Is Keto Good to Lose Belly Fat and Sustain the Loss?

what is the keto diet

The Keto diet has been proclaimed highly in recent years for it’s ‘claimed’ ability to help us to lose weight – and belly fat. With millions worldwide suffering not only from obesity (which typically includes belly fat), we need to ascertain if keto is good to lose belly fat and sustain the loss. As our overall health is connected to our belly fat (visceral vs subcutaneous) we need to understand if and how the keto diet can actually help us to lose this fat. In this article we discuss the numerous processes involved in burning belly fat and compare those with the alleged benefits of the keto diet in reducing abdominal fat permanently.

Is keto good to lose belly fat and sustain the loss?

Is Keto Good to Lose Belly Fat and Sustain the Loss?” Belly fat is typically the first place our bodies deposit fat as a reserve energy source for when we need the extra energy after a period of fasting or prolonged stress. Abdominal fat is also the first type of fat we seek to lose so is a very low carb ketogenic diet good to lose the belly fat and sustain the loss?

Before we decide “is keto good to lose belly fat and sustain the loss?”, we need to understand what belly fat is, how it is caused and how the keto diet helps us to lose it.

What Causes Belly Fat?

The abdominal area (or belly) is typically the first place our bodies store excess fat. Excess fat is typically caused through a diet of excess carbs with a low beneficial nutrient intake. Stress, in its many forms, causing an increase in cortisol. Cortisol tells the brain to store more fat and typically stores the fat around the abdomen. By reducing the stresses incurred, cortisol production is reduced permitting the body to consume the stored fat.

the Keto diet helps reduce belly fat by avoiding the high carb intake and cortisol that causes belly fat

Causes and Types of Belly Fat.

Belly fat is caused by an excess of carbohydrates stored as fat. Alternatively, increased stress causes an increase in the hormone Cortisol which tells the brain to store fat – typically in the abdominal area.

Subcutaneous belly fat covers the outside of the abdominal muscles (abs) while Visceral fat lies hidden behind the abdominal muscles

The Ketogenic (Keto) Diet is a superb way to lose stomach fat and sustain the loss.
Here’s why..

Lose Belly Fat with a Low Carbohydrate Intake

Being a low carb / high fat diet with more beneficial dietary influence from healthful foods, the keto diet limits the volume of carbohydrates to what the
body actually needs – not what you want to feed it. This is crucial in understanding how any effective weight loss diet really works. This minimal supply of carbohydrates is purely to provide enough carbohydrates for electrolyte manufacturing and use (electrolytes aid in hydration of the cells) and a small amount of energy from the carbohydrates being converted into glucose for use by the muscles as an immediate fuel source.

What Carbs are Allowed on the Keto Diet?

There are essentially 2 types of carbohydrates we can consume – refined and natural carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are essentially processed carbohydrates that are manufactured from raw vegetables.

Refined Carbohydrates and the Keto Diet

Processed Sugars wether they originate from sugar beet or sugar canes are a from of refined carbohydrates. While they can make our food tasty, these sugars are pure carbohydrate with little goodness in them.

Processed sugars (as with natural sugars found in sweet fruits) pose a serious threat to our physiological health. Sugars interfere with our natural physiological processes and cause weight gain aswell as other health problems. Sugar “triggers your liver to store fat and cause fatty liver disease, heart disease and plays havoc with cholesterol levels. Sugar is linked with Alzheimers disease” [1]

Sugars should be reduced/omitted from any diet – not just the keto diet.

Natural Sources of Carbohydrates

Many root vegetables are naturally high in starches (a form of carbohydrate). Potatoes (including sweet potatoes), swede, turnips are naturally high in starch. Being a carbohydrate these vegetables need to be eliminated from the keto diet in order to reduce the high volume of carbohydrates they introduce into our system. By reducing the volume of natural carbohydrates (and starches) we can begin to reduce the excess storage of belly fat.

Natural carbohydrates from potatoes

Carbohydrate / Starch Rich Potatoes.

Potatoes are a staple food item in many cultures yet contain high levels of starch (a form of carbohydrate) which contributes to the excess fat storage and obesity. Starches are found in numerous root vegetables.

While they contain essential vitamins and minerals, the high level of starch causes excess weight gain through fat deposits. This fat storage counteracts the fat burning processes in the ketogenic diet.

Peaches contain high levels of natural sugars - carbohydrates that actively cause us to store fat.

Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Other Sweet Fruits

Sweet fruits like peaches, nectarines, apricots, apples, mango, etc are naturally high in beneficial micro-nutrients AND Fructose – a natural sugar. While natural sugars do not cause the sugar spikes refined sugars cause, they still add a large amount of carbohydrate into our system. Sugar also causes numerous other health issues (as mentioned in “Refined Carbohydrates on the Keto Diet”.


Delicious and juicy (esp with a drizzle of butter on) sweetcorn has become a staple of many diets. However, sweetcorn contains starch. Sweetcorn, the main ingredient of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has been identified by research scientists as a primary cause of health problems.

Forensic archeologists have also connected the demise of the Aztecs to the introduction of corn into their diet from European explorers. Corn has also been shown to cause tooth decay and increase the risk of osteoporosis and weight gain.

Switching from a carb burning system to a fat burning system allows the body to actually burn off the excess fats. As the abdominal area is the first place the body stores fat, it is typically the first place the body burns fat from.

Lose Belly Fat with Keto’s Fat Burning System

Here we look at the actual mechanism of the keto diet to understand how the keto diet actively helps us to burn belly fat. Firstly take a look at this video by Jesse Chappus of “The Ultimate Health Podcast” as he interviews world re-knowned Dr Steven Gundry on how the keto diet helps us burn belly fat.

The Keto eating regimen reduces the fat saved in the fats cells and turns the body into a fat burning system. During the 1st week the low carb regime reduces water retention in the cells causing an initial weight reduction. By draining the cells of excess water, it allows the skin to firm up to its former, healthier state.

The improved nutritional ratios then encourages the body to release more fats stored in the belly area, thereby causing a cascade effect of fat burning from the previously engorged fats cells.

This then causes fast weight loss (esp belly fat loss) and the dietary conditioning that forms the essence of the weight loss plan retrains you into healthful ingesting behavior which cause long term sustainable weight loss.

Sustain the Weight Loss with Healthy Eating

In order to lose weight naturally using a weight loss diet, you will need to make changes to your diet in favour of beneficial fats, proteins and micronutrients. Carbohydrates, while essential, are required in minimal volume. Excess carbs (as mentioned previously, only serve to provide a fat reserve. A fat reserve that builds as you progress through your excess consumption of carbohydrates. More-so, the typical daily western diet incorporates high amounts of refined carbs. By eliminating these refined carbs and the excess natural carbs, the keto diet will help you sustain the weight loss.

Healthy low-carb, high micronutrient nutrient meals boost long-term weight loss on the keto diet

Sustainable Weight Loss with Healthy, Low Carb Meals

Meals low in carbohydrates are the mainstay of the keto diet. Meat (including bacon) is a good source of fats, proteins, and minerals. Red meat supplies the essential Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 boosts the function of Folate (folic acid) which helps provide the energy you need for everyday life in addition to maintaining DNA and RNA quality.

The Keto Diet helps you change your nutritional intake to a more effective source of nutrients: fats, proteins, and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). It is the increase in micronutrients that will boost your body’s natural fat-burning systems. This then teaches you what foods to consume to keep the fat cells down in size resulting in a leaner, healthier body.

Learning how to eat what you need, teaches you the process of long-term healthful eating to hold your weight right down to a healthy size.

Fats And Saturated Fats

Fats and Saturated fat have been shown (through extensive scientific research) to aid in weight reduction via many physiological process. The keto weight loss program encourages the body to use fats as a source of energy. These fats assist to

  • Improve our metabolism
  • Boost lung health and improve the cellular membranes
  • Increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals increase metabolism and energy release reducing fat storage.
  • Fats have also been shown to increase satiety in your meals reducing the cravings for more, unnecessary foods further boosting your initial weight loss and sustainable weight loss.

Improved Sleep

Sleep and especially “good sleep” is vital to our overall health and fitness. Sleep is our body’s way of “shutting down for maintenance”. During this time our bodies can perform the daily repair and re-invigorate process ready for the next day. Without good sleep our bodies continue to work and can become overstressed resulting in higher levels of cortisol running through our systems causing fat storage amongst other issues.

is keto good to lose belly fat and sustain the loss? Healthy sleep boosts overall wellness with increased energy levels and our fat burning potential.

By engaging in the healthy eating protocol on the keto diet, our bodies can ingest all the essential vitamins and minerals we need including the essential amino acids Tryptophan (used to help create serotonin – a neurotransmitter that regulates appetite sleep and mood) and Hystidine (another neurotransmitter vital for immune system, sexual function and sleep-wake cycles).

In a study of 324 women “a very low-calorie keto diet did lead to better slumber for participants in the study. After 31 days, they reported significant improvements across all measurements of sleep quality, which was generally linked to weight loss and other weight-related factors.” [2]

Another “study on the effects of keto found that adhering to this eating plan helped reduce daytime sleepiness in a group of obese patients. Previous studies have found similar results, along with increases to REM sleep.” [3]

There are many neurological and nutrient pathways within the human body. Many of these pathways are activated when participating in a ketogenic diet – pathways that are known to modulate sleep-wake cycles, circadian rhythms, and sleep stages.[4]

Science shows us that a healthy diet (including the ketogenic diet) can consistently improve our sleep patterns which in turn can improve other aspects of our lives.

Intermittent Fasting on the Keto Diet

Is Keto Good to Lose Belly Fat and Sustain the Loss?

With it’s low carb, high nutrition content, the Keto diet is a great diet to help you lose belly fat. By reducing the excess carbohydrate intake and introducing more beneficial nutrients (vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, amino acids and phytonutrients) the keto diet can increase your fat burning potential.

By also introducing intermittent fasting (12-15 hr window between last meal of the day and first meal the following day) to induce ketosis we can elevate our fat burning potential further.

Is keto good to lose the belly fat and sustain the loss?

Hope this helps you understand how the keto diet works and the question “Is Keto good to lose belly fat and sustain the loss?”

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References and Citations

  1. 7 Hidden Side Effects of Sugar”
  2. Study Shows Keto Diet Can Help You Sleep Better”
  3. How the Keto & Paleo Diets Affect Sleep”
  4. The therapeutic properties of ketogenic diets, slow-wave sleep, and circadian synchrony” Pubmed.ncbi