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Do Ketogenic Diets Work?


HOLD THE CARBS! A META-ANALYSIS OF DIETARY STUDIES LENDS SUPPORT TO KETOGENIC STRATEGIES FOR WEIGHT LOSS. Ketogenic diets have increased in popularity over the years, particularly for those people looking to lose weight and maximize fat loss. In general, a ketogenic diet is often considered to be any diet that restricts total carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams of carbohydrate each day.

While this approach has been used for several years by physique-minded athletes as well as doctors prescribing diets for their patients, minimal evidence exists to illustrate whether or not the approach can cause significant weight loss in large groups of people.

Recently, the British Journal of Nutrition published an article that summarized the results of a large number of studies and concluded that very-low carbohydrate ketogenic diets instigated significant amounts of weight loss in addition to causing reductions in other important health-related markers commonly measured at a doctor’s office (Bueno et al. 2013).

This study found that average weight loss was approximately 11 pounds while the average weight loss seen with a traditional low-fat diet was 8 pounds. While both dietary strategies work, ketogenic diets may be an effective alternative strategy for people who struggle with low-fat, higher carbohydrate diets.

Scientific Reference:

Bueno, N. B., I. S. de Melo, S. L. de Oliveira, and T. da Rocha Ataide. 2013. "Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials."  Br J Nutr 110 (7):1178-87. doi: 10.1017/S0007114513000548.