What is a Caloric Deficit?
As I make my daily scroll through tiktok, I encounter a number of videos with people on a weight loss journey, showing what they eat in a day to remain in a caloric deficit. The comments sections are often flooded with statements saying that the snack or food choices shown are not necessarily healthy, even though the content creator remains in a caloric deficit. A calorie is a unit of energy that is used by the body to function and perform tasks. Each individual requires a certain amount of calories to keep normal processes going, which is referred to as a BMR or a Basic Metabolic Rate. In general, those who live very active lifestyles tend to need more calories in order to function versus those who live sedentary lifestyles require less.
What is Keto?
In a ketogenic lifestyle, macronutrients are divided into proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Typically, one does not monitor calories but monitors carbohydrates instead. A majority of the macronutrient intake comes from fats, which accounts for 60-75% of intake, while proteins are kept moderate at 10-30%, and carbohydrates kept low at 5-10% of intake. This balance of macronutrients places the body into ketosis, which is a metabolic state where the body utilizes fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. So my question is which one is more effective for weight loss, a caloric deficit or ketosis?
So which one is more effective for weight loss?
The short answer is both! With keto, it is helpful to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. Losing weight (or excess body fat really) requires the body to utilize stored fat through maintaining somewhat of a deficit. The benefit of keto is that it allows you to be in a deficit without feeling hungry and having carb cravings. The truth is that many, including myself have struggled with weight loss methods due to hunger and falling into temptations. Also, because the ketogenic lifestyle includes non-starchy vegetables and healthy fats, which are more satiating, naturally you end up in a deficit without having to actually count the calories.
Keto has been an amazing tool in ensuring success for weight loss, as it decreases appetite stimulating hormones, while forcing the body to utilize stored fat. While you still need to be in a deficit to lose weight, keto gives freedom from calorie counting and allows one to eat until full. Once weight loss results have been achieved through keto, calorie intake should raise back to maintenance needs. However, it’s important to understand that if you revert back to old ways of eating with keto or a calorie deficit, you run the risk of gaining that weight back. Habits achieved through keto should remain for the long term as a healthy lifestyle change.
Are you in a caloric deficit or live a ketogenic lifestyle? Which one do you think is most effective for weight loss?
Share your experience in the comments below!
Also, if you’re looking to learn more about the ketogenic lifestyle and how to get started, sign up for my free webinar! Click HERE to register. I hope to see you there!