A New Zealand woman credited the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet for her stunning 110-pound weight loss. Ariana Omipi slimmed down from 287 pounds to 177 pounds in seven months by eating lots of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and very few carbs.
Ariana started the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) ketogenic diet in July 2013 and has since undergone a jaw-dropping weight loss makeover. "I was pretty much at a bad place in my life," Omipi told StuffNZ. "There were two ways to go: keep eating and having those destructive kind of behaviors, or do something different."
Omipi, 19, chose the ketogenic diet because it has been proven to produce rapid weight loss without hunger. Ariana still wants to lose more weight to reach her goal of 143 pounds, and said she'll follow the Paleo diet to reach her goal weight because it's less restrictive than the ketogenic diet, which restricted her daily carb intake to about 50 grams.
The Paleo diet emphasizes high-quality animal proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and fruits, and excludes gluten, sugar, dairy, legumes, starches, alcohol and processed foods. The Paleo diet is the most popular diet around today, and has a huge celebrity following, including Tim McGraw, Megan Fox, and LeBron James.
Fitness expert Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution, said Paleo isn't a fad diet because the emphasis is not on calorie restriction, and it provides a healthy balance of protein, vegetables and high-quality fats.
The best part is, you don't count calories and don't feel deprived because your body is getting all the nutrition it needs to thrive, said Wolf.
Research shows the Paleo diet works well for women because it reduces the blood sugar spikes and hormone surges that fuel overeating, mood swings and weight gain, said Esther Blum, author of Cavewomen Don't Get Fat.
Eating Fat Doesn't Make You Fat
While few people had even heard of the ketogenic diet until recently, it has become increasingly popular as a way to lose weight quickly and prevent heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's and even depression.
The ketogenic diet is enjoying more mainstream popularity now that the medical community has reversed its longstanding position on saturated fat, as research confirms that carbs — not fat — are the cause of weight gain and inflammation-fueled diseases.
More cardiologists now say unprocessed saturated fat is healthy and has been wrongly blamed for causing heart disease, obesity and other degenerative illnesses.
For the past four decades, the medical and diet communities have vociferously advised people to avoid fat, especially the saturated fats found in animal proteins. During that time, the obesity rate in the United States has skyrocketed, as have diabetes and heart disease.
Neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter said corporate greed on the part of the wheat industry and snack manufacturers was behind the vilification of saturated fat. Dr. Perlmutter, the author of Grain Brain, told me the low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet prevents ADHD and Alzheimer's disease.
"Carbs are devastating for the brain," said Perlmutter, who himself follows the ketogenic diet. "The brain thrives on a fat-rich low-carbohydrate diet. Even slight elevations in blood sugar have been shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease."
Ketosis expert, Dr. Jeff Volek, a professor at Ohio State University, agrees. Volek, author of the Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living, told me consuming a low carb diet high in unprocessed saturated fat reverses type 2 diabetes, prevents heart disease, and fuels rapids weight loss. "There are very few people that a ketogenic diet could not help," he said.
Obesity expert Dr. Eric Westman has helped thousands of people lose hundreds of thousands of pounds by following the low carb, high-fat ketogenic, Atkins and Paleo diets. Eating fat doesn't make you fat, said Westman. To the contrary, eating fat makes you thin and healthy.
"I tell my patients not to fear the fat," said Dr. Westman, co-author of Keto Clarity. "Eat lots of fat. Fat makes you feel full. There's no problem with fat."