Eat fat to lose fat – sounds great, doesn’t it…?
We’ve all seen this parroted before across numerous keto groups, Facebook pages, websites – and unfortunately it just isn’t true. Unfortunately, people have been pumping this misinformation out all over the internet, plastering websites and screaming it from the bleachers, to the point where it’s now snow-balled out of control, and I can understand why! People love the idea of a diet where they can literally devour all the fat bombs, bulletproof coffee’s, and fatty treats that they want, whilst still losing weight, but this is where the problem lies.
You see, most people will experience a ‘woosh’ when they first enter ketosis. Their glycogen stores deplete, and with it there will be some water weight lost. “SUCCESS” they scream, as they continue to chow down on tubs of butter. They may even lose a little more, as fat is highly satiating, that is; it keeps you feeling fuller, for longer – so it’s highly likely that you’ll be eating less than what you were previously, and as such losing some more weight. Here’s the real bad one though: most high fat keto diets (for fat loss) pay little to no attention to an adequate protein intake. Much of the weight they are losing isn’t fat – it’s muscle! Fast forward a bit longer, and they’ll often stop losing weight – a stall they call it.
See, it’s all about calorie balance – eat more calories than your body uses for energy, and you’ll gain weight – eat less calories than what your body uses for energy daily, and you’ll lose weight. For most people, it really that simple. So what happens to these people who are sitting there, sipping their bulletproof coffee’s, whipping up fat bombs and chugging down sticks of butter, when they stop losing weight? Generally one of three things.
One: They quit. “This doesn’t work, it doesn’t work for me, it was just a short term fix”.
Two: They get the wrong info, eat less protein, and continue losing muscle mass until their next stall.
Three: They seek further information that’s actually backed by science, learn about adequate protein intake and calorie deficits, redo their macros, and continue eating at a deficit and losing fat.
Some people will tell you that ‘you must eat heaps of fat to get into ketosis’. That simply isn’t true, as ketosis is induced and maintained by restricting carbohydrate intake – NOT by eating copious amounts of fat. It’s why starvation and fasting is inherently ketogenic – they both rely on the restriction of foods and as such carbohydrates (not that we advocate starvation as a tool for weight loss).
Ketogenic diets are no magic pill, just like any diet they require a calorie deficit if you want to lose fat – where they differ is the satiating effects of protein and fat. See, proteins and fats from whole foods takes longer to digest than carbohydrates – they keep you feeling fuller for longer, which means you are less likely to eat as much or as often, and can naturally lead to a calorie deficit, helping you lose fat.
Now, this isn’t to say you’ll never be hungry – this varies from person to person. Some people simply aren’t hungry whilst eating this way even whilst at a deficit, where others are, but you’ll generally be less hungry on a ketogenic diet at the same deficit compared to a Standard American Diet.
From my own personal experience – honestly it’s varied. Some weeks I’ll be hungry, others I feel like I couldn’t eat for days. As always though, I recommend you hit your protein macro at a minimum to preserve lean body mass.