If you are exploring low-carb diets, you must have heard about LCHF (Low Carb High Fat). This program is defined as nutrition with reduced intake of carbohydrates, but the exact definition on how much carbohydrates in grams is not strictly determined. LCHF diet can, but does not have to be, a ketogenic diet! With reduced carbohydrate intake and increased fat intake, the body consumes fuel from both sources: fat and glucose. Naturally, with very low carbohydrate intake, glycogen storage is depleted. Your body switches to ketones, and then you might reach ketosis even while on LCHF!
LCHF and Keto differences
So, there is a difference between “reduced intake” and “very low intake” of carbohydrates. Very low intake is considered to be up to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. This is something that all devoted Ketonians know by heart! However, Low carb diet can be considered even with 100 grams of carbohydrates daily, some even exceed it up to 150 grams.
We still live in a world where the “regular” diet, prescribed by doctors and dietitians, promotes taking up to 60% of calories from carbohydrates. For example, the menu of 2000 kcal gives you 300 grams of carbs, while a menu of 3000 kcal gives you 450g of carbohydrates per day! Would you call this healthy? I certainly wouldn’t!
The relaxed sister
We can define the LCHF diet as a relaxed sister of Keto diet (50-100g of carbs per day). Keto can be called a strict sister, but Keto Mediterranean Diet (KMD) which I am trying to promote, is strict only regarding the number of carbs (up to 50 grams per day). There’s no reason to crave or miss anything. I even encourage you to eat a Keto dessert every day! Preferably right after your main meal. Even if you are trying to lose weight.
Psychology of weight loss
Many of my clients succeeded in weight-loss and health improvement by eating nutrient-dense, organic foods, all within Keto macros! They had dessert every day and did not crave sugar afterwards. This works both mentally and physically. You can create your daily meals deliciously, make them satisfying, abundant in vitamins and minerals. Now, when we talk about good nutrients, have in mind that Mediterranean diet calls for fresh, organic, grass-fed and free-range products. No artificial sweeteners, no additives and no microwaves!
Protein turned into sugar
Pay attention to protein intake! Specifically, if you eat more protein than your body needs, the excess will turn into glucose. This is the infamous gluconeogenesis! The effect will be the same as if you ate carbohydrates. Well formulated LCHF is Low Carb – Moderate Protein – High Fat. Moderate protein intake is considered to be 0.8g to 1g per kilo of lean body mass (weight of body without fatty tissue), or up to 1.2g if you are dealing with more serious physical activity.
Desiring weight-loss? Better choose Keto!
Listen to your body and decide which program is the best for you. Many people successfully regulate their weight with relaxed LCHF. If that’s not your case, then you need to control the intake of carbohydrates and maybe protein. If your weight loss does not go as you expected, start counting the exact amount of everything you eat during the day. Next, use the table of nutritional values to calculate the number of carbohydrates entered. Then you can easily correct the intake, ie expose those sources of carbohydrates that keep you out of ketosis.
The most effective is to start with a more strict, ketogenic diet, or limit carbohydrate intake to less than 50g per day. This is usually achieved by reducing dairy products and fruits to a minimum. Increase the intake of green leafy vegetables and sources of good fat! Vegetables are the main source of fibres and phytonutrients that are important for good health, and besides, vegetables growing above the ground contain very little carbohydrates.
With KMD (Keto Mediterranean Diet), you might achieve desired weight-loss sooner and easier than with any other Keto program.
If you would like to try it, don’t hesitate to contact me for a specific meal-plan.