The ketogenic diet developed in the early 1900s has taken the weight loss world by storm in the past 10 years. Now you might be wondering, how does Metabolic Balance® meal plan stack up against a ketogenic diet?
Originally designed in the 1920s by Johns Hopkins Medical Centre researchers, the ketogenic diet was used as a treatment for epileptic disorders, specifically GLUT1 (glucose transporter type 1) deficiency syndrome—a genetic disease that causes a glucose deficiency in the brain, which leads to cerebral seizures like epilepsy. A keto diet is low in carbohydrates, meaning the brain will use ketone bodies as an energy (fuel) source rather than glucose (blood sugar). In the absence of glucose, the body burns fat and produces ketones, which enter the brain through an independent transporter. Most people who practice the keto diet view it as a quick weight loss tool or a way to gain muscle mass. Once ketone levels in the blood increase, the body puts you in a state of ketosis—leading to quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy body weight.
At the core of the keto diet is the severe restriction of carbohydrates (sugar and starch). Carbohydrates are considered the number one source of energy for the body. Certain organs, especially the brain, rely on carbs for energy. However, when carbs aren’t available, like with an extremely low-carb diet (keto diet), the body converts fats into ketone bodies for its main fuel source. When you limit the body to 5% carbs (a maximum of 30g to 50g) daily, 70% to 80% fat, and 20% to 30% protein, the body then enters a fat-burning metabolic state known as ketosis. Your blood sugar levels will drop to 65mg/dl to 75mg/dl and remain constant since there is very little glucose absorption. The value will often sit between 80mg/dl to 120mg/dl. As a result, there is no longer a glucose-related release of insulin, which then prevents the breakdown of body fat in a process called lipolysis. In ketosis, body fat is used for energy and is therefore why the keto diet is used to treat obesity and increase lean muscle mass in body building.
Following the keto diet with the precise composition of your daily food intake involves a lot of discipline, and the food must be weighed to the exact gram, otherwise, there is the risk of “falling” out of ketosis. If done incorrectly or there’s a lack of discipline, you also risk falling back into carbohydrate metabolism. In other words, the body goes back to using carbs as an energy source. In addition, the low fibre in the diet can lead to diarrhea or constipation. In ketosis, a greater number of ketones are secreted through the urine, skin, or breathing. Fruity smelling odour can result when water intake is too low. In this transition phase, there may also be poor concentration.
Metabolic Balance vs Keto
At first glance, you would think there are a number of overlaps between the Metabolic Balance® meal plan and the keto diet. Why?
- Fasting days are carried out
- There’s a five-hour break between meals
- The meals are weighed and the carbs are limited
However, at second glance, it becomes quite clear that each diet is completely different from a nutrition standpoint.
How does the Metabolic Balance® meal plan stand out from the keto diet?
- For starters, there are a significantly higher amount of carbs, which acts as a buffer to neutralize the acids from the protein in the diet
- In addition, the fibre in the diet helps improve overall digestion
- There are also a high number of vitamins and minerals due to the nutrient-rich vegetables in the diet, which help stimulate natural detoxification processes and relieve the digestive organs (liver, gallbladder, and intestines).
As a result, the long-term implementation of Metabolic Balance® meal plan is far more tolerable and easier to follow than the keto diet. There is also not as big of a diet change with the Metabolic Balance® diet plan when compared to the keto diet. For example, there is no ketosis with Metabolic Balance®, and the meal plan can be part of a person’s permanent lifestyle. In comparison, keto is a short-term diet, and it must be implemented gradually. There are also several side effects related to the keto diet, including difficulty sleeping, bad breath, libido loss, tiredness, constipation, and moodiness.
As mentioned, your meals with Metabolic Balance® must be carefully weighed, especially at the initial stages of the meal plan. However, if you fall off track, there are fewer critical side effects as with the ketogenic diet, which again can cause you to “drop out” of ketosis. That is why the keto diet should be followed under strict supervision.
What else is there to love about the Metabolic Balance® meal plan?
It can be described by its variety and versatility since you can gradually add other foods from all food groups into your daily routine.
Overall not only is the Metabolic Balance plan more practical and it tastes better, but it will also be easier for you to maintain as you experience the long-term weight loss you desire.
Adapted from Metabolic Balance Canada
Image credit: Noah Buscher – unsplash