Is the Keto Diet More Effective than a Vegan Diet?

Is the Keto Diet More Effective than a Vegan Diet?

You don’t need to spend a lot of time on social media before coming across a post about weight loss.

It might be someone bragging about their newest weight loss target. Or the post may lament about their diet being too restrictive for them.

Weight loss is, in fact, a multibillion-dollar industry in the U.S. As per the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2 in 3 adults are obese or overweight.

What’s more, about 1 out of every six individuals between the ages of 2 to 19 are obese.

It is common for healthcare professionals to look for reliable strategies for weight loss. At the same time, extreme diet plans and weight loss schemes ebb and flow in terms of popularity.

Two of these plans include the ketogenic and the vegan diet. Both of these diet plans are quite opposite in terms of their food strategies. However, both of them are equally popular for their claims to shed pounds.

But do these plans actually work? Which of them is better than the other? Keep reading to find out.

Keto versus Vegan Diet

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It focuses more on sources of fat such as avocados and dairy products, with protein in moderation. The keto diet especially puts restrictions on taking any kind of carbohydrates.

This, in turn, leaves out a lot of vegetables, grains, and fruit. Sugar is also not on the list of foods you can eat during a keto diet.

Is the Keto Diet More Effective than a Vegan Diet?

Following the keto diet may also mean saying goodbye to your favorite dishes. These may include pasta, white rice, pizzas, and bread. You will also have to give up cakes, pastries, cookies, and sweets.

On the other hand, the vegan diet is a plant-based diet plan. It tends to eliminate every food item coming from animal sources. At the same time, it puts a lot of focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Research indicates that both of these diet plans can ultimately cause weight loss. What it takes to get there and how you sustain is are some factors that determine success in the long term.

How does the Keto Diet Work?

The human body tends to store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen. It is the primary source of energy for your body. You have a steady supply of this agent in your body.

Your body tends to burn down the carbs you eat and convert it into glycogen to extract energy. If you eliminate all the carbs from the diet, your body uses up all the reserves. As it loses glycogen, the body gets rid of all the excess water that glycogen holds.

As a result, you immediately lose several pounds due to water weight.

In a matter of days, your body enters a metabolic state- the state of ketosis. In this state, your body starts using fat to derive energy since there are no carbs left.

As the body breaks down fat, it also helps suppress cravings. You tend to feel fuller for longer, cutting down the total amount of food you eat. Some people even start intermittent fasting during keto to sustain their weight loss.

How does the Vegan Diet Work?

In case of vegan diet, the dieter eats a diet low in fat and protein. In fact, the overall caloric intake is also low. This makes people feel that they may eat all day while losing weight.

In fact, research indicates that vegans are thinner and have a lower BMI as compared to non-vegans. They also have lower levels of cholesterol.

By the nature of food, vegans eat, plant-based eaters also consume more minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. Their average calorie consumption is also lower than non-vegans.

The Science of Keto and Vegan Diets

One of the studies suggests that vegans lost 9.3 pounds more than individuals not following this diet. The study, which lasted for a year, didn’t ask participants to perform exercise or reduce daily calories.

In the existing mice studies, the keto diet tends to show improvements in weight loss. It showed promising results in decreasing obesity and related conditions like diabetes type 2.

RELATED: How Can You Measure Ketosis Using Keto Strips

A great deal of research regarding keto diet involves mice and rat models only. There are very few human studies, but more are in progress due to the increasing popularity of the keto diet.

A study of 2009 found that most people on a low-carb diet no longer observe ketosis after 6 months. Another research investigated weight loss in keto-fed rats. During this 22-week study, no maintenance of weight loss occurred.

A reason for this is that dieters return to their dietary preferences after some time. This might be because of the stalling weight loss results or a diet plan too hard to follow.

Research even says that keto dieters lose a great deal of lean body mass. The lean body mass is the muscle burning calories and helping your metabolism to run. This may affect your weight loss abilities in the near future.

No Quick Fixes

The experts mostly stress on the fact that there are no quick fixes in terms of weight loss. It requires constant work and determination, especially to make it sustainable.

Is the Keto Diet More Effective than a Vegan Diet?

Changing the habits are extremely difficult. Making huge lifestyle changes overnight is also very tough. Even if you do so, reintroducing old lifestyle after some time is not easy as well, as per the experts.

Ultimately, the prescription of weight loss turns out to be a highly specific one. It is, in fact, the one that works for you and suits you the best.

It is important to formulate a plan which is sustainable and acceptable. It all depends on your individual food preferences, lifestyles, and motivation. Combine all of this to change what failed you in the past.

The Bottom Line

The ketogenic diet and vegan diet are two extremely popular diets. They are totally opposite in terms of food strategy. However, both of them are equally popular for their effects in terms of weight loss.

Most of the experts are going to tell you that they are equally effective. This means that you can expect weight loss irrespective of what diet you follow. However, the results may not last until you sustain it into your new lifestyle.

Most of the people on the keto diet tend to lose weight in the short run. However, they may also lose mean muscle mass at the same time. Some studies even suggest that some people naturally get off ketosis 6 months after the diet. In other cases, individuals just seem to give this diet up because it may prove extremely restrictive.

Experts are of the opinion that a successful diet is actually a sustainable diet. It is the one that individuals can benefit from in the long run. They also believe that it does not matter whether it is the keto diet or the vegan diet.



Nancy holds a Pharmacy degree from University of Michigan and Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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