The high-fat, low carb ketogenic, Atkins and Paleo diets promote weight loss by suppressing appetite even when calories were reduced, research shows.
Scientists reviewed a dozen studies and found that high-fat, low carb ketogenic-style diets were effective at suppressing appetite even when calories were significantly reduced because dietary fat keeps you feeling full.
“All of our studies basically showed either a very small reduction in appetite or no change,” said dietitian Alice Gibson of University of Sydney Medical School, who led the study.
The findings were published in Obesity Reviews. “People can be consuming very few calories but not have an increase in their appetite,” said Gibson.
Obesity experts said this is because fat is satiating and curbs hunger better than carbs or protein. While low-fat diets have historically been recommended for weight loss, scientists found they were unsuccessful in the long term because dieters got hungry when they didn’t consume enough fat.
In contrast, high-fat, low-carb diets such as the ketogenic and Atkins diets promote rapid weight loss without calorie restriction by inducing the body to burn fat for fuel. Even when calories were reduced, dieters reported feeling less hungry than on low-fat diets.
There are numerous anecdotal success stories. Laura Childs and her daughter Veronica Childs lost 65 pounds and 55 pounds, respectively, several months after embarking on a low-carb, high-fat ketogenic Paleo diet.
In addition to fueling rapid weight loss without hunger, the mother-daughter duo say their low-carb, high-fat diet improved their sleep, boosted their energy and gave them radiant skin and hair.
Veronica and Laura Childs chronicled their unbelievable weight loss in their book, Low Carb High Fat No Hunger Diet: Lose Weight With A Ketogenic Hybrid.
Dr. Eric Westman, an obesity expert who oversees the Duke University Lifestyle Clinic, has helped thousands of morbidly obese people lose hundreds of thousands of pounds on the high-fat ketogenic, Atkins and Paleo diets.
Westman’s mantra is: Eat fat to get thin. “Eat lots of fat,” said Dr. Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity. “Fat makes you feel full. There’s no problem with fat.”
The ketogenic diet has also proven effective for reversing diabetes, stopping epilepsy seizures, preventing Alzheimer’s and heart disease and treating metastatic cancer.
Elaine Cantin discussed how she used the keto diet to manage her son’s type I diabetes and her own aggressive breast cancer in her book, The Cantin Ketogenic Diet For Cancer, Type 1 & 2 Diabetes, Epilepsy & Other Ailments.
Groundbreaking research also suggests the ketogenic diet prevents cancer and starves cancer cells.
“The ketogenic diet is a single metabolic approach to a multitude of different diseases,” said scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried, author of Cancer as a Metabolic Disease.
Seyfried’s decades of research at Boston College indicates cancer is a metabolic — not a genetic — disease that can be managed with the ketogenic diet. Dr. Dominic D’Agostino of the University of South Florida Medical School agrees.
D’Agostino’s research shows the sugar-free keto diet starves cancer cells because cancer thrives on sugar and cannot survive on ketones. “Sugar addiction is the Achilles heel of cancer cells,” he said.
By drastically limiting carbohydrates and entering a metabolic state called ketosis, you reduce glucose and insulin, and thus restrict the primary fuel for cancer cell growth. “When we restrict carbs in our diet, we can prevent pro-inflammatory spikes in blood glucose and blood insulin,” said D’Agostino, who has a Ph.D. in physiology and neuroscience. “Suppression of blood glucose and insulin spikes is very helpful when managing chronic diseases.”
Thomas Seyfried says the time has come for the medical community to publicly acknowledge the viability of the keto diet as an inexpensive, non-toxic way to treat cancer.
“The standard of care has been an abysmal failure for cancer,” Dr. Seyfried told me. “The ketogenic diet may one day replace the standard of care for most cancers.”