Weight Loss & Diet

Is Following a Keto Diet a Good Way to Lose Weight?

Is Following a Keto Diet a Good Way to Lose Weight?
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

In this article:

  • A keto diet is a very low-carbohydrate diet. It includes carbohydrate-free and low-carb foods. It excludes high-carb foods.
  • A keto diet can help you lose weight. It can also lower blood sugar in diabetes.
  • A keto diet has some long-term risks. You should only follow one with your doctor’s guidance.
  • Lark supports a moderately low-carb diet. Lark’s weight loss coaching helps you choose healthy carbs and other nutritious foods for lasting weight loss.

Keto diets get a lot of attention. They can lower blood sugar if you have diabetes. And they can help you lose weight quickly. But can you keep weight off with a keto diet? And are they safe? Here is what you need to know about a keto diet for weight loss.

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What Is a Keto Diet?

A ketogenice, or “keto,” diet puts your body into ketosis. That means your body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The idea is that being in ketosis forces your body to burn body fat so you lose weight.

To get into ketosis, you follow a ketogenic diet. This diet is very low in carbohydrates.

How Many Carbs on a Keto Diet?

You might have 20 to 40 grams of carbohydrates per day on a keto diet. You will need to use ketone strips to see whether your body is in ketosis. You can work with your healthcare provider to find the number of grams of carbohydrates that keeps you in ketosis.

These are some carbohydrate comparisons for a 2,000-calorie diet.

Ketogenic diet Moderately low-carbohydrate diet according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Average American carbohydrate consumption from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommended amount from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
% calories from carbohydrates
5 to 10% of total calories
26 to 45% of total calories
47% of total calories
45 to 65% of total calories
Grams of carbohydrates on a 2,000-calorie diet
20 to 40 grams
130 to 225 grams
235 grams
225 to 325 grams

Food List for a Keto Diet

A keto diet has carb-free and low-carb foods. It is likely to be high in fat and/or protein.

These foods are free from carbs. They form the bulk of a keto diet.

  • Meat, fish, most shellfish, and poultry
  • Butter, oils, margarine, and lard
  • Eggs

A keto diet may have small amounts of these low-carb foods.

  • Cheese
  • Cream
  • Peanuts, nuts, and seeds
  • Avocado
  • Lettuce, greens, other non-starchy vegetables
  • Berries
  • Yogurt
  • Cottage cheese

A keto diet does not have much room for these types of foods.

  • Whole grains
  • Beans and lentils
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Most kinds of fruit
  • Sugar-sweetened foods and beverages
  • Refined grains
  • Processed and snack foods

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Good and Bad with a Keto Diet

A keto diet can help you lose weight. 

  • The protein and fat on the diet are filling. They help reduce hunger.
  • The limited food choices can help you eat less. You may get tired of eating them.

A keto diet can also lower cholesterol and blood sugar.

But a keto diet is risky. Harvard Medical School lists some risks.

  • Liver problems.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability.
  • Constipation.

These and other problems can result from too much protein and saturated fat, and from missing nutrients in healthy foods such as whole grains and fruit.

Because food choices are so limited, it is hard to follow a keto diet for long periods of time. You may get bored. Or you may want to be able to eat with other people in social settings.

A moderate-carbohydrate diet can be a healthier alternative for longer-term weight control. It includes small amounts of high-fiber carbohydrates to boost nutrition and fullness. Lark offers coaching on a controlled-carb diet with plenty of healthy foods. 

Losing weight can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and that’s not all. When you lose a few extra pounds, energy levels can increase, cholesterol and blood pressure can improve, and clothes fit better. Best of all is that Lark makes weight loss simple!

Lark doesn’t just know which choices can lead to weight loss. Lark coaches you on how to make good choices that can become habits. With small changes that fit right into your lifestyle, you can drop pounds and lower your risk for type 2 diabetes. Your personal coach is available 24/7 through your smartphone so you can get expert tips, track meals, physical activity, and weight loss. 

The entire program may be available at no cost to you if your health insurer covers it. Click here to find out if you may be eligible for Lark! You could be minutes away from taking the first steps to hitting your weight loss goals and improving health.

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