Recently I have been asked several questions regarding diet and weight loss. Keep in mind, I am not a dietician and this is only my observation based on recent research. Two primary dieting methods were brought to my attention. The ketogenic diet and various types of fasting. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was developed for treatment of pediatric epilepsy in the 1920s. It’s certainly not a new diet and is often referred the a slightly modified Keto diet called the Atkins diet. The concept of fasting is also not new. Of the two, it seems ketogenic fasting has more favorable results than fasting. I have listed some references below.
Regarding the Keto diet the following conclusions were made from the articles and studies below:
- Weight Loss – Promotes weight loss, body fat loss, improvement in insulin sensitivity, reduction in metabolic syndrome and improved blood lipid markers.
- Diabetes – Successful in people with type 2 diabetes.
- Reversing Neurodegenerative Diseases – Positive impact.
- Athletic Performance – Limited research makes it difficult to support any conclusions about its impact on athletic performance.
- Lean Mass – There was no information noted that indicates there was any signficiant increases in lean muscle mass.
There seem to be three methods of fasting in play 5:2, alternate day and time restrictive. Here are brief descriptions of the methods below:
- 5:2 – Eat normally five days a week, and consume fewer than 600 calories two days a week.
- Alternate Days – Eat normally one day, then fast (eat fewer than 600 calories ) the next — and repeat for the rest of the week.
- Time Restrictive – Reduce the window of time you eat say from noon to 8 p.m.
I found most information regarding 5:2 and alternate day fasting. There was less information about time restrictive fasting.
The general conclusion was that alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance, or cardioprotection vs daily calorie restriction.
My general advice is for people to be wary of books or videos made for broad audiences that explain the science behind fitness, diets or any other health trend. The purpose after all, is to sell something. Is the information based on credible studies and research vs anecdotal evidence? Not everyone that looks ripped or loses a ton weight is a fitness expert.
The best diet is one that you will adhere to. The key detail is to create a calorie deficit compared to your total daily energy expenditure and eat foods that are nutrient dense.
Coach Tim Garrett
Articles regarding the Ketogenic Diet
Articles regarding Fasting