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Does the low carb Atkins type diet really work when it comes to losing fat? Is it better and easier to do than the low fat diet?

How long does it take to enter ketosis (nutritional) while on a LCHF diet with 50-100 gm of carb per day? Any way to measure it w/o using any device?

  • 1) 50-100g is far too much carbohydrate to induce ketosis in most individuals. 2) you can buy sticks to test for the presence of ketones in urine. – Affe Sep 12 '14 at 5:04
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    This is off topic. There is nothing resembling a workout regimen or fitness relation. It's a straight diet question. – JohnP Sep 17 '14 at 17:19
  • Then why all these tags exists specifically related to diet ? And I blv diet is as essential to fitness as exercise; don't you ? – Nikhil Vidhani Sep 17 '14 at 17:22
  • They are for when it is related to fitness, not just "Hey, I work out" or "Hey, wanna loose [sic] fat". And some tags are from the early days of the site when nutrition was on topic. – JohnP Sep 18 '14 at 15:15
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A lot of people find it easy to lose weight with a keto (lchf) diet, but it doesn't work for everyone, you'll have to find what works best for you. The type of people that seems to have most luck eating keto are the ones with disturbed carbohydrate metabolism, i.e. those with high insulin resistance, i.e. often those with lots of visceral fat, those who are pre-diabetic (or diabetic) (only type-2 diabetes applies btw!), etc.

It sort of makes sense to me that if your permanent, non-acute insulin levels are high, eating more carbs will tend to lead to fat accumulation, but I'm neither a doctor nor a dietician so I don't know for sure wether that is true.

Ketosis is not really that important imo, some people put things like coconut fat in their coffee to increase their amount of ketones (a by-product of fat metabolism when you avoid eating carbs), what a surprise their ketones increase when they eat more fat! Ketone levels are not a sign of fat loss, it's a sign of fat metabolism, which may be due to burning your own fat or ingested fat.

The main point of keto diets is to decrease your glycochemic load and replace it with other foods, which might have metabolic advantages for insulin resistant people, and to give you a good reason to not eat crappy carb-loaded foods like cookies, white bread and soda, which saves you quite a lot of calories.

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Note: this got a bit long, so the TL:DR is, the best diet is one that fits into your lifestyle and helps you maintain a caloric deficit.


In simple terms, your body weight is a balancing act between calories in vs calories out (calories in being what you eat / drink, calories out being what you burn through exercise, everyday life, or pass naturally from your system), arguably your body composition is a symptom of the quality of the food you eat, but that's a completely different topic.

In order to lose weight, you have to shift the calorie equation more to the right (i.e. your calories out are greater than your calories in), to gain weight, you have to go the other way. There's no way around this, it's just how we understand* the body to work.

Understanding this, the answer to your question

Does the low carb Atkins type diet really works when it comes to losing fat?

is yes, as long as you maintain a caloric deficit.

To address your primary question

Is LCHF diet the best and easy way to loose fat?

The answer is, it depends.

A lot of people read about the latest diet fab, low carb / high fat, high carb / low fat, vegetarian, vegan, weight-watchers, zone diet, gluten free, slimfast plan, and immediately assume it's going to magically help them lose weight, they hit it hard for a week or two, then they relapse into their old habits because they find that being vegan is really hard when your family invites you to a BBQ on a sunny weekend, or low carb / high fat or gluten free is really tough when someone brings a box of doughnuts into the office, or high carb / low fat is very confusing when people tell you salmon and avocado are healthy foods (but they're so high in fat!).

The best diet is the one can you stick to.

I want you to read that again. Then think about your life, your day to day existence and really consider, I mean actually seriously consider if you'll be able to stick to it.

Lets say you're going to go with an Atkins style low carb / high fat diet (I haven't read the Atkins diet, but hopefully this isn't too far off the mark), consider the usual daily meals

Breakfast - You can't eat cereal, toast, crumpets, pop-tarts, or pretty much anything that comes in a box. A lot of people have eggs for breakfast (a good choice by the way), but eggs aren't really a grab and go food unless you remembered to boil them the night before, which means you now have to get up and make breakfast before work. What about if you've got kids and you have to get them ready for school, do you have time to cook for yourself? What if your alarm doesn't go off, you oversleep and have to rush to work?

Lunch - You can't nip out and grab a sandwich, or jacket potato, or sausage roll, or anything with rice or pasta. Which means either a salad, a restaurant where you can order steak and veg (no chips now!), or something pre-made that you've brought in with you (gotta love those business meeting sandwich buffets, where you're left with carrot sticks).

Dinner - This one is, usually, easier at least, as most people have time to cook, but this is also where you find out that eating out with friends / family can be tricky, especially if your partner has a love of Italian, Chinese or Indian food.

Desert - Ha. Ha ha. Hahahahahahaha. Wait, you're serious? Ok... there are a number of deserts you can make yourself, and you may be ok with some yogurts, but most deserts aren't that Atkins friendly.

I eat a gluten free diet, which I believe helps me maintain a relatively healthy physique (that's along with regular weight training, and despite working a desk job), so I tend to veer towards a low carb / high fat diet, so a lot of the above is from personal experience.

My meals will generally look something like:

Breakfast - fish or scrambled eggs, avocado, sauté veg and a smoothy (made from more vegetables plus a banana and a little protein powder). Sometimes I'll treatmyself to a bowl of gluten free granola, and I do keep some in the cupboard for emergencies (that thing about your alarm not going off? Yeah, that counts as an emergency).

Lunch - leftovers from the night before, generally a stew type concoction (gotta love that slow cooker) which is usually just meat and veg, or a frittata. If, for some reason I don't bring lunch with me, then it's a tin of fish with rice and sweetcorn (yes, rice is high carb, so you'd have to swap it out for salad).

Dinner - Remember when I said about loving the slow cooker? Yep, it's generally a slow cooker stew type things that I've prepared either the night before or that morning; or some form of meat and veg, sometimes with rice if I've trained that evening.

Desert - No.

If you don't think you live like this, and there's honestly nothing wrong with it if you can't (I don't eat a gluten free diet by choice, I eat it because I have to), then no, a LCHF diet isn't the best and easiest way to lose fat for you.


*at the moment, anyway, until we realise that everything is actually controlled by the Flying Spaghetti Monster

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  • You had me at "diet that fits into your lifestyle", but +1 for the flying spaghetti monster reference. – MJB Oct 13 '17 at 12:38
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Our mind doesn't know that we live in a time when getting food isn't an issue. It still believes there is a good chance for famine. Because of this your body wants to store fat for when the inevitable famine arrives. Your body prefers to use the quick energy provided by sugar(processed carbs). We have to train our body to use fat for energy by reducing the intake of processed carbs. Many people will feel physically "bad" for a few days because the body really wants those carbs and isn't used to not having them. We want to get our bodies into a state of Ketosis. Luckly, there has been a very recent large study about the effects of eating less carbs and more fat. You can read about it here.

What you are trying to do with Ketosis is get your body to burn your stored body fat for fuel. Your body wants to have the quick fuel, sugar/simple carbs. You want to train your body to use stored fat instead.

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