A while back, we stacked the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide-to-keto/">**ketogenic diet**</a> against the Atkins diet, another popular low-carb nutritional approach. Our <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/atkins-vs-keto-a-side-by-side-comparison//">**side-by-side comparison**</a> showed that the two diets have a lot in common and come with a ton of benefits like weight loss and improved health.
But we also saw how both miss the mark when it comes something important: <i>sustainability</i>. For long-term success, it’s important that your nutritional approach be something you can easily follow.
In this article, we’re going to dissect another debate: the ketogenic diet vs. the paleo diet, or <i>keto vs. paleo</i>. You may already know that both diets encourage eating a lot of high-quality unprocessed foods. But what else do you know? Is paleo sustainable? Is it more or less sustainable than keto? Can one help you lose weight or <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com">**transform your body**</a> faster than the other?
And if we conclude that paleo, like keto and Atkins, falls short of sustainability, what other approaches are there?
In this article, we’ll unpack it all: the keto diet, the paleo diet, keto vs. paleo, and the sustainable, fat-burning diet plan our coach Tyler created that we think beats both—the 14-Day Diet.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The Ketogenic Diet</p></h4>
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein diet. Keto dieters eat about 70 percent of their daily calories from quality fat sources like avocado and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com">**coconut oil**</a>. The goal of the diet is to enter <i>ketosis</i>, where your body starts burning fat as its primary fuel source. On keto, you’ll eat around fifty grams of carbohydrates per day.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Benefits of Keto</p></h5>
The ketogenic diet is renowned for its ability to help people lose lots of weight fast. Entering ketosis turns your body into a fat-burning machine.
Keto also encourages you to eat plenty of fat. Scores of nutrition gurus from the seventies and eighties would roll over in their graves if they knew this; after all, the “fat makes you fat” mantra wasn’t even challenged until about fifteen years ago when these diets got popular.
On the ketogenic diet, you’re encouraged to eat <i>lots</i> of tasty, healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, coconut oil; even bacon is okay, at least sometimes.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Drawbacks of Keto</p></h5>
Keto’s greatest gift is also its greatest curse. Fast weight loss is possible, but if you don’t plan for the long-term, you may gain it all back. The restrictions on certain types of food, especially carbs, make it hard to call keto a lifestyle.
There’s no reason you can’t stay in ketosis all the time; benefits like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/can-ketosis-reduce-inflammation/">**reduced inflammation**</a> and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function/">**increased brain function**</a> may even make it desirable. But if you’d like to eat the occasional donut, pastry, or whatever you like, keto’s food restrictions make it challenging.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The Paleo Diet</p></h4>
The paleo diet is based on eating foods that our ancestors (hunter-gatherers) would have eaten. Meats, eggs, veggies, fruits, and nuts are staples of the paleo diet. Like keto, many studies have shown paleo to be an effective way to lose weight and make improvements to your health <sup>1</sup>.
You’ll eat more carbs on paleo than keto—or at least, you can if you want to. There’s no restriction on any of the three macronutrients in this diet. In fact, Dr. Loren Cordain, the creator of the paleo diet, insists that the healthiest approach is to <a target="_blank" href="https://thepaleodiet.com/forget-the-macronutrient-ratios-you-are-what-you-were-designed-to-eat/">**not count macros**</a>. For those that do, they report eating between 100 to 150 grams of carbohydrates per day.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Benefits of Paleo</p></h5>
Paleo, like keto, helps people lose weight and improve health. It has been scientifically proven to ward off things like cardiovascular disease and diabetes<sup>2</sup>.
Paleo encourages more carbs than the ketogenic diet as long as you’re eating real food. If you have a sweet tooth, being able to eat an apple or orange without feeling like you’ve gone off track might be a plus.
Paleo even offers suggestions for your ‘cheat’ meals. Calling them ‘sensible indulgences,’ they give you the okay to have a glass of red wine or piece of dark chocolate from time to time<sup>3</sup>.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Drawbacks of Paleo</p></h5>
One of the knocks on the paleo diet is, again, restriction of food choices. You can eat more carbs than with keto, but limiting dairy, grains, and all unprocessed foods is a difficult thing to do long-term.
Even though they give you indulgence ideas, they don’t promote drinking red wine or eating chocolate daily (I know, we’re bummed, too).
You may find, like keto or Atkins, the paleo diet is difficult to sustain after you’ve initially lost weight or made improvements to your health.
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Keto vs. Paleo: Similarities and Differences</p></h4>
The similarities in the keto vs. paleo debate can be summed up using two words: <i>real foods</i>.
The differences help us bridge the gap to another option and something we’re really excited to share with you.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Similarities</p></h5>
On keto and paleo, you’ll eat a lot of ‘real’ foods like meat, vegetables, fish, and eggs. Both diets eliminate grains and added sugars. And they’re both scientifically proven to help people lose weight and improve health.
Unfortunately, perhaps the biggest similarity to point out is that keto and paleo may not be sustainable long-term. It’s tough to consider life without our favorite foods. In the keto vs. paleo debate, this is a drawback of both diets.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Differences</p></h5>
In the keto vs. paleo debate, there are some differences. Here are two:
<li> You can eat more carbohydrates on the paleo diet—between fifty and one hundred grams per day. You don’t have to count macros on either diet, but if you did, you’d see about a 20 percent increase in carbs from keto to paleo.</li>
<li> Paleo strives to be sustainable, telling users they can indulge in red wine and dark chocolate. Keto takes another approach: they try to keep even their tastiest indulgences as low-carb as they can (we have some <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/"><b>great recipes</b></a> on this site).</li>
Understand: there’s nothing wrong with keto-approved desserts, red wine, or chocolate. But the truth is, sustainability is about empowering people to make their own choices. Keto and paleo, in their own ways, fall short of this.
Now, we’re ready to talk about a diet that gives you true flexibility: the 14-Day Diet.
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<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">The 14-Day Diet: The Perfect Balance</p></h4>
After ten years of coaching people to amazing body transformations, Coach Tyler came up with a nutritional approach that helps people lose weight <i>and</i> still enjoy their favorite foods.
It’s called the 14-Day Diet, and here’s the premise: Eat real foods <i>most</i> of the time. Schedule in the times you’ll go off your diet. And most importantly, don’t feel bad about it—know you earned it!
The 14-Day Diet consists of three simple rules:
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Rule #1: Eat Fat-Burning Foods Most of the Time</p></h5>
The 14-Day Diet believes that keto and paleo have it (mostly) right: that eating real foods like green vegetables, lean meats, eggs, fish, and healthy fats is the key to a healthy body and losing weight.
If this strategy trended towards one diet, it would be the ketogenic diet. Ketosis is such a powerful tool for weight loss that we want to maximize our body’s potential to shed body fat while we are eating clean.
For twelve days at a time on the 14-Day Diet Plan, you’ll eat real, fat-burning foods.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Rule #2: Boost your Metabolism with Intermittent Cheat Days</p></h5>
Oh, but how sweet life will be after twelve days of healthy eating. On day thirteen of the 14-Day Diet, you’re free to eat however you want—and yes, that means carbs, too!
The first reason for this is simple but deserves repeating: you’ve earned it. After twelve days of eating clean, you’ve given your body ample time to burn body fat and heal itself. The truth is, one day out of thirteen is not going to derail twelve days of hard work.
The second reason might surprise you: there are plenty of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVVR-LyMOBA">**benefits to a cheat day**</a>. They include increased energy, higher metabolism, and the psychological benefits of eating whatever you want that aren’t present in rigid protocols like paleo or keto.
Plus, some pasta with dinner or a donut with breakfast will give your muscles a glycogen boost when you hit the gym on day fourteen.
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Rule #3: Intermittent Fasting (a.k.a., Our Secret Ingredient)</p></h5>
On the final day of your fourteen-day cycle, you’ll add the ‘secret ingredient’ for success to this diet: <i>intermittent fasting</i> (IF).
IF on day fourteen is the perfect time for your body to ‘detox’ from yesterday’s gluttony. Plus, fasting, or periodically entering starvation mode, is beneficial for your health<sup>4</sup>. It helps regulate blood sugar, burns fat, decreases inflammation, and even ward off diseases like cancer.
Perhaps best of all (at least to us) is that fasting reduces <i>ghrelin</i>, the hormone responsible for feeling hunger sensations. How about <i>that</i> for getting back into the swing of things? You’ll be set up for success in your new fourteen-day cycle.
IF doesn’t have to be an all-day thing. Sixteen hours is enough to reap the benefits of fasting and to shake off the effects of your intermittent cheat day. And yes, sleep hours count (yep, we’re thankful, too).
<h4><p style="color: rgba(20, 117, 135, 1)">Wrapping Up</p></h4>
Many popular diets these days share one thing in common: restriction. Not eating junk food will help you lose weight and get healthy, but when you restrict your favorite foods indefinitely, it’s difficult to imagine a restrictive diet working for you forever.
The word you should keep in mind for nutrition is this: sustainability. That’s the key to long-term success on any diet. Paleo, keto, and even the Atkins diet will all help you with weight loss and getting healthy. But they may not work for you forever. That’s why we encourage you to find something sustainable. That way, you can keep the weight off for good.
Here’s where you can learn more about the 14-Day Diet and get your hands on thirty-seven fat-burning keto recipes, too. Are you ready to have cheat days <i>and</i> transform your body?
<h5><p style="color: #000000">Resources</p></h5>
1. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu">The Paleo Diet</a>
2. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu">5 Studies on The Paleo Diet</a>
3. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/paleo-diet-meal-plan-and-menu">The Paleo Diet</a>
4. <a target="_blank" href="https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/fasting-benefits">8 Health Benefits of Fasting</a>