There is a new study making its way around the news world, “Dietary Fat, but Not Protein or Carbohydrate, Regulates Energy Intake and Causes Adiposity in Mice.” In response, you may have also seen some of the outrageous headlines exclaiming that the only macro-nutrient responsible for weight gain is dietary fat.
As followers of the Ketogenic Diet, we know this to be completely false. But how did they come to this conclusion? Well, if you look at the study (which was done on mice), you will find one major flaw -- that they didn’t restrict the amount of food these mice were given to eat. In a lot of ways, mice are a "good" animal to do studies on, except when it comes to something like comparing the eating habits of tiny creatures to adult humans. Fat is a macro-nutrient that their bodies simply are not used to consuming in large amounts. If you give any animal -- like a mouse or a rabbit -- a large amount of dietary fat, it will most likely affect their metabolism much differently than a human. When was the last time you saw a tiny mouse enjoying a nice, juicy steak? It just doesn't happen in nature!
An excess amount of calories will cause you to gain, regardless of the macro-nutrient
If I were eating fat in an excessive amount (in addition to carbohydrates...cue the Standard American Diet), I can guarantee that I would also gain weight. If my resting metabolic rate is 2,500 calories for the day and I consume over that amount, my body is going to store the excess calories as fat. It doesn’t matter how much of which macro is consumed more, if I overeat, I will gain weight.
Weight loss is all about restricting calories. Some people choose to continue following a Standard American Diet and restrict how much they eat. While others, like myself, choose to follow a ketogenic diet, which of course, restricts the amount of carbohydrates you eat to around 20 grams a day. At the same time, we are increasing how much fat we eat. Most people find it a lot easier to lose weight on a ketogenic diet because once they remove carbohydrates from their diet, their blood sugar isn’t going on an up-and-down roller coaster ride. Not only do they have to eat less often, they are also satiated from protein and fats.
Keto for more than weight loss
People don’t always choose keto just for the weight loss benefits, either. You can find many stories online from folks who have transformed their lives -- whether that is with reversing diabetes, improving mental health issues or even Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). I choose to do it because it makes my life simpler, keeps my skins clear, my tummy is happy, my anxiety is much more manageable and it has completely reversed my risk of being pre-diabetic. I've also been able to sustain my weight loss of 80 pounds for over 3 years. With no exercise. BAM.
If you would like to read the study in full (which I don’t necessarily recommend), you can find it here.