Keto and paleo are two popular reduced carb diets. The main difference between them is the amount of carbs they allow. Paleo is low carb, but keto is zero (or near zero) carb.
Both diets can help you lose weight. But depending on your goals and your environment, one might be better than the other.
The difference is like running a sprint vs running a marathon. Keto may help you lose weight faster, but it can be harder to stick to. Paleo, on the other hand, is easier to stick to, but might not cause you to lose weight as fast.
How does keto help you lose weight?
On a strict keto diet, you can’t eat any carbs. Normally, your body needs carbs in order to make energy to function. When it runs out of carbs, it switches to a fat burning state called ketosis.
Your body naturally enters ketosis during starvation or severe fasting. The difference with keto is that you can still eat loads of fat and protein, just not carbs.
Since ketosis is a fat burning state, it can help you burn fat. However, this does depend on the amount of fat that you consume on the diet. Normally, keto requires that you consume much more fat than usual. But if you eat too much, you could theoretically gain weight on keto.
Also, much of the weight initially lost when switching to keto is just water weight. Carbohydrates in your bloodstream help keep water in your body. When you run out of carbs, your body starts to flush more water out.
How does paleo help you lose weight?
Paleo is supposed to mimic the diet of our prehistoric, stone age ancestors- hence the name “paleo”. To that end, the diet is low in carbs, and absolutely bans processed foods.
The myth behind paleo is somewhat fictitious, however. Our ancestors enjoyed many different kinds of diets, depending on their environment. Some of them ate loads of carbs. However, paleo can still help you to lose weight.
The main reason why paleo helps with weight loss is because it removes processed foods from your life. Processed junk foods are typically high in carbs and sugar, and low in nutrition. By removing them, you remove a significant source of calories. Initially, your diet becomes more nutritious, allowing you to digest what food you do eat better.
Both keto and paleo can help you lose weight. But depending on your situation, one might be better than the other.
In either case, the key to success lies in your ability to maintain the diet for the long term. You should choose whichever diet will help you to do that.
For many people, the paleo diet is easier to maintain long term. This is because it allows some carbs, and a lot of foods that people ordinarily eat. Keto requires a much larger lifestyle shift, and needs you to be more precise with what you eat.
But if you already have a fairly low carb, processed food free diet, then paleo might not do much for you. In that case, keto might help because it can turn on ketosis, the fat burning state.
A lot of foods are both keto and paleo. In fact, anything keto friendly should also be paleo friendly. That includes our keto pizza crusts, which contain as little as 3 grams of carbohydrates, and no added sugar or preservatives.