The Bottom Line On Combining The Keto Diet With Intermittent Fasting
The keto diet is a restrictive high-fat diet, and intermittent fasting restricts the number of hours you will be eating. There is a lack of research on each diet alone, along with this combined plan, so its unclear exactly what youre getting into if you try them individually or together.
If you decide to give the diets a go, know that they are extremely restrictive, so it may be difficult to stick with the low carb count and confined eating window.
Before deciding to follow keto and IF together, be sure to consult your healthcare team. Your provider can help you determine whether this combined diet plan is a good fit for you, and then they can help you adjust any meds youre on to help increase your chances for success in the safest way possible.
Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss
Is it practical to do intermittent fasting for weight loss? Absolutely. Studies show that intermittent fasting can naturally restrict calorie intake and appetite, which can lead to weight loss .
However, intermittent fasting also works on a hormonal level by releasing more norepinephrine, a fat burning hormone. This hormonal shift can increase your resting metabolic rate , which means you can burn more calories, more efficiently even in a resting state.
By restricting calories and increasing the rate at which you burn calories, an intermittent fasting schedule can lead to weight loss.
Keto Can Fuel And Protect Fasting
Studies show that intermittent fasting can increase the production of stem cells in the intestines, muscles, and brain. At the same time, Intermittent Fasting preserves the ability of stem cells to regenerate independently in the long term.
Yet ending a fast with sugary processed foods can lead to precancerous lesions and increased cancerous activityespecially in the intestines and liver.
Combining intermittent fasting with a high-fat, low-carb keto diet fertilizes the fresh crop of new cells with energy-packed ketones while protecting them from the damage wrought by carbs and insulin.
Don’t Miss: Does 16 Hour Fasting Work
Intermittent Fasting For Better Physical Fitness
Research into the effects of fasting on fitness is early but promising.
In one study, scientists tested the VO2 max levels of a fasted group and a fed group .
Both groups had starting VO2 levels of around 3.5 liters per minute , which is close to standards for regular, untrained individuals. The study participants underwent endurance cycle ergometer training and had the following change in VO2 max:
In short, the fasted group increased their VO2max significantly more than those who were fed breakfast, which equates to a promising result for athletes and people who need aerobic fitness.
Choose The Right Fasting Method For Your Body And Goals
When youre deciding how to begin fasting, your unique psychology, metabolism, and physiology each play a role:
- If youre the type of person who prefers to jump in with both feet, you may find the challenge of extended or more difficult fasting patterns rewarding.
- If youre feeling a bit uncertain about fasting, or arent sure how your body will respond to fasting, ease in instead.
- People who struggle with hunger or get hangry should start with a minimal fasting approach .
- Anecdotally, men may have an easier time with prolonged fasts, while women may need to adjust their fasting strategy at different times of their cycles.
Before you choose a fasting strategy, be sure to think about the ways your mindset and your body may affect your fasting experience.
Most people should probably start with 16/8 or another less-challenging approach like non-daily fasting, but theres no one-size-fits-all recommendation for fasting.
Broadly speaking, heres how your goal choice may affect your intermittent fasting approach and duration:
You May Like: How Many Meals Should You Eat While Intermittent Fasting
How To Graduate From If To Longer Fasts
If your doctor has given you the okay to delve into longer fasting territory from IF, you may be wondering how to go about it. Here are some tips you can follow to help transition safely from IF to longer fasts:
- Plan ahead and set realistic goals: In trying to decide on the length of your fast, consider upcoming holidays or special events, as this could affect the timing of when you begin your fast. And remember: Start with something that feels manageable to you.
- Fuel up with black coffee: If youre following a wet fast, plainly brewed coffee is typically acceptable. .
- Stay hydrated: Make sure to drink water throughout the day as your body begins its natural detoxification process. Certain unsweetened teas may also be helpful to your journey.
- Exercise, if you feel up to it: Although it may seem counterintuitive, fasting actually ramps up human metabolism, according to a recent study. So, while mentally you may not feel up for physical activity, your body may actually tolerate a decent amount of movement.
- Listen to your body: Integrating fasting into your life will allow you to get a better understanding of what it actually means to be hungry. That way, you will know whether to push through a longer fast or to end it if you feel youre in need of some immediate sustenance.
What To Eat While Intermittent Fasting
During your fasting window, you shouldnt eat anything. During your eating window, enjoy nutrient-dense keto foods like healthy proteins, vegetables, and fats.
Avoid breaking your fast with processed foods, carb-heavy meals, and dirty keto foods, as these can hinder the health benefits of fasting in the first place.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Best Time To Eat For Intermittent Fasting
Level 2 Three Meals A Day In An Eight
When you are comfortable with three meals a day, you can take your fat burning to thenext level by implementing an IF pattern of fasting for 16 hours while eating all threemeals within an eight-hour window.
Ideally, youâd wait four hours before having your first meal. If you wake up at 6 a.m.,youâd have breakfast at 10 a.m., lunch at 2 p.m., then youâd have your last meal of theday eight hours later at 6 p.m. .
Youâll burn more fat with this 16:8 pattern because you are giving your body moreuninterrupted fasting time.
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, MCT oil or MCT powder.
Also Check: Does A1c Test Require Fasting
You May Be In Fat Storing Hormone Resistance
When your body has chronically high sugar and fat storing hormone levels, it tries toprotect itself by blocking fat storing hormone from delivering sugar to the cells. Thiscauses sugar levels to stay in the bloodstream rather than being absorbed by the cells.
The body then detects the excess sugar in the blood. The pancreas responds by producing evenmore fat storing hormone to reduce the excess blood sugarâeven though the cells continue toresist it. This is called âfat storing hormone resistance .â
Fat storing hormone resistance is a damaging cycle to the body. It results in elevatedlevels of both fat storing hormone and sugar and definitely inhibits weight loss. As ifthese issues werenât bad enough, fat storing hormone also has more serious effects.
Chronically elevated sugar and fat storing hormone can have extremely toxic effects on thebody. Take type 2 diabetes, for instanceâa disease caused by fat storing hormone resistance.Individuals with type 2 diabetes suffer from blindness, kidney failure, nerve damage,increased risk of stroke and heart attack, and other grave health issues. In some casestaking natural beta blockers canhelp reduce some of the risks associated with heart issues.
Consuming low-carb foods on a keto diet, and eating less frequently as you do withintermittent fasting, helps reverse fat storing hormone resistance.
Should I Do Keto Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting has clear, documented health benefits. However, it puts the body in a form of stress so it is not recommended for everyone.
Keep in mind that the keto diet can be hard on the body so it is essential to check with your doctor before starting!
If you are new to the keto diet, starting with Intermittent Fasting immediately is not recommended.
Its is much better and easier to first start and learn about the keto diet, and then once your body has adapted to its new normal, implement intermittent fasting.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Definition Of Intermittent Fasting
A Brief History Of Fasting
Contrary to popular belief, going a period of time without eating isnt a new idea brought on by the wave of fitness influencers. Actually, fasting has existed for thousands of years
Ancient civilizations and religious groups have implemented this practice for various reasons. From preparing to approach deities to using it as a form of penitence, people have engaged in short-term fasts for centuries.
While there are certainly some folks who fast as part of their religion, more people have opened up to the idea of a fasting window for the potential health benefits.
So why might someone want to only eat during a certain time frame?
For one, fasting can help usher along autophagy, which is one of your bodys natural detoxification processes. Plus, when overseen by a physician, fasting can also help with weight management, blood sugar control, and even support healthy aging.
Of course, the practice of fasting isnt just a one-size-fits-all model. While intermittent fasting is the most popular method, there are other ways to implement this eating pattern. From dry fasts to wet fasts , there are different ways to incorporate fasting into your lifestyle.
Keep A Log And Break Your Bad Habits
Tracking your foods and how you feel after you eat will be vital. Hereâs why. There willbe times you stuff yourself or slip and eating something sweet and then feel tired andbloated. If you document this and see your pattern, it will make it easier to change.You want to learn from your past failures. I guarantee if you crave sweets today, it wasbecause of what you ate yesterday. If you logged in, it will be easy to find out.
Also Check: What Does Intermittent Fasting Mean
How Intermittent Fasting Accelerates Fat Burning
Your body needs very little sugar to function. In fact, it requires just 1 teaspoon of sugarper day, which could easily be converted from the protein or fat you eat. You donât need anydietary sugar. However, the average American consumes 31 teaspoons of sugar every singledayâover 30 times the amount of sugar required by your body!
Sugar is highly toxic to the body. It causes damage to the nerves, affects vision, increasesthe risk of heart disease and stroke, and contributes to Alzheimerâs and other diseases . Keeping an eye on your stool and understanding whattoxic poop is can help prevent serious health problems.
When sugar is detected in your body, fat storing hormone will use it as the primary fuelsource. Not because it is a high-quality fuel, but because it is so damaging your body triesto get rid of it as quickly as possible. People mistakenly take this body response to meanthat sugar is the primary preferred fuel of the body. But as you can see, it’s not.
However, carbs arenât the only thing, which causes the body to produce fat storing hormone.Fat storing hormone production is triggered when you eat any type of food. As a result,every time you eatâeven healthy fat storing hormone levels in your body spike and block fatburning. Bodies werenât designed to eat and graze all day long. Which means snacking is avery bad habit!
A Healthy Ketoâ¢ diet combined with intermittent fasting maximizes fat burning by:
Autophagy: A Nobel Prize Winning Lifestyle Hack
In 2016, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi for discovering some of the mechanisms of autophagy the process by which the cell devours itself. Superficially, this sounds like a terrible thing for our cells to do until you consider what is really taking place.
When our cells undergo the process of autophagy, non-essential parts like damaged proteins are recycled and invading microorganisms and toxic compounds are removed. This means that autophagy plays an important role in stopping the aging process, reversing disease, and preventing cancer, but it doesnt happen all the time.
Fasting, protein restriction, and carbohydrate restriction are the three main ways that can initiate different autophagic processes all of which are not the same. This is part of the reason why a ketogenic diet has so many positive effects, and it also shows you why intermittent fasting is a way to improve your diet even more.
Though this is reason enough to fast more, autophagy isnt the only upside of intermittent fasting. In fact, the combination of keto and fasting can provide us with a wider array of benefits.
Don’t Miss: How To Do The Fasting Diet
The Ketogenic Diet Is Not Sustainable
Our bodies werenât designed to take in the high volume of sugar a typical Americanconsumes in a day. Excess sugar consumption results in high blood sugar and fat storinghormone levels, which ultimately load up the liver with fat. Burning ketones for fuel,which is what one does on a keto diet, is much healthier than burning carbohydrates.Your brain can use ketones for fuel indefinitely. I explain why this diet can besustained for long periods of time in this video.
Potential Risks Of A Keto Diet
Does eating a keto diet pose any health risks? Although research on long-term health effects is needed, the evidence to date suggests that keto diets providing adequate nutrition are unlikely to cause harm.27
It is true that some people following ketogenic diets have experienced adverse effects, including kidney stones and vitamin and mineral deficiencies.28
However, these side effects are rare and we suspect they may vary with the variety of foods eaten.
In some cases, elevations in LDL-cholesterol and LDL-particle number have occurred in people who eat keto or low-carb diets with less fat and more protein than the classic ketogenic diet.29
However, individuals with diabetes or insulin resistance often respond to low-carb eating with improved lipid markers overall, as discussed earlier.
Read Also: What Does Intermittent Fasting Consist Of
Intermittent Fasting For Self
One recent study found that women who practiced intermittent fasting had positive experiences related to willpower and associated with increased sense of achievement, pride, reward and control.
Willpower influences your sense of accomplishment and self-esteem through being able to exhibit self-control, which can help you feel better and reach your goals more effectively.
Keto And Intermittent Fasting
If youre on a low carb or keto diet, youre already keto-adapted. Since the primary goals of both intermittent fasting and ketosis are managing spikes in blood sugar and training your body to use fat for fuel, doing both can be redundant and unnecessarily challenging. While these two go hand in hand for many people, the goal is to find something you can stick with. The 75% to 90% fat requirement of keto can be hard to achieve versus the 60% to 70% or 55% to 65% requirement of an Atkins diet plan. Adding extreme intermittent fasting rules on top of this may be hard for many to sustain.
That said, theres also a way to do IF that can complement your low carb or keto lifestyle. A chronic deficit of calories can slow down your metabolism, but if youre meeting your caloric requirements during the day, eating nothing after dinner and doing a 12- to 14-hour fast every night can be beneficial in a number of ways. Any period of fasting helps your migrating motor complex work properly, which is necessary for proper digestion and gut health. Evening eating can also negatively affect your sleep patterns, and poor sleep habits directly correlate with higher BMI. Plus, some small studies suggest that doing your morning workout in a fasted state has a positive effect on weight and body composition.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Have While Intermittent Fasting
I Came Down With Keto Flu
The “keto flu” is a term you’ll see on keto blogs and forums. For me, it was a very real event, but not everyone will experience it.
As your body breaks through the carb cycle and enters ketosis , you may experience fatigue, mental fogginess, even irritability. My “keto flu” only lasted a day, and once I passed it, I never experienced the symptoms again. I even ate a cookie one day during the diet to celebrate my birthday. I certainly came out of ketosis when I ate that treat, but I didn’t experience any repercussions for it. .