Layne Norton and Dom D'Agostino recently appeared together on an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience. Dom advocated for a low carb, ketogenic diet while Layne argued for the benefits of a higher carb, flexible diet. Both men cited studies and personal anecdotes that supported their claims, but like all diet debates, it ended without any conclusion. I am going to test both of these diets myself to determine which works better for me.
Both men agreed that the most significant factor for losing weight would be restricting your calories. From my experience with the carnivore diet, I can guarantee that calorie restriction is not the only factor when it comes to fat loss since I ate way more calories than I would on a typical diet. However, Layne claims that restricting fat consumption will have a slight advantage for weight loss when compared with limiting carbs. This advantage would only equate to about 26 grams of extra body fat lost each day, so you are better off choosing whichever diet you prefer to follow. In his opinion, adopting the diet that you like better will likely lead to greater adherence over the course of a lifetime.
Adherence to the diets and the discipline required to maintain them are the crux of the argument throughout the three-hour conversation. Dom believes that the Keto diet is easier for the average individual to maintain while Layne cites studies that show no difference in adherence between the diets.
But Joe brings up a question that brings the debate far beyond just body composition. He asks whether a ketogenic diet would be better for people pursuing athletic endeavors. Again, Dom believes there is a place for a Ketogenic amongst athletes while Layne argues the opposite. Dom says that once an athlete becomes keto-adapted it should not impede their performance. Additionally, the ketogenic reduces inflammation which enhances recovery and allows keto-adapted athletes to recover better than they otherwise would.
To this, Layne responds that there is an optimal level of inflammation that you would like to have as an athlete. Some inflammation is required for muscle's to grow and build strength while too much impairs recovery and limits the frequency and volume at which you can train. The optimal level of inflammation will depend on whether you are in the midst of a competition where you don't care about getting stronger and are only concerned with your day to day performance compared to in an off-season where you are more concerned with growth and improvement than your day to day performance.
They touch on the cognitive benefits that keto advocates proclaim. Joe and Dom both say they have experienced cognitive benefits from entering ketosis, but Layne contends that this could be a placebo effect. Dom cites studies that demonstrate there is some validity to the claims of superior cognitive function on the ketogenic diet but the results of this conversation are far from conclusive.
That is why I am testing both of these diet's myself. I am measuring my strength, body composition, blood work, and productivity before and after each diet. This way, I can determine how each diet affected my athletic performance, cognitive performance, body fat, and hormone levels. If you are interested in seeing the results of this diet, then follow along and I will keep you updated.