The high-fat, low carb ketogenic, Atkins and Paleo diets promote weight loss without hunger by suppressing appetite. Scientists reviewed a dozen studies and found that high-fat, low carb ketogenic-style diets were effective at suppressing appetite even when they drastically reduced calories because 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.”
Obesity experts said this is because fat is satiating and curbs hunger better than carbs or even 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 eat enough fat.
In contrast, high-fat, low-carb diets such as the ketogenic, Paleo and Atkins diets spur rapid weight loss without calorie restriction by forcing the body to burn fat for fuel in a metabolic state called ketosis. But even when calories were reduced, dieters reported feeling less hungry than on low-fat diets.
Dr. Eric Westman, an obesity expert who oversees the Duke University Lifestyle Medicine Clinic, has helped thousands of morbidly obese people lose hundreds of thousands of pounds over the years 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.”
Many celebrities have hopped on the low-carb, high-fat bandwagon. Kim Kardashian lost 56 pounds in six months on a ketogenic Atkins diet. Similarly, Tim McGraw lost 40 pounds with the Paleo diet and CrossFit, and is fitter than ever at age 48.
Ketogenic Diet Starves Cancer
In addition to aiding weight loss, the ketogenic, Atkins and Paleo diets have been shown to prevent Alzheimer’s and reverse type 2 diabetes. 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,” cancer scientist Dr. Thomas Seyfried of Boston College told me in an exclusive Examiner interview.
Seyfried’s decades of research show 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.
His research shows the sugar-free ketogenic diet starves cancer cells because cancer thrives on sugar and cannot survive on ketones. “Sugar addiction is the Achilles heel of cancer cells,” said D’Agostino.
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.”
Dr. Seyfried says the time has come for the medical community to publicly acknowledge the viability of the ketogenic diet as an inexpensive, non-toxic way to treat cancer.
“The standard of care has been an abysmal failure for cancer,” said Dr. Seyfried. “The ketogenic diet may one day replace the standard of care for most cancers.”