Obesity rivals smoking as the number one cause of preventable death. One reason is the dramatic rise in the diabetes risk often accompanying weight gain. So, are you interested in starting up a new diet plan, one aimed to not only help you lose weight but to control your blood sugar better? Chances are you are searching for the best options available. Two you may come across as they are trendy in today’s times are the ketogenic diet and the paleo diet. Many people actually get confused between these as they do tend to be similar so it can be hard to differentiate between them.
Let us compare so you can see which one is right for you…
Carb Sources. First, let’s talk carb sources as this is where the two diets vastly differ…
- with the paleo diet plan, your carb sources are going to be any fresh fruit, along with sweet potatoes. Together, you can quickly achieve 100 grams or more of carbohydrates between these two foods.
- the keto diet, on the other hand, your only carb source is leafy greens, and even those are restricted.
So one of the most significant differences between the ketogenic diet and the paleo diet plan is the ketogenic diet is deficient in carbohydrates while the paleo is not. You can make the paleo diet very low carb if you want, but it is not by default. There is more flexibility in food choices.
Calorie Counting. Next, we come to calorie counting. This is also a place where the two diets differ considerably.
With the keto diet, you will be calorie and macro counting quite heavily. You need to hit specific targets…
- 30% total protein intake,
- 5% carbohydrate intake and
- 65% dietary fat intake.
If you do not reach these targets, you are not going to move into the “state of ketosis,” which is the entire point of this diet plan.
With the paleo diet, there are no strict rules around this. While you can count calories if you want, you do not have to. Obviously, your fat loss results will likely be better if you do monitor calories to some degree since calories do dictate whether you gain or lose body fat, but it is not essential.
Exercise Fuel Availability. Which brings us to our next point – exercise fuel availability. To be able to exercise with intensity, you need carbohydrates in your diet plan. You cannot get fuel availability if you are not eating carbohydrate-rich foods – that means the keto diet is not going to support intense exercise sessions. For this reason, the keto diet will not be optimal for most people. Exercise is an integral part of staying healthy, so it is strongly recommended you exercise and do not follow a diet that limits exercise.
Of course, you can do the targeted ketogenic diet or the cyclic ketogenic diet, both of which have you including carbohydrates in the diet at some point…
- the targeted ketogenic diet has you eating carbohydrates just before starting your workout session while
- the cyclic ketogenic diet calls for you to eat a larger dose of carbs over the weekend, which are designed to sustain you through the rest of the week.
If you follow either of these, you can choose any carbohydrates you wish; it does not necessarily have to be just sweet potatoes or fruit.
There you have some critical differences between these two approaches…
- the ketogenic diet is one focusing more on tracking macros and is intended to assist with fat loss while
- the paleo diet focuses more on good food choices and health and hopes weight loss comes as a result.