Keto Diet or Intermittent Fasting: What's Best for Weight Loss?

It’s that time of year where many begin to shed their winter wear (and any remaining cold-weather weight). When it comes to dieting, it seems that everyone wants to know one thing: the easiest, quickest way to slim down.

GettyImages-176557074 Organic hamburgers are grilled at a outdoor Farmer's Market August 15, 2013, in Washington, DC. On the ketogenic diet, high fat meals, like burgers and cheese, are allowed. PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

Related: What Is Keto? Trendy Diet Allows for Plenty of Cheese and Fat

Intermittent fasting and ketogenics, the latest buzzy diets, have been hailed as weight loss wonders, with dieters losing upwards of 50 pounds on either plan. Both diets work by inducing ketosis, which is when the body burns fat for weight loss.

“There’s many ways to get into ketosis,” Dr. Jeffry Gerber, co-author of Eat Rich, Live Long, told Newsweek .

Gerber, who is also a clinician specializing in weight loss, said the ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting and reducing your calorie intake are the main strategies to get your body into fat burning mode.

GettyImages-891959570 Avocados photographed in a Target store in December 2017. The fruit is a good source of healthy fat for those following keto. Scott Olson/Getty Images

The keto diet is essentially a low carb, high fat, moderate protein plan. Gerber says most keto followers eat below 40 grams of carbohydrates per day, though some studies have shown that staying under 20 grams a day could offer better results. Protein intake is generally about half a gram per pound in body weight.

Those who can’t give up the carbs may feel more inclined to try intermittent fasting, which is essentially not eating for brief periods of time. Although there are various ways to fast, many opt to eat within an eight hour span, so from 12 to 8 p.m., or skipping breakfast.

When it comes to which is better for weight loss, Gerber doesn’t believe one outshines the other.

“They don’t compete with each other at all,” he said. Rather, he believes people can easily follow both.

“To me, the most success begins with a keto diet and you just naturally shift over to skipping meals if you’re not hungry.”

Studies have shown that keto can benefit diabetics as it helps maintain blood sugar levels, according to Gerber.

But registered dietitian Janelle Walter of Baylor University doesn’t approve of either for weight loss.

“It is not a good diet for health,” she told Newsweek in an email. “It is dehydrating, hard on the liver and kidney and does not supply carbohydrates to the brain and internal organs. It is the same as starving yourself because there are so few carbohydrates.”

Walter said fasting is fine if practiced short term. “Fasting is the same as starving yourself, and I never consider starving a good behavior to adapt unless you have no food to eat."

When it comes to losing weight, Walter believes in sticking with the basics: plenty of vegetables, small servings of meat, fruit, some dairy and complex carbs.