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Keto vs Paleo For Weight Loss – The 3 Big Differences

Keto? Paleo?

What’s the difference? How are they similar?

Most importantly: which one will work better for you? Is one of them going to help you lose more weight? Is one of them better for your overall health?

Well you’re in the right place to learn.

What is the Keto diet?

The Ketogenic Diet is a very low carb diet in which your body turns fat into ketones to be used as energy. Ketosis is a natural process the body uses for survival when food intake is lower. On this diet your meals are 70/80% fat, 20% protein; and approximately 5% carbohydrate.

When you do this type of diet certain things happen to your body:

  • Your metabolism speeds up
  • Your hunger goes away
  • Your muscle mass can increase
  • Your blood pressure and heart disease risk can decrease

Many benefits can be found from being on a keto diet, from weight loss to increased energy levels. Almost anyone can safely benefit from eating this type of low-carb, high-fat diet.

Other benefits include:

  • Control blood sugar
  • Improved focus
  • Treating epilepsy
  • Lowering cholesterol and blood sugar
  • Possible treatment of acne

What is the Paleo diet?

The Paleo Diet is designed around a caveman like or hunter-gatherer diet from thousands of years ago. By following a whole food-based diet and being physically active, presumably you can have lower rates of disease and several studies suggest that this can also lead to significant weight loss.

There is not one right way to do the paleo diet however a good starting point is…


  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Vegetables
  • Seeds
  • Healthy fats and oils


  • Processed foods
  • Sugar
  • Most Dairy
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Legumes

By following a Paleo diet you may experience these benefits:

  • Your diet will be free from additives and preservatives
  • There are anti-inflammatory benefits
  • By eating more red meat, you will get more iron
  • Many people lose weight

What is the easiest for short term and long term weight loss?

There are differences in these diets that make them good for both long and short term weight loss.

The Keto diet is a much stricter regime, simply too many nuts or anything that is not inline with the diet can knock you out of ketosis and cause you to lose no to little weight at all. If you want to make the Keto diet work for you, you must be most diligent and track your food intake correctly. Most people go in and out of ketosis because they have a hard time sticking with the diet.

For this very reason the Keto diet is usually a fad diet and while it may help you lose weight in the short term it is usually unattainable in the long run.

The Paleo diet however does not require you to maintain a state of ketosis, nor weigh your food or stay away from carbohydrates. Paleo, overall, is less work and does not require as much thought. It is often just seen as a way of life much like being vegetarian and this means it is generally an easier diet and great for long term weight loss and weight management.

The main differences

  1. A Keto diet focuses on raising your ketone levels while a Paleo diet focuses on the quality of the foods you consume.
  2. A Keto diet is typically lower in carbohydrates than a Paleo diet.
  3. A Keto diet is typically higher in fat than a Paleo diet.

Which is the best if you’re working out? Which provides the most energy?

While the Keto diets say to cut out the carbs that most of us rely on for energy, Paleo has no real limit to the amount of carbs you can eat when it comes to fruit and vegetables, such as squash and sweet potato. The diet as a whole allows for more flexibility in your choices and more options for getting a whole host of nutrients into your body on a daily basis.

So what is best?

Ultimately it is down to you! A diet is completely subjective and some diets work for some and not for others. It is important to decide for yourself however, here are some guidelines that may help you choose.

Choose Keto if:

  1. You need to lose a few pounds quickly
  2. You want to improve your focus and energy levels – this works through balancing blood sugar levels
  3. You have bad cravings for sweet, unhealthy junk food

Choose Paleo if:

  1. You want to change your lifestyle and do it within easy to follow guidelines
  2. You want a flexible diet that will fit in with a busy family or work life
  3. You want to clear up your digestive system and take on a more natural approach to dieting

Now that you know which is right for you, go ahead and get stuck in!

Scientific Citations

1. https://robbwolf.com/paleo-vs-keto/
2. https://www.ruled.me/benefits-ketogenic-diet/
3. https://share.upmc.com/2016/04/pros-cons-paleo-diet/

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