These researchers were too interested in their sophisticated instruments for assessing body composition than to care about keto per se. Lol (Buechert et al., 2019)
Small study (n=12), duration was 6 weeks.
Keto diet was good and well-adhered to. Urinary ketones positive on 97% of the days. The "rules" were also good, simple: no processed foods, be aware of hidden carbs in stuff like gum, lunch meat, etc. Fruits and vege were fine as long as they were within the carb limits and we know that they were, because positive urinary ketones. They were allowed nuts and dark chocolate, too.
It wasn't supposed to be a weight loss study, but they all lost weight.
Weakness: no control group - only before/after comparisons.
"6-week non-energ-restricted ketogenic diet"
The all lost weight, mainly subcutaneous fat. Not liver fat? O_o
Liver fat is usually the first to go in an energy deficit. Seems that didn't happen here.
However, it was thought that insulin was a good guy, trying to store fat in the less unhealthy subcutaneous fat depots and away from visceral fat. This might be the case as evidenced here. And they used fairly sophisticated instruments to assess it.
All in all, fat mass was declining so I don't view this in a negative light.
The non-zealotry of the authors was in how some of the results were interpreted/expressed: eg, instead of focusing on keto-superpowers (talking about physical performance), they said "activities of daily living and training in the aerobic zone would not be impaired."
They did lose a bit of fat-free mass, but that is generally expected without either higher protein or resistance exercise. However, upon some rudimentary measurements, they were able to conclude that keto didn't affect muscle function negatively. Also, as expected.
Decent study (with the weaknesses noted above) - conclusion - lose some belly fat by not eating less or exercising more! Lol. Another tool in the toolbox.
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