Whole30 vs Keto – Which Diet Better Suits Your Needs?

whole30 vs keto

Sometimes it seems like there’s a new diet popping up every day. One day it’s low carbs diets, another day it’s Atkins that’s trending. When there are so many diets around, sometimes it’s hard to spot their differences. That’s why in this Whole30 vs keto we’ll cover the differences between these 2 very popular diets.

Not taking on the first diet and doing your research is always a wise choice. Once you compare several diets, it become easier to find the one that suits your lifestyle best. Finding a diet that suits your needs is important, as it becomes easy to turn it more into a lifestyle than a regime. That’s actually what most modern diets aim – to turn around your lifestyle.

Intro to Keto

Keto is one of the most popular diets all over the world. Many people have benefited from effective and fast weight loss when following this diet. Not only that, it comes with many positive effects on your general health as well.

Keto falls under the low carb diets category. Actually, for many it has become a synonym to the low carb diets. However, low carb doesn’t necessarily mean keto. Keto is also a high fat diet. This means that the main source of your calories should come from fat.

As mentioned before, many people who followed keto, claim that they have achieved extreme weight loss. So, what makes the diet so effective? To put it in simple words, following keto means turning your body into a fat burning machine that operates 24/7, even when you’re resting.

Here’s how to turn your body into a 24/7 fat burning machine. First you need to reduce your carbohydrate intake to a minimum. The recommended amount is up to 20 g of net carbs (total carbs – fiber) per day. Once you’ve done that, your body will soon be on too little carbohydrates that are required to provide your body with energy. Then it will search for a new energy source.

That’s when your body will enter the state of ketosis and start burning fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, during which ketones are produced. Ketones help break down the fat cells. However, in order for ketosis to happen, you must eat very little carbs. Since ketosis happens 24/7, even when you’re sleeping, it means that your body is also burning fat 24/7.

If you think that keto could be the right diet for you, here is your grocery list and here’s a beginner’s guide to keto.

Intro to Whole30

If you know what Paleo diet is all about, grasping the concept of Whole30 will be very easy. However, if you’re not familiar with Paleo, here’s a short explanation. People who follow the Paleo diet, believe that our ancestors followed the correct diet and today’s modified foods led to many modern day diseases that didn’t exist in the past, such as diabetes.

That’s why, in order to make sure that they reduce risks of the modern diseases, they try to mimic eating habits of cavemen. That means that no processed foods are allowed. Simply imagine that you’re back to the Paleolithic era – the times of hunters. However, eating like a caveman in the modern world can be tough, so Paleo has become more flexible.

Yet, this is not the case when it comes to Whole30. Whole30 is more strict than Paleo. The diet lasts for 30 days, so it’s like a 30 days restart for your body. You have to eat only whole foods and completely eliminate any sugar, grains, alcohol, dairy, soy, legumes. Also, even natural sweeteners are forbidden during Whole30. So, you would have to say goodbye to honey and maple syrup.

In general, the Whole30 diet wasn’t created for weight loss. It’s considered more like a restart for your body and your mind.

Some people take it as a challenge and turn it into a fun activity. Some even challenge their friends to see, who has the stronger will power. Even if you take it for fun, giving your body a 30 day reset is a nice outcome.

Keto and Whole30 – What’s Similar?

Even though Keto and Whole30 seem like two completely different diets, there are quite a few similarities and benefits that are mutual for them.

Whole30 and Keto Similarities Food Wise

Eating whole foods is mutual for both, keto and Whole30. Actually, whole foods is the only foods that you can eat when following the Whole30 diet. When it comes to keto, it also suggests you to eliminate any processed foods. So, it doesn’t matter which diet you choose to follow, always pick the healthy, whole ingredients.

keto foods

Healthy fats – Whole30 is all about the whole foods and keto is all about the high fat foods. So, both diets focus on healthy, monounsaturated fats. These fats benefit the heart and doesn’t increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases. The main difference is that keto focuses on eating fats and according to Whole30 you can eat only the fats that were available back in Paleolithic era.

No processed sugar allowed – both diets are very similar to when it comes to sugar. However, in the Whole30 vs keto comparison, it is quite hard to tell whether keto or Whole30 is more liberal when it comes to sweet things.

When you’re on Whole30, you can’t eat even the natural sweeteners such as maple syrup or honey. So, any artificial sweeteners, of course, are off the table. In keto case, you can consume the amount of sugar that doesn’t exceed your daily carbohydrate limit. However, with Whole30 you can eat naturally sweet things, such as various fruit without having to think about exceeding any carbohydrate limit.

No to grains and legumes – both keto and Whole30 are against you eating any of these products. Yet, the reasons behind this restriction are quite different.

In terms of the Whole30 diet, back in the cavemen times, there simple were no grains and legumes, so they’re not included in the diet. Also, if we speak more scientifically, there are specific anti-nutrients in grains and legumes that are considered to work towards slowing down human metabolism and digestive system. On the contrary to various herbivores, human body doesn’t have the required enzymes to properly digest such foods.

When it comes to keto, the reasons of not eating legumes and grains is same to not eating sugar. Those foods are very rich in carbohydrates, so eating a lot of them could compromise your ketosis.

Keto and Whole30 Health Benefits

Possible weight loss – even though Whole30 wasn’t designed for weight loss, it’s one of the benefits that come with it. Many people around the world claim that they have lost a lot of weight during the 30 days of the diet(1). In terms of keto, it is quickly becoming one of the most popular diets all around the world as hundreds of thousands of people share their success stories with keto in the long term and in the short term.

Lowered various disease risks – not only did Whole30 and keto helped people all around the world lose weight, they could also have some positive impact on your health. Both types of eating could reduce the risks of diabetes and many cardiovascular diseases.

Better cognitive performance – Whole30 was designed as a restart for your mind. Naturally, many people who go through the diet notice that they’re mind has become clearer and that it’s easier to focus.

Whole30 vs Keto – What’s Different About Them?

Duration – Whole30 diet takes only 30 days. Keto, on the other hand has no specific duration foreseen. However, for many people, keto becomes sort of a lifestyle as it helps them lose a lot of weight and improves various health markers.

(Un)limited carbs – keto is a lot more strict in terms of carbs as you can only eat a specific amount per day in order to stay in ketosis. Whole30 on the other hand doesn’t limit the amount of carbs, it only limits the sources where the carbs come from. So, in general, keto is a bot more strict when it comes to carbs.

Goal – the goals of both diets are different. Whole30 aims to give your mind a 30 day restart. While keto is more about weight loss and other health benefits.

Macros – keto requires you to track your macros and try eating 70-80% of your daily calories from fat, 15-20% from protein and 5-10% from carbs.

Whole30 on the other hand does not focus on macronutrients and your goal is to eat only whole foods.

If you think that keto is the right diet for you – try our keto calculator to accurately track your macros.

Whole30 or Keto?

Just like with any other diets, when it comes to Whole30 vs keto diets, the better diet choice is the one that matches your goals. If you’re looking for some serious weight loss, then you should definitely choose keto, as it has proved to be successful. Also, it gives you more variety in terms of food choices.

Weight Loss

If you’re looking for a short term fun challenge to see how you could do without casual cheeseburgers and sweets – give Whole30 a chance. Since it lasts only 30 days, it’s a reasonable amount of time to test your will power and get healthy benefits of it. Maybe it the Whole30 diet will turn your life and eating habits around?

Keep in mind that the correct diet choice completely depends on your goals. What works for others might not necessarily work for you. Sometimes you even need to test several diets in order to find the one that sticks.

Whole30 vs Keto – Overview

Whole30 is a 30 day restart for your mind. The diet is very similar to Paleo. However, Whole30 is more strict as it doesn’t allow any natural sweeteners such as honey and maple syrup. The diet mimics the eating habits of cavemen, so processed foods become off limits.

Keto on the other hand, is a low carb and high fat diet. Keto limits your daily net carbs intake to a minimum. This way your body reaches ketosis – a metabolic state when it starts burning accumulated fat for energy.

What’s similar to Whole30 and keto is that both of them have similar health benefits. Such include better cognitive performance, weight loss, and reduced cardiovascular diseases risks.

What sets Whole30 and keto apart is duration: keto doesn’t have time limits, while Whole30 lasts 30 days, approach to carbs and the general goal of the diet itself.

Both diets are worth a try, as long as they match your needs.

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