter and the like)
  • Find it simple to follow a diet that strips away carbs (easy to manage, just eat stuff that has no carbs)

What to do next

Calculate your caloric needs with the nifty calculator below and then apply the rules above to determine your macro nutrient distribution.

Then get yourself some nice food to fill those macros by tracking your food and reach your goals!

If you have further questions, go right ahead and let me know in the comment section down below, I'm happy to help!

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