Keto, carnivore or vegan? What's the best diet for weight loss or to lose body fat?
What's the best diet for weight loss? Or the best diet for toning up and muscle gain? Or the best diet for losing body fat?
I get these questions all the time. So much so that I decided to dedicate an entire podcast episode to explaining it all.
And the answer?
Well, it depends...the best diet depends on the human body the food is going into.
You need to ask yourself a few questions.
What is that human body like?
Is that human body inflamed? Stressed?
Is that human body digestive system working well?
Does the consumer have IBS?
Are they suffering from auto-immune condition?
Do they have access to this kind of food? What’s their weekly training schedule like? What are their goals?
All these things are going to make a huge difference.
So let's dig a bit deeper into the three most talked about diets:
Keto, Carnivore and Vegan.
This blog and podcast episode were inspired by a post by @live_vitae on Instagram. He mentioned the 3 diets I hear women use the most in the health and fitness industry. He says:
- “good luck on Keto with biliary issues”
- “good luck on carnivore with low stomach acid”
- “good luck on vegan with SIBO”
So these are the 3 main ‘diets’ that I’ll talk about to help you understand which is a good fit for you and, importantly, when.
I want to dive little deeper into it to give you a good and well-rounded understanding and knowledge on what might the best diet be for you.
If you want the full Dee Dive into the science for each of these popular diets, you can listen to it right here 👇👇
The Keto diet plan
The common consensus around it is that 70% of your diet is fats, 25% of your diet is protein, and only 5% of your diet is carbs.
I did some math on this and if you’re on a 1500 calorie diet (which is typical for a woman of around roughly 70kgs of weight), half of a medium sweet potato would be too much. It’s a little bit restrictive.
I am not a huge fan of Keto as a sustainble diet, however, there have been lots of people who’ve reported to me that it works for them. However, most of those people are men. For women, I would probably suggest it only for a short amount of time – like a kickstart diet.
BUT when it comes to Keto, the kind of person you don’t want doing keto is somebody who has liver issues, specifically issues producing bile. Your liver, a main detoxification organ, is the same organ that produces something called “bile”. Bile is like a dishwashing liquid that helps you break down fats (bile is an ’emulsifier’).
How do you know if you’re someone having issues with bile?
The massive indicator is when you eat fat, they just feel like they’re sitting on your stomach. You might also be someone who suffers skin issues like eczema or breakouts on your face.
Fats are very important for helping to cope skin and creating this big barriers around the skin cells underneath. Also, if you don’t have an adequate amount of bile, you’d likely be a person whose fish oil tablets repeat on them. I usually see this situation occur in women who have heavy loads of stored toxins.
What about the Carnivore Diet plan?
The carnivore diet plan is a little bit newer but currently a massive trend, hence why there’s not much research on it yet.
It's a fairly a new diet aiming for 0% carbohydrates. If you are somebody who has low stomach acid, the carnivore diet might be a tricky one for you.
How do you know if you have low stomach acid?
Low stomach acid is very common in people who are stressed. The big reason for that is, if you are stressed your body releases a hormone called adrenaline. Adrenaline will pull blood from your digestive organs and redirect it into your arms and legs. You also might be somebody who has chronically low iron. Obviously as women we bleed every single month. We are already on the side of having low iron as it is! So it’s a really big red flag for me if somebody has iron-deficiency and B12 deficiency AND lives a busy lifestyle – they likely won’t have the stomach acid needed to break down a large amount of meat.
If you struggle to eat steak, because it feels like too heavy for your body, I would probably guess that you have a low stomach acid.
It’s also common in people who get sick often or have gut issues. When you do have enough stomach acid, it has the ability to kill off bacteria and pathogens.
Need to boost your stomach acid?
Try Dee’s Digestive Shot every morning! This actually was adapted from Dr. Libby, from her book Accidentally Overweight, and this is something I tell so many people about. Jump to 14:00 in the podcast episode above to learn about it.
You take it 15 minutes before meal with no other liquids or other foods. It will actually improve the amount of stomach acid and you’re correcting the pH too.
If you are somebody who has any kind of high stomach acid issues or conditions, then I suggest that you don’t try it unless you have approval from your doctor or primary health care practitioner.
And finally, what about the Vegan diet plan?
More and more people globally implement a vegan these days than any other diet. The vegan diet is very high in fibre.
Fibre (as a prebiotic) means that it feeds the microbes – the good, bad and the ugly…. microbes. This is the reason why sometimes when people have prebiotic things, it can actually worsen their bloating, worsen the pain, and amplify the bad symptoms that they are already experiencing.
I went vegan few years ago but I still suffered fatigue and I couldn’t balance my blood sugar very well. While I didn’t get diagnosed with SIBO at that time, I definitely understand now that the levels of prebiotics and the level of sugars (even though I was eating really nutrient-dense foods) was creating a little bit more damage than good for my body. But it’s not always the case. It depends on the body its going into.
SIBO: Basically when bacteria migrates from the large intestine (where it should be) to the small intestine where it shouldn’t be. The problem is the small intestine is the main site of nutrient absorption so, when you do have SIBO, you have these misplaced bacteria taking up space in the small intestine and preventing nutrient absorption. So you become tired and more malnourished the longer you go without treating it!
So, what really is the best diet plan?
If you have good detoxification, a healthy liver, a good amount of bile and a good amount of stomach acid with the right pH, and a good amount of bacteria in the right place, then it largely doesn’t matter what the diet is, as long as it works for you.
As long as your digestive system is good, you can definitely implement whichever diet works for you.
And what about the Mediterranean diet?
I also have seen a lot of good feedback and science around the Mediterranean diet.
It is an anti-inflammatory diet characterised by a lot of healthy fats like olive oil, avocado, nut, seeds, fatty fish as well as fruit and veggies, good sources of proteins, lean meats and some grains.
There are specific micronutrients that are super important around that time because of the difference in hormonal fluctuations that are occurring so we want to make sure we are building, supporting and then metabolising those hormones.
Ultimately, the main message here is HEAL YOUR DIGESTION.
So, how do we actually fix this things?
- When it comes to your liver, make sure that you detoxify efficiently and avoid obvious toxins – listen HERE and jump to 31:30 to find out what is one toxin almost every human is exposed to each day. You could certainly start with my Detox Tea as your morning liver-awakening (and de-puffing) cup of tea made with 100% organic herbs and mostly raw dandelion root.
- When it comes to your stomach acid, implement something like Dee’s Digestive shot (if that works for you) and another way to do it is you’re not stressed of just before or while you’re eating because adrenaline will shoot that blood into your arms or legs and not to your digestive system where it actually needed.
- When it comes to , look potentially in implementing diet either keto, carnivore or vegan for a very short amount of time to see which one works best for you.
And as Abbey from San Diego asked on the podcast… if there’s one thing that everyone should eat everyday, (if people have a decent digestive system) is easily VEGETABLES. They are full of nutrients, so good for energy, gut health and building up our immune system.