Keto, Low Carb & Intermittent Fasting – Which is right for you?


We are two weeks into 2018 and I feel like these are the only phrases that I’m hearing around the gym!
It’s clear that the new year has brought with it plenty of people who are looking to get in shape, which is great, but they’ve also brought with them plenty of supposed miracle diets. And whilst I’m not against dieting, I am against going to the extremes to achieve the dream body of 2018.. in 6 weeks!
I love to see people lose weight, and I love to see people getting fit, but what I don’t like to see is seeing people proclaiming that there’s only one way achieve your goals.

If you haven’t heard of these three diets then I’ll give you a quick run down of what they are and what they entail!

Note: I want to make it clear that I AM NOT a nutritionist and am not recommending any specific diet – this is based on my own personal experiences.


Table of Contents


The keto diet has quickly risen to fame with the notion that your body enters a fat burning state that is ‘ketosis’. This diet relies heavily on higher fats, medium-adequate protein, and very low-nil carbohydrate intake – your body enters the state of ketosis which is a natural process the body initiates when food intake is low.
Whilst the keto diet is used to treat specific illnesses (like epilepsy & diabetes) and accelerate weight loss; speaking from a fitness performance stand point, having next to no carbs will hinder your performance and athletic output.

My personal experience: I tried it. I hated it. For me, I found eating such a high amount of fat difficult, and I found my personal training diminished due to the lack of carbohydrate intake and low energy.

Low Carb
This diet is probably the most common and to me, the most sustainable of the three. A diet that is made up of 20% or less from carbohydrates is considered low carb. You can make up the remaining macro-nutrients (protein & fats) with what you feel comfortable with too, which is great.
Plenty of people take a low carb approach when they’re initially starting their weight loss journey and see great results because they will begin eliminating a lot of processed foods.

My personal experience: As mentioned above, the low carb is my favourite of the big 3 trending diets but I also found it unsustainable. I did experience weight loss, but I also didn’t like they way that my body looked when consuming lower carbs – I felt and looked flat & drained.

Intermittent Fasting
You guys will quickly find that I am not a fan of this one. It requires you to ‘fast’ for a certain period of time, and then allow yourself a window to ‘feed’. There are several types of intermittent fasting but the most popular are the 16/8 which requires you to fast for 16 hours & eat for 8 hours, and the 5/2 which entails eating a higher calorie diet (say 2000 calories) for 5 days and then fasting for 2 days (or very low calorie, eg 500 cals).

My personal experience: I think it’s easy to see why I’m not the biggest advocate for it. I believe that fasting is an incredibly slippery slope, especially for young people who are doing whatever it takes to achieve a certain ‘look’. If you have control & discipline then I’m sure there are some benefits to it, but I would not be personally recommending it to my clients.



Alright, I’m going to be a boring, standard personal trainer here and tell you that the most important thing is BALANCE.
I’m also going to tell you that you don’t need an extravagant or complicated nutrition plan to see significant results.
What you do need to do is understand that your body burns energy every day, and that the food you eat replenishes that energy. If you consume less energy than your body exerts, then you will experience weight loss – EUREKA!

If you’re unsure how to calculate how much energy your body exerts and how much energy you should consume then I would recommend using a simple online calculator, like this one here.
This calculator will give you an accurate idea of your BMR (how much your body burns) and how much you should eat for simple weight loss (creating your calorie deficit).
The rest of the dieting part comes down to personal preference – if you want to eat more fat, eat more fat! If you want to eat more protein, eat more! What’s important is not so much what you eat, but how much in relation to your bodies ability to burn it off.

That’s not to say that you should fill your diet with chocolates, sweets & baked goods – I still recommend eating plenty of fruits, vegetables & proteins – but don’t sweat the small stuff!

Whether you at 3 grams carbs all day or 300 grams will have minimal impact on weight loss provided that you are EATING LESS THAN YOU BURN!
You can download a nifty app called MyFitnessPal which can tell you exactly how much energy is in the foods you’re eating and help you track your intake. The download link is here.

So the next time someone says,
“Yo, I found this sweet diet where ya’ll lose 10kg in 10 weeks but you can’t eat anything but ice cubes & kale”

Politely respond with,
“No thanks cobber, I like having food and my sanity.. yo”.

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Author: Cal Timms
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