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.
Is Intermittent Fasting Different For Various Body Types
There are three main body types: ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph. Each of these designates a certain frame and tendency to hold onto weight in certain areas.
Ectomorphs are characterized by a small frame, are thin, and have trouble gaining weight. A mesomorph has a more muscular body, a medium-size frame, and an hourglass shape with an athletic figure. On the other hand, endomorphs gain weight easily and have more body fat than other types.
There is no solid evidence that keeping a certain type of IF can benefit one body type more than the other. However, it may be a good idea for those with an ectomorph body type to try longer fasting intervals to have a better chance at increasing their metabolism.
What Is A Low Carb Diet
If you take the tenets of a keto diet and apply the low-carb attributes to what you can consume during the eating window of intermittent fasting, you can amplify the number of fat cells burned and how long you remain in ketosis.
And for some dieters who want to lose weight and burn body fat for good, this is particularly true. When it comes to blending a ketogenic diet with low carb intermittent fasting for weight loss success, thanks to an enhanced metabolic switch.
The scientific evidence behind a low-carb diet helping weight loss includes boosting the metabolic process and the production of ketones within the liver. These ketones target body fat and allow blood glucose levels to lower and be safely flushed out of your system.
Instead of refueling yourself with high carb foods outside of fasting periods that would just contribute to blood sugar levels you need to burn off, eat reduced carb foods from the ketogenic diet for faster weight loss.
Overall, following a low-carb eating plan outside of extended fasting also lowers triglycerides, which are responsible for redistributing fat cells through the bloodstream and contribute to insulin resistance and fat stores.
So, lets take a look at how combining low-carb eating plans with intermittent fasting can guide you to drop weight and improve health benefits, based on further research.
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Additional Tips For Intermittent Fasting
- Strive for 12-16 calorie-free hours.
- Avoid snacking between meals and at night to let your body burn fat between meals.
- Stay active throughout the day to help build muscle.
- Drink water or a calorie-free electrolyte beverage during fasting times to help you stay hydrated and reduce cravings and hunger.
- If coffee or tea is part of your normal routine, you can consume them during your fasting period.
- Dont binge after fasting, eat to satiety, but dont overdo it.
- Ride out the hunger periods, they will pass!
Learn more healthy tips, find inspiration and motivation, and connect with our online community when you start your Atkins journey today. For more information on intermittent fast, check out our intro to intermittent fasting and these Atkins-approved IF meal plans.
1 Before starting IF, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider for guidance on whether IF is right for you.
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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.
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Healthy Keto Diet Guidelines
When you keep in mind that food is intended to provide nourishment not only calories, thereare two principles that form the foundation of a healthy ketogenic diet:
Eat low carb, high-fat foods that cause you to use your own fat reserves when you’rein ketosis.
Eat foods that provide all the nutrients your body requires for health.
The Food Is Repetitive
I ate a lot of bacon, cheese, eggs and meat . For a person whose eating philosophy is typically more plant-based and whole-food-focused, eating processed pork products every morning took a lot of personal persuasion. It also took a complete mental shift, because eating multiple pieces of bacon every day for weeks on end goes against everything Ive been taught for personal health.
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After Years Of Dieting Ups And Downs I Wish That Id Known That Weight Loss Doesnt Have To Be All Or Nothing
The more I told myself I wasnt allowed to have something, the more I wanted it and the more Id binge when I finally had it. If you want the pizza, eat the pizza and move on. Eating one salad doesnt make you lose 45 pounds, just as eating a few slices of pizza doesnt make you gain 45 pounds.
I also wish I had known that not everything is about the number on the scale. I used to hop on the scale multiple times a day, but that number fluctuates for me *so* much. Now, I weigh myself on Thursday mornings, thats it. I use it as a small indicator of my progress, but I also do body measurements. Seeing myself lose half an inch here, half an inch there felt super rewarding.
I also tune into how my clothes fit and how Im feeling overall. I dropped from a size 24 in jeans to a size 16, and from XXL tops to a standard large.
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Benefits Of Pairing Low
Is it just a case of overlapping interests? Is it because when you stumble upon one big lie perpetrated by the expertsthat cutting carbs will give you heart disease and leave your brain starving for energy/you must eat 6-8 small meals a day or else risk starvation mode and slow metabolismyou start questioning all the other advice they give?
It might be some of that. But a big reason why intermittent fasting and low-carb eating tend to converge is that they are synergistic. Doing one makes the other work better, and vice versa.
What are the benefits? What are the synergies?
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Low Carb Means High Cortisol
I’m not going to make any friends here, but facts are facts. Keto and other low-carb diet approaches lead to higher cortisol levels, especially in response to training.
One study found a large cortisol increase in the first two days of low-carb eating. It became “less bad” after two weeks, but it was still higher than the higher-carb diet.
Why? Well, the two key functions of cortisol are:
While number one is more dependent on caloric intake, number two is heavily influenced by carb intake. A diet leading to low blood glucose levels will lead to higher cortisol and glucagon to mobilize stored glucose , or to break down muscle tissue into amino acids to have the liver convert them to glucose.
Why does it matter?
Not to mention, a low-carb diet leads to a lower work capacity during intense workouts. And, of course, keto dieting is inferior for muscle growth. I suspect that the higher cortisol is part of the reason, but not the only one.
“Yeah, but keto works great for me, bro!”
I’m not saying it can’t work. And it’s certainly better than how many people are eating. But don’t let personal bias, emotional bias, or recency bias cloud your objectivity!
What Is The Science Behind Intermittent Fast
While there is data suggesting that IF can be beneficial, a major limitation of this data is many studies use a variety of approaches to fasting, which makes the research difficult to summarize. Some studies show a benefit of 14:10 time restricted eating, while others look at the benefits of alternate day fasting. One important thing to note is that in general, the clinical studies using IF tend to be shorter than 2 years, so the long term sustainability of this approach remains to be determined. Furthermore, it is not clear whether all of the benefits of IF come directly from fasting, or indirectly from weight loss.
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Tweaking Your Dietary Fat
Stick with nutrient-dense fat like grass-fed butter, avocados, olive oil, or coconutoil. Coconut oil is especially good because it contains what are called medium-chaintriglycerides, a type of fat that’s good to induce more fat burning also found incoconut milk. Some other fats like corn, soy or cottonseed oil are not only nutrient empty butalso usually GMO – avoid them.
Down 100 Pounds Thanks To Low Carb And Intermittent Fasting
Mark has lost 100 pounds and gotten rid of his high blood pressure with a low-carb diet and intermittent fasting. And he continues to experiment with his low-carb lifestyle. Now hes getting leaner with only one workout per week:
Dear Dr. Eenfeldt,
After seeing your recent tweet regarding success stories w/ LCHF, I felt compelled to send you a pic of my transformation. From the 290s down to the 190s . No more HBP meds!
I have been playing around with different LCHF/keto/IF approaches recently and slowly whittling my weight down, while gaining muscle , and getting leaner. I started low carb in Nov 16 I began intermittent fasting in April 17I have been weight stable since October 17I have been playing around with different LCHF/keto/IF approaches recently and slowly whittling my weight down, while gaining muscle , and getting leaner.
Again, thank you for all the work that you and the Diet Doctor team do!
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I Came Down With Keto Flu
The keto flu is a term youll 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 didnt experience any repercussions for it. .
How To Start Intermittent Fasting Without Keto
The easiest way to start intermittent fasting without keto is to start today! It sounds simple, and it is. Here are my 4 steps to getting started:
1. Create an Intermittent Fasting Schedule
2. Prioritize your Sleep
Sleep is one of the most underrated tools for health, weight loss, and emotional wellness. If youre running low on energy and are not getting enough sleep, aim for a minimum of 7 hours per night. Otherwise, adding intermittent fasting to an already exhausted body will not help you achieve your goals. More on how to sleep better here.
3. Plan your Meals
If you want to stick with intermittent fasting long-term without a keto diet and give your body the nutrients it needs you need to make a plan for the foods you want to eat.
Make sure to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, grains, and legumes all of which I incorporate for you in the meal plan included inside the Intermittent Fasting eBooks Meal Plan.
4. Start Today
The best part about intermittent fasting without following a ketogenic diet is that you can literally decide to start today! You dont need to purchase vitamins and supplements, low-carb foods, or expensive ketone measuring sticks.
Intermittent Fasting 101
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The Ketogenic Diet Reduces Your Lifespan
I found one study that claimed that a low-carb diet shortens a lifespan. When I took acloser look, I found that the researchers had a conflict of interest because they hadreceived fees from large pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, this âstudyâ was basedonly on questionnaires using peopleâs memories of what their diets had been like.
How Do I Combine Fasting With Atkins 20
While we do not suggest that you combine these two approaches. However, if you are keen on combing the two, we recommend starting your low carb diet for 23 weeks prior to fasting so that you can safely and completely adapt your body.
We do suggest pairing intermittent fasting with an Atkins 100-type approach, which allows for a few more fiber-rich carbohydrates each day. This can reduce some of the stress that may occur when strict carbohydrate restriction is paired with IF. Atkins 100 also more closely resembles the research that has combined low carb eating with fasting.
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Intermittent Fasting Window Time Schedules
These are several popular methods of IF, each with their own intermittent fasting times and rules:
16/8 intermittent fasting
This is also called the Leangains Method, and it involves restricting your daily eating period to eight hours. For example, you would eat from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., then fast for 16 hours in between.
20/4 intermittent fasting
Also known as the 20:4 diet, this method involves a 20-hour fast. Here, you would eat from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., for example, then fast until the next four-hour period.
14/10 intermittent fasting
This intermittent fasting schedule might be easier for those new to fasting, as the fasting window only lasts for 14 hours. For example, this means you would eat from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., then fast until 8 a.m. the next day.
This involves fasting for 24 hours, once or twice a week. Here, you would fast from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
The 5:2 intermittent fasting diet:
With this method, you consume only 500 to 600 calories on two non-consecutive days of the week, eating normally on the other five days.
Similar to the 20:4 diet, this splits your day into the same time periods. In the warrior diet, however, you eat very little during the 20-hour period and overeat during the last four .
Alternate day fasting
An alternate-day fasting plan is exactly what it sounds like: eat one day, dont eat the next.
One meal a day
Primal Eating For Modern Health
IF and keto or low-carb diets fit together like puzzle pieces to bring us back to our bodies primitive roots. They help us operate exactly as we are meant to operate, and they can transform our health, reducing or even eliminating many modern health issues. Youll lose weight, feel stronger, healthier, more resilient, and more vibrant.
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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.