Why do these diets work so well for many people, despite sitting on polar opposites?
Despite all the times I’ve jumped on the fat pedestal and flew the keto flag, there’s a crucial mechanism shared across both dieting extremes. It’s a simple, powerful strategy that enables intuitive eating. Which means you won’t have to spend time tracking every food label you come across.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it seems to be a bridge too far for many fresh-faced dieters.
This somewhat explains why both diets can be highly successful, at least considering the current climate where most attempts at weight loss are sent spiraling out of control before they’re allowed to get off the mark.
The Macro Separating Strategy Is More Sense Than Science
Choosing either a high-carb, or high-fat diet is obviously accompanied by restricting the other macronutrient. This automatically removes the most obesogenic foods from your plate. When scientists are looking to plump their lab rats as much as possible, they’ll resort to feeding them with a chow,lard, and sugar solution.
And while we don’t tend to go that basic on the ingredient list, processed foods essentially have the same makeup. These processed products have been scientifically engineered to be addictive. That’s where the money is. High fat, high sugar lumped together on one plate, and there’s the perfect cocktail for a giant spike in cravings and a prolonged binge session.
So the idea is as follows: avoid combining carbs and fats in the same meal. Protein doesn’t factor into this. It’s the last thing that’s going to end up in fat storage. It’s just way too inefficient to be used that way.
Disclaimer – Fats Or Carbs, Eating In Excess Results In Weight Gain
There’s no science taking place here that’s going to block fat storage. It’s just a practical way of encouraging mindful eating. As in, you’re now actively forcing yourself to think about what foods are going on your plate. That can be a game-changer for people who get way too distracted during meal times.
Using this macro splitting strategy means that you don’t even need to commit to either camp. There’s no line in the sand, and there’s a comfortable spot in the middle. You could have a low carb breakfast, keeping your body in an insulin-sensitive state, then switch to a high carb meal in the evening.
You’re keeping a metabolic advantage by making sure you’re still insulin sensitive later on in the day, where most of the damage tends to happen. People get sleepy, they make bad decisions, and the body’s already in a worse state to deal with incoming calories.
A low carb breakfast could also be used as a stepping stone for a higher difficulty diet, like intermittent fasting or keto. Through the morning, you’re slipping into somewhat of a fast mimicking state. In this sense, there’s a metabolic shift taking place towards better fat burning.
Maybe It’s Better To Have A System That Uses Both Fats And Carbs
There’s some merit to including both carbs and fats in your diet. The idea of metabolic flexibility means that the body is able to seamlessly switch between fuel sources, and perform at its best regardless. This is where someone following a zero carb diet might run into problems when they have switch back to the dark side over a dinner date.
Personally, I think a few carbs slotted in at the right time can act as a great performance boost. More importantly, it might reduce the fear factor that tends to crop up around the banned macronutrient. Neither carbs and fats are going to automatically cause diabetes, at least not over the short run.