Low-Carb, Paleo and Keto–What’s the Difference?

There are SOOOOO many recipes and websites that talk about keto. but I found on my journey that some websites talked about paleo, low-carb and keto being the same.

Atkins (Low-Carb)

This way of eating was created by a physician for overweight patients that reduced the amount of sugar and carbohydrates in their diets

I was on this diet years ago and I had AMAZING results. I lost 50 or more pounds. It was great. I was also strict with what I ate. My only difficulty was being able to maintain that way of eating. I was on what was called, phase 1 for months. Keeping track of 20 carbs a day was hard for me.But you are supposed to move through the four phases to maintain that way of eating.

When you begin, there are foods like corn, sugar, white flour, rice, –anything overly process that is white is to be avoided, as well as grains. Bread, donuts, and even at the beginning of eating certain fruits and vegetables, that is to be avoided as well. You can have meat, cheese, butter and dairy on this diet.

With Atkins, you don’t have to count calories. You count the number of carbs allowed in a day. In Phase one, that was 20 carbs a day. Phase 2 25-50 carbs a day, Phase 3 between 50-80 carbs a day and lastly, phase 4, which is the maintenance stage (where you keep your weight as it is) from 80-100 carbs.

Also, each phase is to be entered dependent upon how far away from your weight goal you are! (Which I had no goals for my weight, so I did not continue success in this area of my life).

For me, I stood on Atkins for about a year after but became bored with just eggs and bacon. But then I realized that I have a sensitivity towards dairy with becoming congested. Then the weight started coming back on for me because I did not follow through with the inductions. But I also wanted to find a way to eat healthy without incorporating a ton of processed food. This is when I went to try Paleo.


Paleo is when you go back to eating the way “Cavemen” did. You can eat most fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood. You can have eggs and even sweet potatoes! (My favorite)! Oils you could have are coconut oil & olive oil. It is encouraged to eat organic, pasture-raised or grass-fed meat. I got them from my local supermarket.

Sticking with no processed foods, beans, white sugars, flours (no bread), grains, most dairy products, artificial sweeteners, fruit drinks, and sodas.

I was ALSO on this diet. This was the last diet I was on before transitioning to Keto. I was on it for a year. I never kept track of how much of one thing I was eating. I just ate when I felt hungry and fasted in the mornings. My transition to Paleo was not bad because the week before I began tapering off eating sugary carbs, until I was not consuming it anymore. It was a way I could get my body to adapt rather than put it into shock. I lost 35 lbs and felt satisfied with what I was eating.

My treat on Paleo included dark chocolate. I am not on Paleo, but this was (and still is) one of my favorites.


Ketogenic (AKA, Keto)

This particular way of eating originated from a physician in the 1920’s that developed a diet for children that had Epilepsy. This diet assisted children in having a significant amount of reduction in seizures.

The diet is very similar to Atkins (low carb) – You avoid all white sugar, flour (no bread), rice and stick with more whole foods, such as low sugar fruits like berries, cantaloupes, apples, vegetables, and meat. It is a higher fat diet. So, it is encouraged to have more butter, cream, and cheese. **If you have an allergy to dairy, you can swap some things out (That I will put on a later post). I love butter but I swap out things like cream cheese in my recipes with greek yogurt instead.

I came across this diet from reading about it in a book about Epilepsy and decided to put myself and my daughter on this diet so we could both be healthy.

It is HIGHLY recommended to not making any major plans when you start this. If you have the ability to start it the day before your off from work or on a Thursday, do it. Why? Because when you are adapted to eating carbs—heavy on carbs like I was, you will go through this thing called, “Keto Flu”.

Keto flu is simply your body going back to a super way to burn fat (Ketosis) and you might experience some dehydration, headaches, fatigue and even mood swings. I did mine on a Tuesday and it lasted 3 days. During those days you will feel terrible. Sorry! Allow yourself to just adapt to that way of eating. Don’t even think about exercising. Just focus on the diet and eating the keto way. What did I do? I slept. I drank bone broth and it alleviated the headache I had. It was more like a never-ending migraine. For three days I endured it and by the fourth day, I felt way better. I was able to begin light exercising.

So there you have it. Those are the basic differences between all three! I could go into more detail with each one but I did not want to overwhelm you with a ton of facts.

Make sure to check out recipes I tried from different websites! I put my own spin on some of them all while taking into consideration simplicity, quality of products and cost of products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *