So Which One Is Better For Weight Loss
The bottom line is that either of these diets will effectively help you lose weight. In the short term, if the diet chosen isnt perfectly balanced, theres probably no harm done. However, in the long-term, the key is to make sure these diets are planned properly so you get all the nutrients you require for your individual health profile and so you can sustain the dietary regime long-term.
I dont know that anyone really needs to do keto full-time or that anyone would actually be able to manage a diet like this 100 per cent of the time. Intermittent fasting on the other hand, provides all the health benefits that keto does, in terms of reducing blood glucose levels and weight loss . Dietitians have many tools in their tool basket to assist people with their weight loss journeys and some are more easily managed than others.
Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits all approach, but in my opinion and experience, intermittent fasting is definitely a more manageable dietary lifestyle long-term.
Keto Versus Intermittent Fasting: Which Is Best
When it comes to weight-loss diets, both the keto plan and an overnight intermittent fasting plan are effective weight-loss strategies for the short term, anyway. People swear by one or the other, but as a wellness dietitian, I want to point out a few of the hidden costs of the ketogenic diet in contrast to some of the benefits of an overnight intermittent fasting regime. Just hear me out on this one!
Keto Diet Overview: Low Carb, High Fat
The ketogenic diet, also called a ketosis diet or keto for short, is a way of eating that mimics the effects of fasting. During fasting, body fat is metabolized, which makes ketones that the body uses for fuel rather than glucose from food.
In an attempt to force the body to use ketones for energy on a ketosis eating plan without fasting, dietary fat replaces carbs in the diet. Thus, the keto diet is very high in dietary fat , while very low in carbs . This low carb intake eliminates refined grains and sweets from the diet, along with many vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, and whole grains.
Without carbohydrates to use for energy, your body is forced to use fat to produce ketones as the primary energy source. On a ketosis diet, the primary source of fat used to produce ketones is from the fat you eat, not body fat as occurs in fasting. *
Valuable Nutrients Lacking in a Keto Diet
Keto Diet and Food Shaming
Keto Diet Obstacles
Ketosis Adherence and Sustainability
A Preferred Alternative Diet: Intermittent Fasting
How Often Should I Intermittent Fast On Keto
Fasting on the Ketogenic Diet Also known as alternate-day fasting, intermittent fasting lets you set up your fasting periods to suit your dietary goals. You can alternate the days of fasting to fast every other day, just two days per week, or by randomly skipping several meals during the week.
What can I drink while intermittent fasting on keto?
Here are 5 drinks to enjoy during your fasting windows:
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Exercising While Fasting Is Hard
When you havent eaten for 23 hours, the last thing youre going to want to do is exercise. Since your body needs fuel to keep you going, exercising on an empty stomach can be risky. You could feel weak and faint, and your strength and performance will suffer.
Your risk of injury is a lot higher than when you exercise with a full stomach.
The keto diet ensures that youre fueling your body with healthy fats and protein so whether you want to go for a run or lift weights, you dont have to worry about feeling woozy!
Why Is Intermittent Fasting On Keto Recommended
Intermittent fasting is a technique that involves restricting your food intake to a certain time window each day and then fasting for a specific period. There are several different fasting methods, with many variations that can fit nearly any personal preference or routine. A few of the most common types of intermittent fasting include alternate day fasting, 16/8 fasting and the 5:2 diet, each of which varies based on the amount of time you spend fasting during the week.
Fasting on keto can be incredibly beneficial, especially if youve reached a plateau and arent seeing results from the ketogenic diet alone. While its not required, keto intermittent fasting can bring the benefits of your diet to the next level and help optimize your health. It is also thought to speed up ketosis by helping your body burn through glycogen stores more quickly, which can help sidestep symptoms of the keto flu to get faster results.
There are plenty of keto and intermittent fasting success stories out there, and several reasons you may want to consider adding it to your routine. In particular, keto fasting has been associated with several benefits, including:
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Negatives Of The Keto Diet
If it sounds so good and it has all these good side effects, why wouldnt we recommend it? There are some downsides of the keto diet. One is kidney stones. In place of the carbohydrates that youre not eating, you end up eating a lot more fat and a lot more protein, and a high protein diet ends up causing kidney stones. Its just what happens. Its just one of the risks, one of the pitfalls, of changing the macronutrients inside your diet. So kidney stones are a real risk.
Nutritional deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies, mineral deficiencies are another common side effect that happens with this keto diet. And again, it happens because in avoiding carbohydrates, youre avoiding a lot of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with a lot of vitamins, nutrients, a lot of minerals, and if youre not getting them in your diet, then you have to supplement with them. So as youre giving up carbohydrates, youre also maybe giving up some of these other nutrients, which is actually a really bad thing.
Some Intermittent Fasts Are Too Generous
Speaking of calories, we must next discuss the eating window afforded to you when intermittent fasting. There is no limit on what you can ingest in that eating window.
Sure, dietitians and nutritionists recommend you select dense, nutritionally balanced meals to provide you energy for the next period of fasting. Lets be real, though. If you just fasted for 16 hours and youve been salivating at the thought of a big, juicy cheeseburger, youre going to eat a cheeseburger.
The propensity for eating unhealthy meals is especially apparent in the OMAD diet. You get one hour to eat, which can cause some people to try to cram a whole days worth of calories in 60 minutes. Were talking an entire pizza, chicken wings, breakfast, and dessert.
If you eat 3,000 calories in one hour or in six hours, its still 3,000 calories. Even if you dont eat for the remaining 23 hours, youre not going to lose weight. If anything, you might gain some pounds.
Not everyone goes hog wild like that when on the OMAD diet, but it is a risk. The empty calories tend to make you hungrier later, which can then enforce the pattern of overeating.
We wont say that keto is all about clean eatingthere is the dirty keto diet, after allbut when youre not starving, you can make more sound eating decisions.
Plus, there are healthy keto versions of about every meal under the sun, from keto pizza to sweets. If you eat what you want , the craving disappears. Now youre not at risk of derailing your diet.
Fasting And Weight Loss
The scientists recruited 36 lean, healthy adults in the U.K. between 2015 and 2018 for the study and monitored their baseline diet and physical activity for 4 weeks. They then randomly allocated the participants to one of three groups of 12.
The participants in the first group, the energy restriction group, consumed 75% of their normal energy intake each day.
The second group used two methods of weight loss: fasting and energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 150% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The third group did not face any energy restriction. They fasted on alternate days and consumed 200% of their regular calorie intake on their eating days.
The fasting groups consumed no energy-providing nutrients during their fasting periods. This ensured that their dietary interventions were standardized and allowed enough time for fasting-related bodily functions to activate.
The participants underwent various lab tests before and after the 3-week intervention. The researchers also monitored the participants diet and physical activity levels throughout and extracted fat tissue samples from some individuals.
Those on energy restriction diets lost an average of 1.91 kilograms at the end of the study period. Meanwhile, those fasting with energy restriction lost an average of 1.60 kg, and those fasting without energy restriction lost an average of 0.52 kg.
The Downside Of Intermittent Fasting
There are no significant disadvantages of intermittent fasting just that it still needs more extensive and long-term studies to truly back up its benefits.
Overall, intermittent fasting can be a relatively safe diet or eating plan to follow. However, theres currently not enough research to support or debunk it. Its a great course of action for those trying to lose weight, but its not ideal for athletes since it can be challenging to fuel and refuel yourself with a set period for eating.
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Intermittent Fasting And Cancer
Although there is little to no literature on the effects of 2 or 3 day fasts on muscle loss in humans, many clinical trials are currently being conducted on the effects of 2 or 3 day fasts on cancer patients.
In initial case studies, people who were undergoing chemotherapy voluntarily fasted for anywhere between 48 to 140 hours. Each person reported fewer side effects and improved quality of life regardless of how long they fasted.
This may suggest that fasting for 2 days to a week can have a protective effect on the cells in the body while they are undergoing intense bouts of toxicity.
Other studies in animals have found that fasting was possibly as effective as chemotherapeutic agents in delaying the progression of different tumors and increased the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic drugs against melanoma, glioma, and breast cancer cells. Although this research may not apply to your life, it does suggest that intermittent fasting can help support your body in times of toxic stress.
What Is Ketogenic Fasting
To sum it all up, ketogenic fasting is a combination of the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting consuming high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbohydrates during designated time periods while fasting during the remaining time periods. Combining the two diets may have increased benefits for prediabetic or insulin-resistant patients, may help individuals reach ketosis faster, may increase weight loss, and finally may improve cognitive performance. Keep in mind that some side effects may present and that this particular diet may not be appropriate for all individuals. Consulting with a health professional who is familiar with your medical history is always recommended before starting any new diet plan.
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Benefits Of Keto Diet
Weight loss- Keto diet helps reduce a great amount of weight especially in the first few months of starting the diet. This weight loss is caused because it takes more calories to change fat into energy in comparison to what it takes to change carbs into energy. Protein also causes a greater feeling of hunger satisfaction thereby preventing excessive eating.
High blood pressure control- Numerous studies have found that the keto diet helps with high blood pressure problems in obese people and people with Type 2 Diabetes.
Improvement in cholesterol and insulin levels- Keto diets bring about improvement in cholesterol levels. It might facilitate the LDL cholesterol levels to go down and HDL cholesterol levels to go up, which is considered to be healthy. Keto helps restore insulin sensitivity by bringing down insulin levels.
Who Should Try An Intermittent Fasting Keto Approach
Anyone who has been on keto for more than two weeks and with the okay from their healthcare team would like to add IF may do so. But the keto diet has become popular for those who have prediabetes or diabetes, though asking these patients not to eat for a significant amount of time can be dangerous, says Kwasnicka. If you have chronic kidney disease, a history of eating disorders, are undergoing active cancer treatment, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, its unlikely youre a good candidate for this combined diet plan. Even the individual diets may not be recommended for these populations. Check with your healthcare team.
Also, if youre currently following the keto diet and are happy and feel good with the way youre eating, you do not have to add in IF, she says.
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Youre Not Necessarily Limiting Carb Consumption On An Intermittent Fast
Its not just calories that are hard to restrict when you have a limited eating window such as when intermittent fasting. Its carbs as well.
No type of intermittent fasting diet is concerned with how few carbs you consume, only how few calories. Its the periods of not eating that allow you to burn fat, not the reduced carb load.
You might still lose weight on the intermittent fasting diet, but its not the healthiest choice. A high-carb diet could put you at a higher risk of sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, liver disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gallbladder disease, and cancer.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
An intermittent fasting diet is a form of dietary restriction that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting has been shown to have profound effects on the human body, including weight loss, reduced disease risks, and slowing down the aging process.
Intermittent fasting works similarly to the keto diet, especially in the process of ketosis. By restricting foods we force our body to generate ketones.
When we eat food, the carbohydrates in food are broken down into glucose.
In the intestines, it is absorbed, then transported to different organs in the bloodstream. Glucose is a key source of energy for cells throughout the body, which convert it into ATP for immediate use or store it in the form of glycogen and fats.
When we dont eat for a longer time and there is no glucose available in our body. At this moment the liver uses glycogen. To provide the body with energy, glycogen is converted to glucose.
Usually, it takes around 10 to 12 hours to use up all of the reserve glycogen stores. For an active person, it may take less time.
Once the reserve of glycogen in the liver runs out, the body taps into energy stores which are in fat cells. The body uses these fat cells as free fatty acids for energy.
If you increase the fasting time long enough the body burns the extra fat for energy in the body. Several benefits can be gained from losing excess fat.
Please read this article How Does Intermittent Fasting Works to learn more.
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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.
The Right Way To Start An Intermittent Fasting Keto Diet
At the Cleveland Clinic, practitioners do not advise people to start both keto and IF at the same time. Its a huge shock to your system to switch from glucose as fuel to ketones, and implementing IF is a significant change, says Kwasnicka. For that reason, people would start with keto. After being on the diet for a couple weeks to months, they might consider IF.
Its also important to choose the correct timing. For their patients, Kwasnicka suggests a 12- to 16-hour fast. For many people, not eating 12 hours a day is a natural habit anyway and doesnt require skipping meals.
To start, consider delaying breakfast to get your body accustomed to going longer stretches without eating, suggests Shemek. When youve adjusted to your new eating pattern, reintroduce breakfast earlier in the day and extend your overnight fasting time, as eating breakfast not only leads to better cognition, but also improved metabolism and insulin sensitivity, according to a study published in August 2018 in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology Metabolism. As for the length of time to stay on keto-IF, she recommends doing keto-IF for no more than six months and then transitioning to a more standard low-carb diet.
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