June 10, 2020

Keto, Paleo, Atkins: Weight Loss Diets

Do Popular Weight Loss Diets Work?

When it comes to choosing a diet, it’s important to note that some diets affect individuals differently, so it’s best to find the one that’s most effective for you. To help you choose which one might work best for you, we’ll compare three popular diets: The keto diet, paleo diet, and Atkins diet.

Keto Diet

A keto or ketogenic diet focuses on eating lots of healthy fats, some protein, and minimal carbohydrates. As such, the keto diet restricts grains, rice, and other high-carb foods. The main goal of the keto weight loss diet is to put your body in a state of ketosis, which is when your body uses fat instead of carbohydrates as its primary energy source. In true ketosis, your liver will take stored fat and turn it into ketones, which your body uses for energy. 

The keto diet encourages and excludes certain foods. If you’re on keto, you can’t get your carbs from grains or legumes. Instead, your carbs must come from a keto-friendly vegetable, like leafy greens, or a small group of fruits, mostly berries.

If you’re on the keto diet, you should eat:

  • 70–80% fat 
  • 20–25% protein
  • 5–10% carbohydrates

Keto Diet Foods

Foods that you can eat on the keto diet include:

  • Nuts and seeds
  • Unprocessed meat and seafood
  • Eggs
  • Healthful fats
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Dairy
  • Sugar-free sweeteners

Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is a high protein, low carb eating plan that’s modeled after the hunter-gatherer diet of early humans. When you’re on the paleo diet, you’re encouraged to eat whole foods like fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and poultry. Foods that are off-limits include processed foods, grains, legumes, and artificial sweeteners. You can lose weight on the paleo diet, but you still have to be conscious of the number of calories you’re taking in.

Paleo Diet Foods

The paleo diet encourages eating nutrient-rich foods and limits processed foods, which are typically high in calories and can contribute to weight gain. When you follow the paleo diet, which is high in protein, your body can reduce the amount of the hunger hormone ghrelin, which helps you feel full longer.

Foods you can eat on the paleo diet include:

  • Fresh lean meats
  • Fish 
  • Shellfish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Olive and coconut oil
  • Certain root vegetables, like sweet potatoes, in moderation

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Atkins Diet

The Atkins Diet is a low-carb diet that allows you to eat as much protein and fat as you’d like as long as you avoid foods high in carbs. One of the reasons low carb diets like Atkins are effective for weight loss is that a reduction in carbs and increased protein intake leads to a reduced appetite, which means you’ll eat less and lose weight without having to think about it. 

Unlike the paleo and keto diets, the Atkins diet is split into four different phases:

  • Phase 1 (Induction). In this phase, you consume under 20 grams of carbs per day for two weeks. You’ll also eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts weight loss.
  • Phase 2 (Balancing). Now you’ll start to slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables, and small amounts of fruit back into your diet.
  • Phase 3 (Fine-tuning). When you get close to your goal weight, you’ll add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
  • Phase 4 (Maintenance). Now you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without gaining weight.

Atkins Diet Foods

These are the foods you can eat on the Atkins diet:

  • Meats like beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and bacon
  • Fatty fish and seafood like salmon, trout, and sardines
  • Eggs, especially those that are omega-3 enriched or pastured
  • Low-carb vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and others
  • Full-fat dairy like butter, cheese, cream, and yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, and avocado oil

Learn More About Weight Loss from Baptist Health

Being overweight can cause health problems, and diets can be a great way to lose weight.  Find a provider today to get peace of mind and get back on track for weight loss. 

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