Truth about flexible dieting, paleo & keto diets

Truth about Flexible Keto & Paleo Diets - The ABS Gym - Personal Training Dublin

This is going to really make some people go absolutely nuts.

You know the kind of people I’m talking about, zealots that are hell-bent on making sure everybody knows what type of ‘diet’ they are on.

If you try and ask about it in a way that may shed some doubt on the efficacy of the diet in question they whip out pictures of some intagram person with a nice set of abs who says it is the best diet ever.

Well, lets get something straight. That person probably doesn’t know their a*se from their elbow. Neither does the instagram ‘celebrity’. 🙂

Any diet, regardless of what the premise is, MUST create a caloric deficit. It simply must.

Eating unlimited amounts of anything and expecting to lose weight is simply impossible.

Certain foods may make you feel fuller for longer, and as a result – you eat less overall calories. Still a deficit.

A calorie deficit is ALWAYS why a diet works.

Flexible dieting

“Flexible dieting” sounds like, “you can eat whatever you like, once your calories are lower than the amount you need”. Correct.

What you need to take into consideration is, if you eat adequate amounts of protein and decent fats to help prevent muscle loss and maintain health, the remainder of calories left for pringles and ben and jerry’s is fairly low. (I’ll put an example calculation at the end of this post.)

Paleo diet

Paleo sounds like it should be healthy. Raw, fresh food…sounds great for you, right?


There are so many points I could rant about but ill just mention a few.

1. It tastes like crap eating raw foods. It just does. Those of you who say it tastes good are lying, in denial, or both.
2. You body cannot fully break down raw foods. Brain size and development of intellligence in human evolution corrolates heavily with the invention of fire and cooking. I hate causation/ correllation type arguements but this one is too obvious to ignore. Cooking is a form of processing that renders the food’s nutrients more bioavailable and therefore more nutritious.
3. If you can actually stick to a paleo diet you will lose weight. The fact that the nutrients cannot be extracted leaves you, the eater, with very little available energy and therefore you lose weight. Probem is, you will crack and go to the local takeaway and eat everything.
4. Did I mention it tastes like crap?

Keto diet

Keto is actually one of my favourite ‘way of eating’.

Notice the way I said, ‘Way of eating’ an not ‘Diet’.

It is just tastier and handier, in my opinion. You are almost guaranteed to get enough protein and nutrients in per day eating this way because a lot of carbohydrate-based foods are fairly nutrient-less.

That’s not to say that it’s the best way. It just suits my lifestyle, for the most part.

I find it easier to lose weight in this type of diet too because if you are eating steak, eggs, bacon etc. These are all very satiating foods and the chances of you being hungry after eating them is very slim.

As diets go, they all have their uses but being called diets is just not correct. They are ways of eating. In order for them to classify as a weight loss ‘diet’ or muscle gain ‘diet’ the calories and nutrients must align themselves with the goal.

I.e. Eating a keto style ‘diet’ and eating less calories than you require will result in weight loss. Eating a keto style ‘diet’ and eating too many calories will result in weight gain. The same is true for any diet.

None of them, not one, is the holy grail of diets. The diet that works is the one that suits you, your taste- buds and your lifestyle.

So stop believing all of the nonsense out there pertaining to nutrition and weight loss because most of it is absolute nonsense.


Bryan Kavanagh BSc. CSCS

P.S.As promised, here’s the

Flexible Diet Calculation

Flexible dieting works best for maintenance diets but it can also be used for weight loss fairly successfully with a little bit of rearranging calories..

The only reason I don’t advocate it more is because people start thinking they can just nail donuts ad lib and never gain weight once they’ve have some vegetables.

Here’s how it works… Let’s say, to make the calculation easier for me, you are 100kg. Approximately 2400 kcal allowance for the day for maintenance.

Then you have 2.5-3 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.

[3g x 100 (body weight)] x 4(amount of kcals per gram) =1200kcals

Then you’ve got some healthy fats. 0.7-1g /kg bodyweight approximately.

0.7g x 9 (amount of kcals per gram of fat) = 630kcals

1200 + 630 =1830

So this person has approximately 400 kcals to play around with if they are maintaining weight.

BUT… if the person wants to lose weight… Subtract that magic number of 500kcals per day and you’re back to square one.

*Now, I know that there is protein in ‘cheat’ food too. This is a very simplified version just to illustrate the point. Don’t bother getting out the calculators and emailing me back.