KETO VS PALEO DIET? Which one is for you?
I’m going to show you exactly how to navigate the keto vs paleo craze.
Like heels, not all diets are created equal. Some of them will make you so uncomfortable that you’re ready to cheat on them after T minus 19 hours. Identical to your favorite stiletto, you want “THE DIET” that’s going to make you feel the way you crave to feel:
The current Gucci and Prada of the dieting market are the Keto and Paleo diet. Keto vs Paleo. They both may have offbeat names, but they’re trending at the speed of Trump’s latest tweet.
A-list celebs that look better than ever, in their 30’s and beyond, are strict followers of the Keto or Paleo diets. Do the names Megan Fox, Kim & Kourtney Kardashian and Halle Berry ring any bells?
There’s a reason these women are slaying in their little black dresses, besides their killer workout routines.
They’re living their best Keto or Paleo life. Soon you will be too, and your body and mind will be thanking you for it in as little as 10 days.
AREN’T KETO AND PALEO THE SAME THING?
These two diets being “the same” is fiction, not fact.
Choosing between these diets is like choosing between an Audi and BMW; they’re both going to get you to your destination in a chic way, but with a different “drivers’” experience.
Before diving into what separates Keto and Paleo, let’s focus on the benefits you’ll experience no matter which you choose, keto vs paleo:
The two diets are often advertised #twinning because there’s lots of overlap with the foods you’re allowed to eat. Don’t get it twisted though – they’re alike but two different breeds.
The percentage ratio of fat, protein and carbs that you’re expected to eat in Keto vs Paleo and the “Why” or mantras behind each of the diets are ages apart – literally.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves, become a Keto vs Paleo whiz and decide if you’ll be living the Keto life or taking the Paleo leap.
KETOGENIC DIET: Eat fat, lose fat.
Open your mind, because Keto throws everything you were taught about dieting out the window.
The Keto diet mantra is, “TRAIN YOUR BODY TO BURN FAT FOR ENERGY WHILE MUNCHING ON SOME CRUNCHY BACON”.
You read that correctly. The Keto diet is designed to purposefully put your body in a state of Ketosis. When your body enters Ketosis, it becomes a pro at burning fat for energy instead of sugars and carbs, which is what your body usually targets for energy first.
What happens when there are barely sugars or carbs in your system? Your body burns fat faster than you can rummage those jeans you’ve been wanting to fit in out of your closet.
The bottom line is, Keto shattered the dieting rules and won.
The standard diet and what majority of people try when they attempt to lose weight, is a low-fat diet. The Keto diet is exactly the opposite – high fat and a sliver of carbs – if that.
In fact, 75% of the Keto diet is fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs.
Keto ratios are very different from the Standard American Diet which consist of 30% fat, 20% protein and 30% carbs. As counterintuitive as it sounds, 23+ studies have found the Keto diet more effective in weight loss and disease prevention than the standard low-fat diet.
To put it bluntly, the Keto diet has forced the Standard American Diet into early retirement.
So, what about the Keto diet and calories? Use the Keto calculator and screenshot the results of your analysis to get baseline results before subscribing to Keto life.
IF KETO SAYS CARBS ARE OFF LIMITS, WHAT CAN YOU EAT?
Carbs may not be permitted in Keto territory, but here’s what is…
MEAT: FROM HOTDOGS TO CHICKEN & LOTS IN BETWEEN
Fire up that grill, because there’s a whole lot of meat that you can eat on the Keto diet.
If you’re the type of person the drools when you see a perfectly cooked and sizzlin’ NY Strip, you’ll love the Keto diet. There’s a lot of fat in meat and there’s a whole lotta fat in Keto, which is why the pair jive.
Here’s the Keto meat list:
- Ground Beef
- Lamb Chops
- Lamb Rack
- Ground Lamb
- Chicken (wings, thighs, breasts)
- Chuck Steak
Believe it or not, there’s a strategy behind having an extensive list of protein.
It helps you maintain muscle mass during the Keto diet. Because a consequence of most low-carb diets, is loss of muscle mass. You want to avoid this since there’s a direct ratio between the amount of muscle mass you have and the number of calories you burn at rest.
To put it simply, Keto helps you keep your muscles and your metabolism revved.
Fire up that grill and get crackin’ just in time for dinner. Don’t know where to start? Here’re some cool Keto dinner meat recipes that’ll have you licking your fingers.
SEAFOOD: BECAUSE, KETO SUBSCRIBES TO #SALTLIFE
When on the Keto diet, you should aim to eat seafood at least two times a week.
Here’s the Keto seafood list:
Fish allowed on the Keto diet are jam packed with Vitamin B, Omega 3’s and Potassium – all focal to your health and overall energy.
DAIRY: SAY CHEESE & GET YOUR SPOONS READY TO DIVE IN
The Keto diet agrees that life is too short to deny your taste buds the gift of cheese or thick yogurt. And whether you knew it or not, cheese has only traces of carbs, and is basically all “good fat” – which is why hard and soft cheeses are a go on the Keto diet.
Here’s the Keto dairy list:
- Butter (real butter not “wanna-be” margarines)
- Thick yogurts
- Cottage cheese
- Hard cheese (like Parmesan and Cheddar)
- Soft cheese (like Mozzarella and Brie)
- Cream cheese
- Heavy whipping cream
NUTS AND GREENS: COO-COO FOR NUT BUTTERS
When it comes to veggies and nuts, it’s easy to go nuts and pig out on carbs without even knowing it. There’s lots of veggies and nuts that’re high in carbs, which means that they aren’t allowed on the Keto diet.
On the Keto diet, you’ll have to keep to the veggies that’re low in carbs.
BTW, if you’re a peanut butter fanatic, nut butters are allowed. Of course, all nuts on the list are unsweetened, unsalted and uncaramelized.
Here’s the list of Keto friendly veggies and nuts:
- Green Peppers
- Romaine Lettuce
- Macadamia Nuts
- Brazil Nuts
When it comes to the nut butters derived from the Keto-approved nuts on the list, here’re the top Amazon picks:
FRUITS: FOR YOUR “SWEET” TOOTH
Fruits are packed with natural sugars and carbs.
And although the sugars are natural, they’ll interfere with putting your body in a state of Ketosis/training your body to be a fat-burning machine. So, if you’re a fruit lover, you may prefer the Paleo diet (which isn’t as strict when it comes to fruit).
Most fruits will put you at 8-12 carbohydrates per serving… Which is a lot considering that you’re only allowed 10-30 carbs a day on the Keto diet.
Here’s the Keto fruit list (limit to 1 cup serving size):
- Blackberries – 14 grams of carbs/cup
- Blackberries – 14 grams of carbs/cup
- Starfruit – 7 grams of carbs/cup
- Strawberries – 8 grams of carbs/cup
- Strawberries – 8 grams of carbs/cup
OILS & SPICES: YOU DON’T HAVE TO PART WITH THE SPICE OF #FOODIELIFE
Just because you’re on a diet, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t savor your food. Every diet has their rules, but as you’ve probably noticed, the Keto diet likes to bend those rules as far as it can.
To those of you who love to cook, put on your aprons and cook on!
As far as condiments and sauces go, take heed. If you can’t resist the urge of a little blue cheese dressing on those chicken wings, try not to use more than a tablespoon. They’re packed with calories, carbs and sugars (1 tablespoon has about 70 calories).
You don’t want blue cheese to be the reason you need to suck in for those holiday pictures this season.
Here’s a list of Keto approved oils and seasonings (one tablespoon of oil):
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Walnut oil
- Vinegar (Balsamic, Sherry White Wine, Red Wine and Cider)
- Coconut milk (unsweetened in a can)
- Pesto Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Butter (real butter)
- Salt and Pepper
- Lemon/Lime Juice
- Chili Power
- Cayenne Pepper
After all, two tablespoons of olive oil a day can help keep a heart attack away. Olive oil has been linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease.
ALCOHOL AND DRINKS: THE HEALTHY WAY TO QUENCH YOUR THIRST
You’re not going to slay the diet angels and be damned from weight loss results if you have a glass here and there.
Our society is centered around eating and drinking, be it for business or pleasure. That’s why it’s wise to prepare and master the art of drinking alcohol while sticking to the Keto diet.
It may be a tricky art, but it’s possible nonetheless.
On the Keto diet, several types of alcohol are allowed (can I get an applause)?
You won’t have to “cheat” to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or glass of rum on the rocks after a long day. One thing is for sure though, no sweet drinks are allowed. They’re brimming with sugar, which’ll throw your body off kilter and its’ state of Ketosis.
Say goodbye to your Tito’s with cranberry, it just became Tito’s on ice.
Here’s the map to follow when it comes to the Keto diet and alcohol:
What about non-alcohol drinks?
While your body is in a state of Ketosis, your kidneys work overtime, making it uber important for you to stay hydrated by drinking the proper amount of water.
Here’s how much water you should be drinking:
75 ounces of water is a little over half a gallon a day. Calculate how much water you should be drinking and do it. As for soda and juice? Say goodbye. 1 can of soda can contain as many as 40+ grams of carbs and an equal amount of sugar.
Here’s the Keto list of NON-ALCOHOLIC beverages allowed:
- Water (Venti water anyone?)
- Water infused with lemon/lime juice
- Homemade flavored water (add cucumber, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)
- Carbonated water
- Coconut water (Fun fact: coconut water has more potassium per serving than a banana)
- Almond Milk
- Coconut Milk
- Cashew milk
- Hemp Milk
TEAS & OTHER:
- Black Tea
- Green Tea
FOR COFFEE LOVERS: “BUT, FIRST… COFFEE”
Does life without coffee scare you?
It’s okay, take a deep breath. Keto says “yes” to the coffee bean. If you like your coffee black, then drink on. If you like some coffee with your cream and sugar, then you’ll have to tweak your style.
So, if you find yourself in a coffee shop for business, a Tinder date or just because it’s engrained in your routine, what’s “Keto” friendly?
- Black coffee (FYI people that prefer black coffee were found to have a higher likelihood of having dark, sadistic and narcissistic personally traits)
- Hot or Iced Americano – with or without heavy cream or milk substitute
- Cold Brew – with or without heavy cream or milk substitute
- Almond or coconut milk latte
Benefits of Coffee for your Keto diet journey:
- Increase Weight Loss: Caffeine accelerates the rate your body burns fat.
- Fast-Tracks Ketone Production: When your brain can’t use carbs for fuel, it uses Ketones. Caffeine in coffee beans surges the production of Ketones, helping your body get to ketosis faster.
- Curb the No Carb Blues: Carb withdrawals sometimes manifest in tiredness. Coffee will curb the feeling by helping you feel energized.
Here’re some Keto coffee tips to follow, whether you’re making it at home or ordering it at your favorite coffee shop.
KETO DIET RUNDOWN, THE PROS AND CONS
What do the experts of the nutrition/fitness biz have to say about the Keto diet? Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly and what to expect if you opt for the Keto diet.
FAST WEIGHT LOSS:
You can easily lose up to 10lbs in the first week of sticking to the Keto diet. Most of it may be water weight, but the decrease in inflammation is beneficial to your health nonetheless.
GOOD ENERGY LEVELS:
You won’t feel tired or hungry on the Keto diet either, you’ll feel energetic and full, even on 30g of carbs or less.
Why? It comes down to insulin. When you eat a meal weighty in carbs or sugar, you feel tired afterwards and hungry not long after the “full” feeling fades … since your insulin levels spike through the roof and plummet.
On the Keto diet, your insulin levels will be stable and at optimum levels and it will show in your energy levels.
WON’T HAVE TO FEEL HUNGRY:
People that adopt the Keto life report feeling less hungry and less desire for non-Keto cravings. Although not fully understood, it’s something to consider when choosing the diet best for you.
What about the dark side of the Keto diet?
There’re some side effects to the Keto diet, referred to as the “Keto flu” and while you aren’t likely to experience them all, you may experience some:
- Drop in blood pressure (consult a physician if you have low blood pressure already)
- Keto breathe (metallic or fruity scented breath)
- Kidneys may undergo stress
WEIGHT LOSS IS FAST, BUT IT MAY NOT BE STEADY:
Yes, you can lose up to 10lbs in a week or 20lbs in a month on the Keto diet. But what about long-term? There isn’t enough date out there to determine whether Keto is the wisest long-term option.
You may have weaker workouts on the Keto diet. Your body is full of ketones during Ketosis and ketones raise acidity levels – acid makes your workout fatigue threshold lower. Your body may adjust after a few months but there’s no guarantee.
Let’s keep on studying keto vs paleo.
THE PALEO DIET PHILOSOPHY: EAT LIKE TARZAN
If the Paleo diet had a mascot, it’d be Tarzan himself and if the Paleo diet had a mantra it’d be, “If Tarzan didn’t eat it, neither should you”.
The goal of the diet is to eat the way humans ate in the Paleolithic period – as far back to 2.5 million years ago and as recent as 10,000 years ago. Our fraps, latte’s and modern way of eating is super new and the root cause of many diseases, including obesity.
Our society may’ve changed but our genes haven’t changed much. Which is why if you could hunt or gather it in the Paleolithic period, then it’s an “okay” by Paleo’s means.
The root philosophy (pun intended) of the Paleo diet is eating the way nature intended.
Which is why “The Paleo Diet” is more of a lifestyle than an actual diet. There’s no calorie counting or meal portion planning on Paleo.
Is the Keto vs Paleo issue starting to make sense now?
SO…WHAT’S ON THE “HUNTER GATHERER” DIET LIST THAT’S NOT ON THE KETO LIST?
Here are 4 areas where the Keto vs Paleo diet differ:
THE MOTIVE ISN’T KETOSIS: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
The Paleo diet isn’t necessarily a low-carb, high-fat diet like the Keto diet.
The macronutrient ratio for the Paleo diet tends to be 15-25% protein, 20-30% carbs, 55-65% fat. Although you’re allowed more carbs on the Paleo diet, they aren’t the ones your addicted to, so don’t get too excited.
Are you vegetarian and aren’t sure if you can even participate in a Paleo diet? Read my article HERE to learn more.
Here’s a (partial) list of carbs allowed on the Paleo diet:
- Zucchini: Delicious recipe HERE
- Acorn Squas
- Butternut Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Cauliflower rice (it exists…)
But… isn’t rice a caveman food?
Sorry to break it to you rice lovers, rice isn’t Paleo approved. It’s a grain and grains aren’t allowed on the Paleo diet, just as they aren’t on the Keto diet. The good news is that if you’re a pasta lover, you can mimic your favorite pasta dish with spaghetti squash pasta. Are you now getting that keto vs paleo thing?
The hot topics when comparing these two diets are:
YOU CAN SPLURGE ON FRUIT: HEAR THAT FRUIT LOVERS?
Where Keto only permits a restricted list of fruit, the Paleo diet allows you to gift your pallet with a variety of fruit flavors. Just like cavemen did.
Here’s the Paleo fruit list:
Just keep in mind, if you’re trying to lose weight and on the Paleo diet, don’t go overboard with the fruit.
DAIRY: “THE DEVIL WHO WORE PRADA”
The Paleo diet is totally against dairy – of any kind.
If you’re a coffee lover that doesn’t like their coffee black, back up from you screen. If you take the Paleo leap you won’t be able to enjoy heavy cream, or almond milk in your coffee as a substitute for milk.
Didn’t cows exist in the Paleolithic period?
Paleo diet rule writers deny milk because they think cavemen didn’t know how to milk them. That aside, the milk you purchase today has little in common with the milk Tarzan would’ve gotten his hands on.
RED WINE: IT’S THE ONLY PALEO-APPROVED ALCOHOL
If you’re a beer lover, you probably don’t want to take the Paleo leap. No beer or clear alcohols of any kind are allowed. Only organic red wine, and you don’t have to be a wine snob to cherish a 5oz glass.
PALEO DIET RUNDOWN, THE PROS AND CONS
Another GREAT thing about Paleo: Chocolate!
Dark chocolate, that is. Want to try a delicious Paleo recipe that involves loads of chocolate? Grab that recipe HERE.
WEIGHT LOSS THAT LASTS:
The keto vs paleo results are in.
The Paleo diet proved to be better for weight loss throughout an 18-month period. It may not promise rapid weight loss results like the Keto diet, but it does prove to be a steadier long-term weight loss tactic.
GOOD FOR YOUR GUTS:
The Paleo diet is good for your GI tract and it can solve issues related to IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Overall digestive health improves on the Paleo diet.
BETTER NUTRITIONAL CHOICES:
People that followed the Paleo diet over a year were found to make better nutritional choices in the years that followed. The Paleo diet trains its followers to make long-lasting nutritional decisions beneficial to their health.
What’s the dark side of the Paleo diet?
Paleo diet followers complain of experiencing low energy, especially in the first 3 weeks. Remember, you’re seriously cutting carb intake but not triggering ketone production. Which means, your brain doesn’t fall back on ketones for energy.
Because Dairy is the main source of calcium, there’s a tendency of calcium deficiency in followers of the Paleo diet. Low calcium levels can lead to osteoporosis and weak bones.
With the Paleo diet, it takes longer than Keto to see results. Intrinsic motivation may be lacking. If you don’t have the proper mindset from the beginning, it’s an easy diet to cheat on. People are on their second or third attempt.
SO… IS KETO VS PALEO GOING TO FIT YOU LIKE CINDERELLA’S HEEL?
Here’s a flowchart that can help you make the #ULTIMATEDECISION:
Decide on the diet you can see yourself committing to. Because a diet is like a relationship, it crumbles without loyalty or commitment.
Will your become a Ketoholic or a Paleoista? Keto vs Paleo?
The choice is yours.
If you’re ready to plunge into the Paleo lifestyle, and want to drop a few pounds along the way, check out my Paleo-inspired diet program below. It’s helped me lose 70 pounds myself and I’ve maintained my weight for the past 7 years.