During my experiment I spent roughly 2 weeks at maintenance calories, 2 weeks in a deficit, and 2 weeks in a surplus.
In the first 2 days I lost 2kg of water weight, then my weight was more stable from that point.
Pros and Cons
Low carb diets tend to share the same pros and cons regarding aesthetics. One common complaint is looking flat. Each 1g of glycogen brings around 3-4g of water with it, and less glycogen in the muscle gives less fullness.
On the other end, low carb typically means low insulin and consequently lower water retention potential. Which can bring about better definition if water retention is an issue for you.
So if you prioritise looking full and bigger than you’d probably prefer how you look with higher carbs. If you prefer looking leaner low carb could suit.
I loved Keto for cutting. Not only was my appetite greatly reduced, I enjoyed the fact that when water retention is reduced and glycogen levels consistent it makes it easier to track your weight and other measurements. One of the biggest issues with any fat loss diet is battling hunger and cravings, this is where Keto really shines.
Keto was OK for maintenance calories, but it’ll depend on the individual. The appetite suppression could either been seen as a pro or con depending on your circumstances.
This is where Keto failed majorly for myself. Not only was it a struggle to get the required calories in, I also was putting on bodyfat much easier, especially around my midsection. This was double confirmed using body fat calipers. Call it bro science, but excess calories and high fat is not an ideal situation, Whether it’s the fact that your body can easily store excess calories from fat and / or an increase in inflammation.
Keto in my opinion is ideal while in a calorie deficit, and for those who need to make weight for a sport due to reducing water weight quick.
Currently I’m on a slow bulk for which Keto just does not work for me, and as such have gone back to a higher carb approach. However in the future I will be using Keto and Intermittent fasting for cutting cycles.
Varying periods of higher carbs (while bulking) with Keto (mini-cut) could be used to good effect. Not only will the mini cuts help keep body fat in check, but they can also give your digestive system a break and help with long-term insulin sensitivity.