How To Start Intermittent Fasting
There is more than one way to start intermittent fasting, which is great because everybody is different. The key is to experiment and listen to your body to see what works best for you.
Here are some of ways to get started:
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period and fast the rest of the time.
- One meal a day : Also known as eating once a day. You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- Alternate Day Fasting: You alternate fasting on certain days of the week: a day of eating normally, followed by a day eating 25% of your typical daily calories. A study found that obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule lost up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
If intermittent fasting causes fatigue or other negative side effects, try fasting just once or twice a week, and build up from there.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider or dietitian to determine whats best for you. If you struggle with healthy eating patterns or dieting behaviors, intermittent fasting may not be for youand thats totally okay. There are many different ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is just one style of eating that works for some people, and doesnt work for others.
Dr Merrills Top Tips For Intermittent Fasting
I want to give a couple of quick answers to a lot of questions that were getting about intermittent fasting. This is a diet we recommend, and we typically just steer people out the door with intermittent fasting. Go find the resources that you like, that you can understand, that youre going to stick to. When youre in the fasting state, remember that you can drink water, tea, and black coffee. All three of those things are good for reducing hunger, so its recommended that you drink them when youre in that fasting state.
You can eat whatever you want, but its better to be healthy. During that eight hour period, we still recommend lean meats, a lot of vegetables and foods, limited dairy, maybe a little bit of grains, but a diet based on lean meats and vegetables is going to be best for you in the long run. So during that eight hour period, if you can stick to that, youre going to be better off for it.
The last thing that I get is some patients come back, and theyre like, Well, how do I start? Where do I start? What do I do? And the answer is: just jump right in. Out of those methods that I just mentioned and just talked about, you can jump right in with whichever one of those sounds the best to you. So if you typically skip breakfast anyways, try and fit it into that. Skip breakfast, just do lunch and dinner, and get into that eight hours and then dont eat anything in the other 16 hours, and youre good.
CAVEAT FOR KETO AND INTERMITTENT FASTING DIETS
So Can You If Without Keto
You can implement intermittent fasting with keto or ANY other diet you choose to follow.
However, keto may allow some people to adhere to an intermittent fasting protocol easier due to the appetite-suppressing effects of a ketogenic diet, so you would have to try for yourself.
Intermittent fasting or time-restricted eating is just a method of eating that is convenient for some individuals or allows them to adhere to a caloric deficit, regardless of foods eaten.
A caloric deficit is the overlying determining factor whether you lose weight or not despite what other keto gurus may lead you to believe.
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Will You Lose Muscle On Omad
When you lose weight, the goal shouldn’t be ONLY to lose weight, but to lose fat.
Losing muscle can lead to a variety of negative consequences, but within the context of weight loss, it just means your metabolic rate will be slower.
There’s also a higher chance you’ll not have the physique you had imagined once you do lose the weight.
Therefore, one must be mindful and aim to preserve as much muscle tissue when dieting as possible.
Whether you lose muscle on OMAD is primarily determined on a few key factors, those being:
- How fast you’re losing weight
- How much protein youre eating 5https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26883880
- Proper stimulus
- How lean you are
- Lifestyle factors 6https://annals.org/aim/article-abstract/746184/insufficient-sleep-undermines-dietary-efforts-reduce-adiposity?volume=153& issue=7& page=435
There’s a little more wiggle room when it comes to intermittent fasting or OMAD and weight loss.
However, if muscle GAIN is a priority, you could gain muscle doing OMAD, but it wouldn’t be the most optimal way to do so.
If You Are On The Keto Diet You Might Be Thinking Jeez This Is Already Hard Enough
I mean, the keto diet is generally restrictive, since youre slashing carbs and bulking up on fats, and theres a lot of precision and counting that goes into keeping track of macronutrients and staying in ketosis.
While its growing in popularity, the true benefits of keto fasting are still questionable and the challenge of combing the two may not be worth it. Not only do you have to monitor everything youre eating, your macronutrient requirements, and your ketosis levels throughout the day but now youre also balancing the timing of it all.
Yet there has been great buzz about the benefits of doing intermittent fasting in terms of promoting weight loss, having greater energy and sleep, and stabilizing blood sugar.
Why is keto fasting becoming popular?
Also Check: What To Expect Intermittent Fasting
Can You Lose Weight Without A Calorie Deficit
When people talk about intermittent fasting, they often mention that you dont have to count calories. Thats true! However, thats not to say that you dont need a calorie deficit to lose weight. What most likely happens is that intermittent fasting creates a calorie deficit naturally as your appetite decreases. It may also be that you are decreasing inflammation, which also helps losing weight. If you want to lose weight using intermittent fasting, read Top 5 Reasons Why You Are Not Losing Weight Using Intermittent Fasting.
My Weight Loss Results
I experienced effortless weight loss during the experiment. The weight loss I experienced was much quicker than with only intermittent fasting. My average weight loss with intermittent fasting only was about 2-3 lbs a month. After the initial water loss , I lost two more pounds. Losing 2 lbs over less than 2 weeks is a lot for me! Since weight loss was not my focus, I was eating a lot and snacking between meals. This made me wonder how I would maintain my weight if I decided to keep up the keto diet long term. Now, that I am back to eating carbs until the beginning of my next cycle, I can say that I have not gained any of the weight back after 5 days. I assume the appetite suppressing effects of increased ketones are still at play.
Recommended Reading: How To Reduce Fasting Glucose Levels
Intermittent Fasting & Keto: The Ultimate Guide
a year ago
After a quick glance at the headlines on most health-related sites, youd no doubt notice that intermittent fasting and the Ketogenic diet are two of the most popular nutrition trends around right now.
Both are commonly used by health-conscious consumers looking to manage their weight and support their general wellbeing, and they each have a solid body of research behind them as standalone dietary interventions.
Nevertheless, you may be wondering whether it’s effective to practice both at the same time…
In this article, we take a deep dive into all things IF and Keto, exploring how they work, their potential benefits, and how to successfully combine the two.
Are There Benefits To Doing Both Keto And Intermittent Fasting
The idea is that combining the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting will maximize the time that someone is in ketosis. This could mean more weight loss, less hunger pangs, and more energy.
“It’s more common for someone to start a ketogenic diet and then layer on intermittent fasting,” says Mancinelli. “They realize, ‘Oh, I can get more bang for my buck and I’m not as hungry anymore. It’s not as common, though, for people who start with intermittent fasting to layer on keto because then it looks like a lot more work to eat very specific foods.”
While combining the two might boost results, these styles of eating are not for everyone, whether independently or together.
Why Combining Intermittent Fasting With Keto Has Become Popular For Weight Loss
Doing keto or IF can help with weight loss in the short term, though each diet is very restrictive, so they certainly arent for everyone.
But how about combining them? Could two be better than one?
First, in some experts view, it does make sense to pair the two approaches. The keto diet increases levels of ketones in the body during times of fasting, ketones are also increased. The brain will rely less on glucose for energy when in a state of nutritional ketosis. Therefore, the transition into a fasted state during the day eventually becomes seamless after eating low-carb or ketogenic for a few weeks, says Dominic DAgostino, PhD, associate professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa and founder of KetoNutrition.org.
This is a strategy that practitioners counsel patients on at the Cleveland Clinics Functional Ketogenics Program. Adding intermittent fasting can take things up to the next level, says the Clinics Logan Kwasnicka, a certified physician assistant at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. That next level may be overcoming a weight loss plateau, as people may eat fewer calories when doing IF. It can also be a natural progression from a keto diet for those who feel satiated eating so much fat and arent bothered by shrinking their eating window.
What Is Better Than Intermittent Fasting
If intermittent fasting, aka time-restricted dieting, is no better than intermittent fasting, what do I recommend?
Everyone’s different has different needs and can tolerate different modalities. Without knowing YOU as a person and your history/background, it’s almost impossible for me to tell you what to do.
BUT, here’s what I do recommend for most people.
Instead of intermittent fasting, or in addition to, if you enjoy that style of eating, I recommend intermittent dieting .
That means, alternate periods of dieting and actively trying to lose weight with periods of non-dieting and maintaining your weight, aka taking a diet break.
Now, when I say diet break, this doesn’t mean a free for all. You should be eating a little more food, just enough to maintain your weight plus or minus a pound.
This period of increased food acts to help to give you a break both psychologically, but physically as well.
A study, known as the MATADOR study, took two groups of people who dieted a total of 16 weeks. The first group of people dieting for 16 straight weeks, the second group of people also dieted for 16 weeks BUT completed the 16-weeks in 8 x 2-week blocks.
Meaning, the second group dieted for two weeks, followed by two weeks of maintaining weight .
While a break every two weeks isn’t necessary, it’s essential to realize that now and then, we have to take a break both mentally and physically from dieting.
Here is a generalized guideline of how often to take a break while dieting.
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What Not To Eat On The Keto Diet
Foods to avoid on the keto diet are pretty vast. It can feel overwhelming at first, but focusing on what you can eat will help you get over the hump at the beginning of your keto journey. That being said, its important to point out the hidden landmines that could sabotage your progress if youre not careful
Pay Attention To Nutrition
Since you will be fasting for 18 hours a day, dont use it as an excuse to eat junk foods.
Agreed that you will be able to derive faster results by combining keto diet with intermittent fasting.
But, that doesnt mean you can eat anything during the 6-hour feeding period.
You must eat only the foods that are nutritious and keto-friendly. Otherwise, you may develop a deficiency of essential nutrients.
Also, eating junk foods high in carbs and unhealthy fats may pull you out of ketosis thus negating all the benefits of ketosis.
Hence, if you want to fast while on the keto diet, do it with dedication and justice to the rules of both the diets. This means:
- Eating only between the designated periods
- Increasing your intake of healthy fats
- Reducing carbohydrate consumption
- Eating moderate amounts of proteins
Read Also: What Is Intermittent Fasting 20 4
How To Do Intermittent Fasting 16/8
To do intermittent fasting correctly and reap all the health benefits, heres what to do:
- Pick your fasting window: Choose what the hours of fasting will be. The easiest approach is to have an early dinner and skip your morning breakfast. For example, eating only from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Have healthy meals during your eating window: A bad diet during your eating window can offset the metabolic benefits of intermittent fasting, so stick to nutritious whole foods. Heres a list of the best keto-friendly foods to eat.
- Eat fatty, satisfying meals: While you dont need to be keto to try intermittent fasting, eating fatty foods will make it a lot easier and sustainable. Keto foods are healthy and satisfying, so you wont be hungry during your fasting window. Practice smart snacking and youll do great.
How Much Weight Can You Lose With Keto Intermittent Fasting
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to weight loss on the keto diet and intermittent fasting.
The amount of weight you can lose and how quickly you lose the weight will depend on how much weight you have to lose in the first place.
If you are new to the ketogenic diet, your initial weight loss will be water loss. This is generally up to 10 pounds of weight loss and happens in the first one to two weeks on the keto diet.
Maintaining a ketogenic diet over the coming months should see approximate weight loss of 2 pounds per week. This is an average amount only and could be more or could be less.
Please keep in mind you are an individual. Slower weight loss is also attributed to a slower metabolism. Age could be a contributing factor here also.
We recommend waiting until your body has adapted to nutritional ketosis before adding in intermittent fasting. Wait until you achieve that slow, consistent weight loss.
Alternatively, if you have been losing weight with the keto diet and hit a plateau or stall, keto intermittent fasting can be the kick start back into weight loss your body needs.
Recommended Reading: What Foods Should You Eat When Doing Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting And Keto Combined
Fasting helps you get into ketosis, and being in ketosis also helps you fast.
Along with achieving the typical benefits of fasting, a lot of keto diet followers fast regularly because it helps them break through weight loss plateaus, and its an easy way to further limit calorie intake if necessary.
And a ketogenic diet also helps with longer periods of fasting. The benefits and easier transition are mutual:
- Following the ketogenic diet macro portions helps you transition to fasting easier. In a ketogenic, fat-adapted state, your body is already accustomed to tapping into your fat stores for energy instead of relying on carbs for glucose.
- On the other hand, experience with fasting helps you avoid the keto flu if you begin the keto diet as an experienced faster.
- A fat-adapted or ketogenic state also prevents similar symptoms that can occur when you first begin fasting.
Protection Against Muscle Loss
A high fat diet like the ketogenic diet also makes sure your body has a source of fat and uses it during your fast, instead of breaking down muscle protein for energy. For this reason, keto diet followers who fast for the day sometimes drink black coffee with either heavy, full-fat cream, butter, ghee or MCT oil or powder.
What To Drink During Longer Fasts
For fasts that last above 16-18 hours, try adding in bone both as a drink.
Any time that you consume calories during your fast will cause a slight spike in insulin levels. This will happen with consuming bone broth.
The benefit of bone broth however, is the added boost of minerals, electrolytes and amino acids.
Drinking bone broth during keto intermittent fasting will allow you to fast for longer periods of time.
Also Check: What Can I Have Intermittent Fasting
Bring On The Benefits
After all of the evidence presented, its hard to argue against the keto diet or intermittent fasting. They seem to benefit so many different physical conditions and diseases, along with having benefits for non-disease related functions.
It is said that the benefits of keto are basically due to the fact that it activates similar mechanisms to that of fastingthis is true. Fasting and ketosis both seem to call upon ancient biological pathways to promote stress resistance, survival, and longevity.
While we advocate both highly, dont just jump right into fasting and ketosis without a bit of experience first. It takes some time to both metabolically and psychologically adapt to dietary regimensespecially prolonged fasting. Maybe try out TRF first along with a keto diet, and gradually progress your fasting periods.
If youve had a great experience with keto, IF, or both, tell us in the comments! Wed love to hear.