Of all the diets that “work” for fat loss, the paleo diet and the keto diet are two of the most popular ways to achieve permanent fat loss.
A lot of people do one or the other… and while that can absolutely work to help you burn fat off your body and reduce symptoms of diseases, combining both paleo and ketosis together is benefiting from the best of both worlds.
If you’ve been around here for awhile, you’ll know I’m huge into a paleo way of eating, and I’m also really big on the keto diet. And I’ve been eating a paleo keto diet for the best combination of fat loss and general health with excellent results.
So today I want to talk about the difference between a paleo diet and a ketosis diet, and then talk about combining both of them for the best health possible.
Paleo Diet VS Ketosis Diet
It’s a good idea to first define what a paleo diet is, and what a keto diet is.
What is a paleo diet?
A paleo diet involves eating the same types of foods humans ate since the beginning of time until about 10,000 years ago when agriculture started. Agriculture brought us the ability to feed many more mouths for the booming human population, but it also brought “new” foods into our diets – namely wheat and grains.
These foods are unnatural to our bodies because we did not evolve over time with these foods. And paleo proponents will tell you that it’s the nutrients in grains that are wrecking havoc in our bodies, causing problems like cancer, bad skin, diabetes, and more.
So a paleo diet focuses on eating foods that we evolved with. Namely, meats, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. No plates of pastas here. By focusing our diet on these foods, we are eliminating the majority of the “bad” foods that cause many of the diseases and problems we face today.
What is a keto diet?
A keto diet (or ketogenic diet) is a diet that keeps carbs very low, protein moderate, and fats very high.
A person eating a standard diet eats a large amount of carbohydrates, which the body uses as its main fuel source. In other words, their bodies run on glucose.
A keto diet limits carbs to a very low amount, and ups the fats significantly. So your body will use FATS as its main source of fuel (instead of carbs, aka glucose).
There are several important benefits when your body is utilizing fats for energy instead of carbs. First of all, you are eliminating sugars (carbs) from your diet, which many studies show is the main culprit for many diseases we have today. It’s why low carb diets have exploded in popularity over the past 10+ years. And there’s a lot of research that backs this up this claim.
When you use fat as fuel, your body is producing ketone bodies which your body uses as energy. Ketones are a much cleaner and more efficient fuel source compared to glucose. Your body runs better on it. Which is why people in nutritional ketosis have that mental clarity we’ve all been looking for, have excellent steady energy throughout the day, and is incredible for fat loss.
A keto diet can be reached by eating healthy foods or “dirty” foods. Because at the end of the day, eating keto means eating a macronutrient ratio of:
- 75% fats
- 20% protein
- 5% carbs
If you hit this ratio over a long enough period, your body will adapt to using fat for fuel and you will be keto adapted… and you can achieve keto adaptation eating clean or not.
But let’s be real…. you absolutely want to eat CLEAN and nutritious foods. What’s the point of losing weight and getting healthy by eating bad foods. And that’s where PALEO comes in. Combining healthy paleo style of eating with a low carb high fat keto style of eating is getting the best of both worlds. I’ll get into how to do this later.
Why Paleo Is Good For Fat Loss
On a paleo diet, you’re eliminating a lot of junk. Just the fact you aren’t eating McDonalds, processed foods, or high sugar/carby foods will make you feel incredibly better.
Just eating paleo will reduce the amount of carbs you intake overall. Paleo foods are generally low to medium in carbs. Most of your carbs will come from vegetables. Meats, fish, seafood, and healthy fats don’t contain carbs. Focusing your diet on paleo foods naturally reduces the amount of carbs you consume overall – which will likely lead to fat loss.
You see, there’s this hormone called insulin. It is the fat storing or fat releasing hormone. You of course want to be in a state of fat releasing if weight loss is your goal. reducing overall carbs keep insulin levels from spiking hard. When insulin spikes, your body is in a fat storing state. It’s as simple as that. Paleo foods naturally keep insulin levels lower which will help with overall weight loss.
Why Ketosis Diet Is Good For Fat Loss
A keto diet is VERY LOW in carbs. Only 5% of your overall macronutrients will come from carbs. Another way to look at it is keeping your carbs 20g or less every day. Some people can eat more carbs and lose weight, some people need even less for weight loss. 20g is a general guideline and it’s where you can start.
On a ketogenic diet, you are not consuming any kind of carbs except those that naturally occur in vegetables. So no grains at all, no fruits, and of course no candy or sugary drinks. Keeping carbs extremely low keeps your insulin levels as low as possible. And as I said earlier, insulin is the fat storing or fat releasing hormone. When insulin levels are low, your body has a chance to go into fat releasing mode (burns fat for energy).
When your body is generally low in insulin, your body has the ability to burn more fat overall. That’s why a keto diet is so popular for fat loss. And that’s why people who do an opposite keto diet that is high in carbs tend to have a lot more fat on them too. A typical American who eat high carb diets can attest to that.
Combining Both Paleo & Ketosis For Fast Fat Loss & Overall Health
So combining both a keto diet and a paleo diet is getting the best of both worlds.
You will be eating healthy paleo style foods, and keeping carbs really low on a keto diet.
On one side, the paleo side, you’ll be getting great nutrition by eating real foods. And on the keto side, you’ll be keeping carbs extremely low, which makes fat loss happen faster and more efficiently.
A keto diet will also make your body burn FAT as its main source of fuel (rather than glucose). As I mentioned earlier, running on fat is a cleaner source of energy for your body. And when your body is EFFICIENT at running on fat as fuel, the fat you consume through your diet or the fat you want to lose on your body becomes the preferred choice of fuel for your body. This means you can really tap into your fat stores and burn it all up to get the body you’ve always wanted.
How To Combine A Paleo Keto Diet?
A paleo keto diet is simply a keto diet that focuses on eating clean foods.
That’s really it.
So that means eating a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet consisting of healthy foods (paleo foods).
Every keto book I’ve come across focuses on healthy keto eating. In other words, a paleo keto diet way of eating.
So if you want to get started eating this way for fat loss, then I recommend picking up a keto book.
There’s a bunch out there. I would say one of my favorite ones would be The Keto Diet by Leanne Vogel.
The information in there is very beginner friendly and it’s a great book to learn overall health eating a keto/paleo way. You can read this book several times to get a real good understanding of how to eat this way.
Will A Paleo Keto Diet Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, it should.
Not everyone is the same and there are no guarantees of course.
But remember, weight loss and weight gain is regulated by this hormone called insulin. Insulin decides if your body should store fat or burn fat.
So we want to create an environment in your body that puts it in a fat burning mode. To do that, we want to keep insulin levels low, and for longer periods.
A paleo diet AND a keto diet both help you do just that. A paleo diet is generally fairly low in carbs, and a keto diet is absolutely low in carbs. While eating anything with calories will induce a metabolic reaction, which releases insulin, carbohydrates creates the BIGGEST hormonal release of insulin – which we don’t want when fat loss is our goal.
But besides that, we want to be eating healthy overall. Your main goal may be weight loss, but you also want to feel great right inside. A clean diet of real foods gets you both fat loss and your body running optimally. So things like sleeping, coping with stress, having energy, reducing diseases, etc, are all ways your body can improve when you eat a paleo way combined with keto.
In all honesty, WEIGHT LOSS is really a side effect of eating healthy. If you simply focus on eating well, getting the right nutritious foods into your body and cutting out all the crap foods, weight loss is almost always a consequence of getting healthy.
We can supercharge fat loss by doing things like keeping carbs super low or changing our eating patterns (intermittent fasting). These things can speed up fat loss. But the most important part of weight loss is to get healthy first so your body can efficiently burn fat. Which is why a paleo keto style of eating is simply awesome for fat burning.