More Abdominal Cavity Fat Loss
We noted before that excess abdominal fat is one symptom of metabolic syndrome. Worse than that, when visceral fat builds up around your abdominal cavity, it can boost your resistance to insulin as well as your rate of inflammation. You also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
In 2008, Nutrition & Metabolism published data that found that low-carb diets can help those with abdominal cavity fat especially, lessening this fat to reduce the above health risk factors.
Should You Be Worried About Refeeding Syndrome
Some legitimate health complications can arise when you fast or are malnourished for longer than 5 days. One of these complications is called refeeding syndrome, which is caused by potentially fatal shifts in fluid and electrolyte balance that can happen when we eat after a period of undernourishment.
This happens because the concentration of fluids and minerals in our body relies heavily on what we eat. Low carbohydrate diets, like the ketogenic diet, increase the excretion of vital minerals like sodium and potassium.
If you add a prolonged fast onto the ketogenic diet, you can lose an unhealthy amount of these essential minerals.
Fasts that are shorter than 5 days, however, arent likely to cause issues especially if you break your fast with a low carbohydrate meal that is filled with mineral rich foods. A meal with dark leafy greens, avocado, and salmon with some unrefined salt would be an ideal way to break a longer fast.
During a shorter fast that lasts less than 24 hours, however, you wont have to worry about refeeding syndrome at all. Either way, it may be best to check out the mineral supplements that we recommend in this article to ensure proper mineral balance.
But what about muscle? Its only common sense that consuming no protein and less calories will lead to an unhealthy amount of muscle loss. Thats right it is only common sense.
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:
Recommended Reading: What Can You Drink With Intermittent Fasting
The 5 Stages Of Intermittent And Prolonged Fasting
Cahill conceptualized his fasting stages according to which energy source the body is predominantly using at any given time .
He distinguishes between two primary fuel sources:
- Glucose: a carbohydrate and sugar
- Triglycerides: stored body fat
While most cells can use both energy sources, the brain is an exception because it cannot use triglycerides.
Other cells, such as those in the liver, kidneys, muscles, or heart, can use both energy sources.
While the body stores fat as triglycerides, carbohydrates are stored in the form of glycogen.
This molecule consists of glucose chains and water. Glycogen is stored primarily in the liver and partially in skeletal muscle.
As soon as the body needs blood sugar, it splits the molecule into smaller glucose molecules and relieves them into the bloodstream.
When glycogen is no longer available, the body must draw on fat reserves. For this purpose, triglycerides from the fat cells enter the liver, where they are broken down.
In addition to fatty acid chains, glycerol is produced, which your body can convert into glucose for the brain.
Intermittent Fasting & Keto: The Ultimate Guide
Intermittent Fasting & Keto: The Ultimate Guide
Posted 2 years 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.
Read Also: What Is Water Fasting For Weight Loss
And What’s The Deal With Intermittent Fasting
IF is a pattern of eating where you restrict foods and sweetened beverages for an uninterrupted period of time every day and then eat only during the remaining hours .
You can pick your windows but we encourage people to eat when the sun is up and fast when the sun is down, says registered dietitian Amy Shapiro, founder of Real Nutrition. During fasting hours you can drink water, black coffee or plain tea, but nothing that provides calories or requires any sort of digestion or shift in hormones.
The theory behind IF is that depriving your body of calories for an extended period of time forces it into a temporary state of starvation and slowed metabolism. This makes your fat cells burn glucose for energy and can lead to improved weight loss results. One plus is that you don’t necessarily need to cut out any foods to stick with IF. It’s really the slashing of calories in general that’s said to boost weight loss, and experts say there’s not one IF schedule that works better for losing weight over anotheryou can choose whichever one works best with your lifestyle.
There are several different ways to schedule your fasting times, but the 16:8 version is the most commonly used. For people who are newer to IF, the 14:10 schedule might be easier to stick to, because you have a 10-hour eating window and only a 14-hour fast.
Also something to note: IF is not recommended for people with a history of disordered eating, since it can get into pretty restrictive territory.
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: Is Fasting Necessary For Psa Test
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:
Increasing Healthful Fats Like Coconut Oil In Diet
Healthy fats, like coconut oil, avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish, support increased ketone production while satiating your appetite during your 24-hour express ticket to ketosis.
Coconut oil offers another benefit to ketone-seekers because it contains fats called medium-chain triglycerides. Medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, are highly bioavailable and ketogenic, which means the body will rapidly absorb them. Then, MCTs are broken down in the liver to produce – you guessed it, ketones! To get started, try adding one tbsp of coconut oil to your daily coffee.
Read Also: What Does Fasting Do Spiritually
How Will I Know If Im Keto Adapted
Unfortunately, measuring or testing for ketones can’t tell you directly whether youre keto adapted, but, there is one way to get a picture of your level of keto adaptation using ketone testing methods.
Urine and breath ketone testing methods measure ketone bodies present in excretion productsbreath and urine. For this reason, as you continue to use these methods while on a ketogenic diet, you might begin to notice that ketone levels actually begin to drop. While this is one disadvantage of these methods , it signifies that youre becoming more keto adaptedutilizing more and excreting fewer ketones. Sapir1975
Subjective feelings may be just as valid for evaluating if youre keto adapted. Making the transition from sugar to fat burning will come with a variety of bodily changes and feelings associated with the metabolic switch.
Once keto adapted, youll likely find it easy to go 4 – 6 hours, maybe even more, without food.
Whats more, you wont get the hangry feelings you once did when low blood sugar levels ran low. On top of this, youll begin to feel increased and consistent energy levels throughout the day.
Tips For Women On The Keto Diet For Weight Loss
If you are a woman and hope to use the Keto Diet for weight loss, I have a few simple tips to share:
- Follow my 7-Day Intermittent Fasting With Keto Meal Plan . I picked simple and tasty recipes that will provide a good balance of energy to ensure you dont feel hungry, yet lose weight.
- Listen to your body and add some keto-approved snacks if you do end up feeling too hungry or struggle with cravings.
- Start the Keto diet at the beginning of your monthly cycle. If you experience unmanageable carb cravings toward the end of your cycle, put the keto diet on hold and start over at the beginning of your next cycle.
- Whenever you practice intermittent fasting without keto, make sure your fasting window lasts for at least 18 hours.
- Remember that sustainable weight loss is a long-term project.
If you would like a Step-by-Step Success Formula to Lose Weight, Kick the Cravings, and Tone Your Body in Just 30 Days, dont forget check out my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation.
Read Also: How To Do Keto Fasting
Ways To Measure Ketone Levels
Testing your bodys ketone levels is the best way to know whether youre in ketosis.
There are three types of ketones acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate that you can measure through your urine, breath, and blood, respectively.
Acetoacetate levels can be measured through your urine with a ketone urine strip, which turns various shades of pink or purple depending on the ketone level of your urine. Darker colors typically mean that your urine contains higher levels .
Urine testing strips are a cheap and simple way to tell whether youre in ketosis. However, they arent as accurate as other tools.
Acetone levels can be measured with a ketone breath meter, such as a Ketonix. This meter flashes a color to let you know whether youre in ketosis and how high your ketone levels are.
Studies show that ketone breath meters are fairly accurate .
Beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are measured using a blood ketone meter, which works similarly to a glucometer a tool that measures blood glucose levels at home .
To use a blood ketone meter, simply use the small accompanying pin to prick your finger and draw blood, then let the top of the strip come in contact with your blood.
A blood ketone range of 1.53.0 mmol per liter is ideal for maintaining ketosis .
While blood ketone meters are effective at measuring ketones, the strips in contrast to urine testing strips can be expensive.
The Five Stages Of Intermittent Fasting
. In this state, your body starts to break down and burn fat.
Some of this fat is used by the liver to produce ketone bodies . The two main ketones, acetoacetate and -hydroxybutyrate , serve as an alternative energy source for the cells of your heart, skeletal muscle, and brain, when glucose isnt readily available. Did you know that your brain uses up some 60% of your glucose when your body is in the resting state? During intermittent fasting, ketone bodies generated by your liver partly replace glucose as fuel for your brain as well as other organs. This ketone usage by your brain is one of the reasons that intermittent fasting is often claimed to promote mental clarity and positive mood ketones produce less inflammatory products as they are being metabolized than does glucose, and they can even kick-start production of the brain growth factor BDNF! Ketones have also been shown to reduce cellular damage and cell death in neurons and can also reduce inflammation in other cell types.
As their level in your bloodstream rises, ketones can act as signaling molecules, similar to hormones, to tell your body to ramp up stress-busting pathways that reduce inflammation and repair damaged DNA for example.
Within 24 hours, your cells are increasingly recycling old components and breaking down misfolded proteins linked to Alzheimers and other diseases . This is a process called autophagy.
breaking down old immune cells and generating new ones .
Don’t Miss: Can You Lose Weight By Water Fasting
How To Do Intermittent Fasting
If you are just getting started with intermittent fasting, we recommend slowly working up to your target fasting schedule over the course of several weeks or months. Start by reflecting on your eating habits. Do you snack in between meals or after dinner? If so, try a 12-hour fast overnight. This means you finish dinner by 7 pm, for example, and dont eat anything else until 7 am the next day. If you usually dont feel the need to eat after dinner or between meals, try a 14-16 hour fast . If youd like to fast longer, add 1-hour increments every 5 days or so. Drink water to keep you both hydrated and distracted from hunger. If you need caffeine, drink unsweetened black coffee and tea.
Is Intermittent Fasting Different For Women
Some evidence shows intermittent fasting might be more beneficial for men than women, but this doesnt mean there arent still important health benefits for women.
Some women claim they experienced changes to their menstrual cycle after fasting, which could be partly because female bodies seem especially sensitive to calorie restriction. Fasting for too long or too frequently might affect a part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
This could disrupt secretion of gonadotropin-releasing hormone , a hormone that aids the release of two reproductive hormones: follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone . When the ovaries and hormones arent communicating properly, theres a heightened risk of infertility, poor bone health, irregular periods, and more.
Restricting calories can lower progesterone levels, so its important women are eating a balanced diet and getting sufficient nutrition and calories to support their energy needs.
On the other hand, obese women with PCOS who restricted calories to 1,000 per day for one week saw increased levels of the luteinizing hormone that regulates ovulation, showing possible benefits of calorie restriction for the female reproductive system.
Of course, not all women are the same, but women might need to consider a modified approach to intermittent fasting. Women that are going through menopause might also require a different and more tailored approach to IF. More long-term research on IF and how it affects women are needed.
Also Check: Does Do Fasting Really Work
Intermittent Fasting: The Basics
There are many ways to practice intermittent fasting , but the basic premise is simple:
It starts with separating the day or week into fasting and eating windows. You then simply shorten your feeding window, and extend the window in which you consume little to no food..
Unless youre prone to a midnight snack, you already practice a short period of fasting overnight between dinner and breakfast.
The idea is that extending that fasted period on certain days of the week can bring about some interesting benefits. This could be as simple as using a 16-hour fasting window each day or opting for longer fasts once every week or two. One of the big plus points for fasting is that its easy to customize to your lifestyle.
Although IF may seem like a relatively new dietary trend, fasting is something that human beings have practiced for thousands of years.
Like many other predaceous animals, early humans would have naturally gone without food for prolonged time periods in between successful hunts. While this might seem less than ideal at first glance, natural periods of fasting would have likely put these early humans into ketosis. This may have imparted benefits like appetite reduction and mental clarity, which could have actually assisted them in getting through to their next meal and enjoying another successful hunt.
I fast for greater physical and mental efficiency