Ketogenic vs. Low Carb - What Works for You?

I tend to bounce between low carb and ketogenic diet. True I gained a few pounds during COVID, but I am only about 10 - 15 pounds over my goal weight so I'm not going to go haywire over those extra pounds. But what I must deal with on a day to day basis is inflammation due to my rheumatoid arthritis. My hands have significant swelling and pain. Mornings are tough on my feet. Falling asleep always requires a little Tylenol PM. So my goal is to focus on reduced inflammation and weight loss - not in a hurry, but eventually.


So what will work for you and your goals. Most likely are not dealing illness and likely dealing with poundage. Yes, losing weight and controlling all the illnesses that come with carrying too much weight is likely your goal. If it is, let's talk about the difference between ketogenic versus low carb. Here is a quick summary:


1.


Ketogenic: Your daily macros will vary based on your current weight and may likely be about:

5% limit on carbohydrates, which is usually less than 20 net grams

20% limit on protein, which is usually about 100 grams

75% fat, which is usually about 120 grams - however this is an upper limit and best when you don't meet this amount if you want fat loss. Eat fat until satiated, then stop.


With the Ketogenic macros, you will have burned off your glucose stores and will start burning ketones in place of glucose. If you test your blood ketones you will be above .5 mml. Some experience more energy in the ketogenic state. Electrolytes are more important, i.e. calcium and sodium for muscle contraction and nerve function; potassium and phosphorus for cardiac muscle support; magnesium to prevents cramps; and chloride for osmotic pressure support.

2. Low Carb: Your daily macros will vary based on your current weight and may likely be about:

20% limit on carbohydrates, which is usually around 80 grams

40% limit on protein, which is usually around 155 grams

40% fat, which is usually around 70 grams, however again this is an upper limit and best when you don't meet this amount if you want fat loss.


With low carb macros you will not be in ketosis or start burning ketones, you will still burn your glucose from carbohydrates. Although there is weight loss, many will not continue to feel satiety as there will not be as much fat, and thus find it hard to stay on the program.


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