These are two heavyweights when it comes to the diet industry, each having their own celebrity followers, ridiculously high amount of preachers, millions of people who swear by them and in their own right stand by their way of dieting.
Now as we all know diet trends come and go, and you have probably been on more ‘diets’ then you have washed your underwear, but these two have been around a long time.
They have really cemented their status as a diet that you can 100% get results from if you are willing to work for them.
As with anything in the health and fitness industry we need to be aware that we are all different, not that you needed that pointing out for you.
We all have different lifestyles outside of the dieting world so ultimately it comes down to what YOU can stick to and which one could work for YOU, not just now but leading into the future as well, the yo-yo dieting stops here for you!
At times we almost need blinkers on when following a plan because we can get so distracted with everything else going on on our news feed, in the magazines, on the news, plus all the other plans people around us or your friends and family are already following.
We can very quickly lose faith in our plan or diet without even giving it a real go – consistency is absolutely crucial when it comes to weight loss so we need to work out what diet can work for us and can easily be sustained around our current lifestyle.
But with so many opinions, posts on Facebook, articles in the fitness magazines, celebrity inputs we can very easily and quickly get confused as to what is what.
But with weight loss it merely comes to one thing, doesn’t it?
Which is the fastest!
Which one am I going to see results for first?
Which can I see results from tomorrow?
But sometimes we need to take a look at the bigger picture and not just think about the speed in which they work but also what other health benefits each plan might have in the long term.
The ketogenic diet (or keto for short and what it is most commonly known by) and the paleo diet (sometimes known as the ‘caveman’ diet) are both extremely different in their own ways, but it is tough to make a definite decision on with one is ‘better.’
Both will take serious commitment to stick to – just like any plan or diet you follow – but these ones aren’t as simple as calorie counting, or chucking a load of fruit into a blender and calling it a juice diet.
These plans will take away specific foods you not only have grown to love eating but you have got into a habit of them being in your everyday diet and as soon as we take that away the hard work really does get stepped up.
After all, the one thing these diets do have in common is they look to avoid ‘manmade’ carbohydrates, and the scary thing is – without you realizing – these little manmade foods of joy are part of your routine, part of your meals and part of your everyday life.
Similar to your phone and Facebook – that for you is a habit right?
Checking it every so often to see what you have missed, well that has become part of your routine and daily habits without you even thinking – that is what it will be like to cut out the majority of the foods that the paleo and keto diets do.
It has crazy health benefits because we are cutting out all the processed carbohydrates you have become accustomed to, so not only will you be losing weight but your long-term health can get a crazy boost as well!
Let’s break it down into what each diet actually is to give you an idea of what you are getting yourself into!
Joke – don’t worry it’s not so bad – but definitely, have a read and do your research first 😉
The Paleo Diet
When someone talks about the Paleo diet, it usually means to avoid legumes and grains because of their phytic acid content.
But the whole process delves a little deeper than that, and it comes down to consuming foods that are of a really high quality which, as well, support your digestive system and health.
With the paleo diet, most dairy products are also off limits because of their high lactose content, which makes it hard for most people to digest, although saying this some people do include grass-fed butter or ghee.
In simple terms, the paleo diet works as a therapeutic remedy, as we are eliminating the hard foods in our diet that our body can struggle to digest.
It means a win-win for gut health, blood sugar balance, autoimmune conditions and our number 1 target which is weight loss.
The Keto Diet
The keto diet is a much more dramatic approach to weight loss and is for people who are basically willing to go all in when it comes to seeing those numbers on the scales drop, and their jeans finally do up after all this time hanging lonely in your bedroom cupboard.
Not only has it got ridiculous weight loss powers it can also be pretty epic for improving medical conditions such a type 2 diabetes.
Something really remarkable is that it can also have a positive effect on cognitive syndromes such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In fact, the original purpose of the keto diet was to inhibit and treat seizures, when it was discovered first in the 1920s.
But nowadays the keto diet is best known for rapid weight loss and the fact it can burn fat – when appropriately followed – like it’s going out of fashion.
The keto diet promotes quicker weight loss more efficiently as compared to most others because it teaches your body to burn fat more efficiently though entering a metabolic state called “ketosis.”
It is the state a body gets to when glucose (fuel source) is not readily available for energy, thus, as an energy source, the body will start to burn fatty acids as a substitute, which produces ketones and helps burn fat.
Pretty geeky but epic at the same time right?!
At this time, when the body is burning fat instead of glucose, you must heavily restrict carbs from your diet (reducing the number of carbs one eats down to roughly 5% of his/her food).
The lack of carbs leaves your body with no choice but to utilize fatty acids in your fat stores as fuel.
So there you have a quick rundown of the basics on both but just reading that may not have left you feeling any more confident or clued up in which one you think might work for you.
Differences Between Paleo vs. Keto for Weight Loss
Yes, the Keto sees crazy fast results, but you need to cut down your carbs an insane amount to do it.
Paleo isn’t as fast regarding the process but it, for me, is not as strict, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
So let’s put them head to head, man v man, diet v diet and see which one we think comes out on top, or at least you can try and make a conscious decision for yourself!
1. The Keto Diet Doesn’t Put a Limit on Dairy
The paleo diet puts a limit on the foods which are difficult for the body to digest, dairy being one of them due to the high level of lactose.
This can cause havoc with your gut health as your body struggles to break it down into little bits for you to digest.
Therefore, dairy products are removed, which is no surprise as dairy is one of the most common food intolerances as the majority of people stop producing an adequate amount of lactase, an enzyme required for the digestion of dairy sugar “lactose.”
But on the other hand, you can have full-fat dairy products on the Keto diet (though they’re not always encouraged), but it’s ok, you crack on, I won’t tell anyone if you don’t?!
2. The Keto Diet Measures Protein, Fat and Carb Percentage
For a keto diet to work, you need to follow your macronutrients (protein/carbs/fats) to a certain percentage.
We need to count types of calories really accurately otherwise your body won’t enter the metabolic state of ketosis.
So on the standard keto diet (SKD), the rates for your macronutrients fall at around 5% for carbs, 20% for protein and 75% for fat.
This is super strict as if we don’t follow it, then our body won’t enter a ketosis state making the diet not worthwhile as it won’t be in the fat burning stage needed to see the remarkable results.
It will also be a lot of trial and error getting the right foods into your system while keeping it strictly within your percentages so don’t get disheartened if you don’t hit the correct numbers straight away as it will take a bit of tooing and froing to get it right.
Now, on the other hand, the paleo diet isn’t so strict, and you do not need to monitor your macronutrient percentages which takes out a lot of the hassle as you don’t need to track numbers and be super planned and prepped when it comes to meal times.
3. The Keto Diet Needs Testing for Ketosis
Since the primary aim of the keto diet is to move you into a ketosis phase.
How do we actually know if we have achieved it?
How do we know if all our carb restricting has got us to that golden state?
How do we know if we are gonna start burning fat for fuel?
Well, just by testing it, the keto diet has several testing ways to detect ketone bodies in the blood that indicate you have successfully started to burn fatty acids for energy.
Since a Paleo diet doesn’t have a definite metabolic goal, there is no testing system for being Paleo.
You ‘just know’ you are Paleo because if you have cut dairy, legumes, grains and refined sugar from your diet, then you are right there.
Pretty simple right? No complicated testing, just if you have followed the plan to the letter of the law you are officially a ‘paleo’ – congratulations!
4. The Keto Diet Focuses on a Particular Outcome: Burning Fat instead of Carbohydrates
One of the main differences when it comes to the Keto vs. Paleo diets is their actual outcome.
What are they actually trying to achieve – in a sciency way obviously, the ultimate thing is for them to burn a LOT of weight right?!
The Keto diet is aimed at burning fat instead of carbohydrates making the keto diet a method to manipulate the metabolism and quicken the fat burning process making fat loss epic.
The Paleo diet still promotes weight loss, mainly by cutting out grains and refined sugars which can be the absolute catalyst to fat storage and weight gain.
The Paleo diet also helps to develop healthy fats as the keto diet does, but on the Paleo diet, you can eat and burn carbs from starchy vegetables and fruits as up to 60% of your diet.
5. The Keto Diet Is Typically Lower in Carbohydrates as Compared to a Paleo Diet
This would be the deal breaker for me – when it comes to a drop in carbohydrates in your diet it can be challenging to stick to because the majority of us follow a high carb diet (without realizing the majority of the time)
Though both keto and paleo diets are lower in carbs as compared to a standard diet, keto is typically much more moderate in carbs as compared to paleo.
The keto is much lower carbs because it helps get you into nutritional ketosis more quickly.
Cravings for sweet foods will crop up when you cut out carbs, which is another item that makes challenging to follow.
A paleo diet may restrict refined sugars, grains, and legumes but there isn’t any strict limit the amount or percentage of carbohydrates you can eat when it comes to starchy vegetables and fruit like squash, pumpkin, and my personal favorite sweet potato.
An absolute plus is that you can use natural sweeteners liberally in the Paleo diet (lucky you ;)), like pure maple syrup, raw honey, and coconut nectar, which are higher in carbohydrates.
The fact that the Paleo diet has no emphasis on carb consumption means the body will continue burning glucose in the form of energy until you restrict your carb down to a low enough percentage – but then – yep you guessed it you will then enter ketosis and would have switched to the keto diet without realizing.
Both the paleo and keto diets help in burning fat and losing weight so concerning your long-term results they are both as good as each other.
However, when it comes to quicker weight loss, keto is the absolute king because it converts your body into a highly active metabolic state (ketosis), that utilizes stored fats to burn energy and thus results in more profound weight loss.
But with speed comes more restriction, stricter rules and a tough journey ahead of you.
Yes, keto gives us all the benefits of the fastest diet around giving us weight loss FAST – which is ultimately what everyone wants.
and it’s a big but,
You need to lower your carbs to a ridiculously low amount.
Now I would put my car on the fact you have never tried a diet before that has gone anywhere near as low on carbs as the keto dares to take you.
You will probably be on a high carb diet – and I don’t mean eating lots of pizza and pasta.
Carbs are in EVERYTHING – it’s our world, and unfortunately they are in ALL our favorite foods – the ones you love to snack on, the ones you love to have on date night and the ones you love to sneak into your desk at the office.
So regarding all those everyday habits, this is why it makes this one very difficult to stick to.
Going on the keto diet would mean cutting all that and more so out and very quickly because the longer you take to do it the longer it will take for your body to get to that golden circle of ketosis.
Now if you are willing to put in the hard work, be SUPER strict on yourself, then you can 100% do this and the results will be well worth it.
But straight up – have you ever met anyone who is in the process of cutting out carbs?
Maybe someone already on the keto diet or an athlete training for a bodybuilder competition needing to get as shredded as possible?
That right there is the definition of an unhappy human.
They are grumpy, miserable, hungry, ready to just about kill someone – all down to those lack of carbs in their system.
So my advice to you, if you are doing this to test yourself, see how far you can push your body and mind then really go for it.
But to start with make smaller changes that way it will make it sustainable.
After all, we want a diet we can stick to long term to see long-term results right?
You don’t want to be a yo-yo dieter – but if you go from a regular joe, eating whatever they want, to hitting the keto diet overnight, you are gonna struggle big time.
And that’s not me being harsh, this is me wanting you to stick to it, so make small changes first – please, for your partner and work colleagues sakes.
So now I have spent the last 5 minutes completely ripping apart the keto diet I want you to be sure I have nothing against it – so Mr. Keto if you’re reading this, I meant no offense,
But all the diet hype can get very noisy so writing this article was to give the chance to get to know 2 of the loudest diets out there and get to know the ins and outs.
Instead of just listening to the latest celebrity endorser who is paid to tell you paleo diet is the best thing since sliced bread.
Or the actor who did the keto diet to get super ripped for a film.
It all comes down to what will work for you and what is going to get you the result you want.
So do your research on which diet you might think is best and if your first one doesn’t pay off, then you change it up but do not get disheartened.
This whole weight loss journey is hard, and there will be a lot of roadblocks and barriers along the way let alone the temptations of falling off the wagon left, right and center.
But this is why it is absolutely vital to start with a plan that is similar to your current lifestyle.
Yes, I know it can’t be really similar, but otherwise, we will be in the position a year from now.
Making those small changes to your diet is the key to sticking to it.
So concerning Paleo vs. Keto and which one is the best?
For me – try them both, see which one works for you and which one you can stick to but please don’t try the keto just because it is the fastest. ,
Yes, you will see results super quick but can we stick to it after completely cutting out our carbs?
Remember we need to be in for the long run to reap the rewards.
Not 24 hours which is the usual lifespan of the majority of the population on diet plans.