How to lose weight with keto/ low carb/ Atkins diet

Melbourne weight loss and nutrition doctor Avi Charlton sitting at desk.

How to lose weight with a ketogenic diet (keto diet) or low carb diet

The Atkins diet is a low-carbohydrate eating plan developed by Dr. Robert Atkins in the 1960s. It focuses on reducing carbohydrate intake while emphasizing protein and fat consumption. The Atkins diet gained popularity for its potential to promote weight loss, especially in the initial stages due to its low-carbohydrate, high-protein, and high-fat nature. However, critics have raised concerns about its long-term sustainability, potential nutritional deficiencies, and effects on cardiovascular health due to the emphasis on saturated fats from animal sources.

In modern times, the keto diet (ketogenic diet) and low carb diets have gained popularity for weight loss.

The keto (or ketogenic diet) is typically under 20gm of carbohydrates. The primary goal is to achieve and maintain a state of nutritional ketosis, where the body produces ketones from fat breakdown for energy. This metabolic state is central to the effectiveness of the keto diet for weight loss and other health benefits.

The low carb diet is typically less than 50gm of carbohydrates. While some people may enter a mild state of ketosis on a low-carb diet, it’s not typically the primary goal. Instead, the focus is on reducing overall carbohydrate intake for various health benefits.

There are many benefits of low carb/ ketogenic (keto diets):

Weight Loss: Low-carb diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss, especially in the short term. By reducing carbohydrate intake, the body is forced to use stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss. Additionally, low-carb diets can help reduce appetite and calorie intake, further aiding weight loss efforts. With eating low carb, often belly fat can be burnt.

Improved Blood Sugar Control: Low-carb diets can be beneficial for individuals with insulin resistance, prediabetes, or type 2 diabetes. By reducing carbohydrate intake, blood sugar levels tend to stabilize, leading to improved insulin sensitivity and glycemic control.

Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Following a low-carb diet may help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in individuals who are overweight or obese. By promoting weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity, low-carb diets can help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Better Management of Metabolic Syndrome: Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Low-carb diets have been shown to improve several markers of metabolic syndrome, including high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and abdominal obesity.

Improved Cardiovascular Health: While the effects of low-carb diets on cardiovascular health are still debated, some studies suggest that they can lead to improvements in risk factors such as triglycerides, HDL cholesterol levels, and markers of inflammation.

Increased HDL Cholesterol: Low-carb diets have been shown to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, often referred to as “good” cholesterol. Higher levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.

Better Mental Health, Mental Clarity and Energy Levels: Some people report feeling more mentally alert and experiencing stable energy levels when following a low-carb diet, particularly once the body adapts to burning fat for fuel.

Reduced Cravings and Hunger: Low-carb diets can help reduce cravings for sugary and processed foods, leading to better appetite control and reduced calorie intake.

Improved Skin Health: Some individuals may experience improvements in skin conditions such as acne when following a low-carb diet, possibly due to reduced inflammation and stabilized blood sugar levels.

Reduce Inflammation: With reduced consumption of inflammatory foods, the ketogenic diets can often reduce inflammation, for example improve joint pains with arthritis and chronic pains. Ketones also have anti-inflammatory effects. Ketosis is also shown to improve oxidative stress and improve gut microbiota. Reducing fat from weight loss also contributes to reduced inflammation.

    1. Reduce Risk of Cancer: Cancer cells have a unique metabolic characteristic—they primarily rely on glucose (sugar) for energy due to their high rate of glycolysis, even in the presence of oxygen (known as the Warburg effect). By drastically reducing carbohydrate intake on the keto diet, blood glucose levels are lowered, potentially starving cancer cells and inhibiting their growth.

There are many trials under way for ketogenic diets, which may include improved fertility, improved fatty liver, mental health conditions such as schizophrenia. The evidence is emerging more and more conditions can be benefited by the ketogenic diet, not just weight loss and reduced belly fat.

  1.  Check out my blog on – Can Inflammation Cause Weight Gain?
  3. Organise an appointment to speak to me, to see if keto or low carb is right for you to lose weight

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