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.
If You Need To Lose Weight A Diet That Focuses Mainly On When You Eat May Be A Good Way To Shed Pounds And Improve Your Cardiovascular Health
Anyone whos tried different weight-lossdiets is probably familiar with their pitfalls. Low-calorie diets often leave you tired, hungry, and cranky. Low-carb or keto diets can cause cravings and constipation. Low-fat diets are also tough to follow and, contrary to popular belief, they do not seem to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Another diet trend, intermittent fasting, takes a different approach. Rather than limiting what you eat, this diet limits when you eat . For some people, that change may be easier to manage, says Dr. Eric Rimm, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Short-term studies suggest that people stick to intermittent fasting diets as well as or better than they do to other diets. And according to a 2019 review article in the journal Nutrients, intermittent fasting promotes weight loss and may reduce risk factors linked to heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure, unhealthy blood lipid levels, and inflammation.
However, we dont have much evidence about how well this diet works over the long term, says Dr. Rimm, noting that there are just two long-term studies of intermittent fasting, each lasting a year. Nor are there large populations of people whove followed this eating pattern for years. Thats in contrast to two other diets linked to a healthy heart and healthy body size the Mediterranean diet and a vegetarian diet.
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What Foods Are Good For Keto
While there are some restrictions, there are many ways to satisfy your hunger and health while following a keto diet.
The list of foods that are good for keto is relatively expansive. However, it can still take some getting used to. That said, lets look at some keto-friendly foods that can keep you happy and healthy.
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What Should I Eat When Im Not Fasting
Most of the research around IF does not provide strict guidelines around what to eat during your feeding window. But no matter which type of fasting you choose, make sure youre eating sufficient, quality calories during your feeding window. Reach for healthy foods such as fiber-rich carbs, healthy fats, and protein , you should also avoid sugar and refined carbs.
Because fasting elicits some of its beneficial effects through reducing insulin production, it has become popular to pair IF with a low carb or keto approach. We recommend eating high quality goods when youre not fasting, for inspiration, we recommend browsing our low carb recipes.
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.
Intermittent Fasting And Low Carb Diets
My own view based on my experience of trying low carb dieting is though effective in the short term, diets such as Atkins are not practical to follow in the long term. In my opinion, to lose body fat and control weight, the way we eat has to be possible to follow for the long term, not just for a few weeks. I have in the past done Atkins, The South Beach Diet, and Fat Flush. I have taken things from all of these diet plans, I use them as part of lifestyle today. I also have a greater understanding of the effect refined carbohydrates have on my body, but the simple fact remains I could not follow these plans as a long term lifestyle change.
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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. .
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Why Low Carb And Fasting Work Well Together
Following a low-carb diet puts your body in a hormonal state that favors fat burning. Intermittent fasting also puts your body in a hormonal state that favors fat burning. When you combine the two, you give body fat a one-two punch and accelerate your results. In this post, I explain how it works.
What Can You Drink While Fasting
While eating is definitely off the table while in your fasting window, many people find success with a variety of beverages that can help preserve the benefits of fasting while simultaneously curbing hunger pangs. Heres a rundown of a few of the most common:
- Water. Staying hydrated is the most important component to a successful fast. Choose still or sparkling, but be sure to check the label on flavored water, which may have hidden carbs.
- Coffee and tea. If you cant imagine your mornings without a cup of coffee or tea, dont fret! Black coffee and tea contain so few calories that you may find they dont impact your fast at all. Or, you may find that the benefits outweigh the negligible calories. Just be careful to reach for low carb and calorie creamers and sweeteners, if at all.
- Broth. While broth will technically break your fast, it contains high levels of necessary sodium and other minerals, which helps your body replenish electrolytes and stay hydrated while also fighting off hunger pangs. Most broths also contain very few calories
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What Are The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Studies indicate that IF may be effective for weight loss and maintenance in addition to improving markers of metabolic health, digestive function, and circadian rhythm. Other research shows that overall, IF reduces caloric intake, which can help people lose weight, support healthy blood sugar levels, and regulate inflammation. Some researchers have suggested that when IF results in weight-loss it may help support cognitive functions or even help break food addiction.
Expect A Greater Weight Loss When Combining A Low Carb Diet And Fasting
Many health-conscious people turn to a low-carb intermittent fasting plan to help with weight loss, but does it really work?
The answer is, yes! The ketones induced by a low-carb diet and ketosis not only burn fat for better energy levels, but actually remove those fat molecules from being stored around the body.
So, instead of just losing water weight and then hitting a weight loss plateau, fueling with a low carb eating pattern outside of fasting hours promotes physical fat loss. This means you can drop more pounds with intermittent fasting and keto than you could on a crash diet.
Additionally, studies under medical supervision have shown that a low carbohydrate diet works to reduce your appetite and diminish hunger cravings.
Due to the complex and balanced meals included in eating a low-carb diet, people tend to feel fuller for longer, instead of experiencing blood sugar spikes and dives throughout the day.
It not only makes it easier for you to fast for longer stretches but also to avoid eating extraneous meals on alternate day fasting-free periods.
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Intermittent Fasting On A Low Carb Diet: How It Works
Intermittent fasting can be a helpful tool in your weight loss toolbox. Learn from our decades of experience how to pair intermittent fasting with Atkins and how to avoid common pitfalls.
Intermittent fasting is becoming increasingly popular, but if youre already adapted to a low carb dietor considering starting oneyou may not need to rely on it as your sole diet. The truth is: Atkins diet plans offer many of the same benefits intermittent fasting does, all on their own.
Intermittent Fasting And Ketosis
One of the best things about fasting is that it can help you get into ketosis faster.
The two are related for a few reasons:
So, is intermittent fasting 16/8 guaranteed to get you into ketosis? No, but it can help get you there if you do it along with a keto diet.
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Simplifying The Mechanisms Behind The Benefits: Autophagy Ketones And Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting is so powerful because you can use it to restrict calories, induce ketosis, and activate the processes of autophagy that are brought about by protein restriction and starvation.
If this scientific jargon is throwing you off, think about what it takes for you to clean your room. You may clean it in your spare time or have a set time on the weekend to do it, but what happens when the weekend comes?
Tasks or chores come up and you prioritize something else. After a week without cleaning, your room is just a bit dirtier than usual, but after a month of being too busy to clean, your room is filthy.
This is what happens to our cells when we eat three or more meals a day that completely fulfills our calorie needs every day. Even by eating the healthiest of foods, your cells still can get backed up with non-essential proteins and toxic compounds so what can you do?
To make sure that you clean your actual bedroom, you fast not from food but from being consumed by other obligations. To make sure that your cells can clean themselves, you must fast from food.
This fasting process will not only activate this clean process for your cells, but it will increase your ketone production and promote fat burning as well. Simply put, by adding intermittent fasting to your keto lifestyle, you can experience the benefits of keto more quickly along with the effects of autophagy.
Intermittent Fasting Or If
In a nutshell, intermittent fasting is focused on timing, and its all about when you eat and not what you eat. Intermittent fasting gives you an eight-hour window during which you can eat whatever you want, provided youre fasting for the remaining sixteen hours.
Those who follow this routine break their fast at around noon and have their last meal before 8 PM. Technically, this means you skip breakfast and have an early dinner. Doesnt sound too difficult, does it? Its important to point out that if youre intermittent fasting, you may have to bid farewell to your midnight snack binge, but by fasting, you also control how often you eat to improve digestion and lose weight.
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What Is The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, very low-carb way of eating.
Carbs are typically reduced to 20 to 50 grams per day, which forces your body to rely on fats instead of glucose for its main energy source .
In the metabolic process known as ketosis, your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source .
This diet is an effective way to shed pounds, but it has several other benefits as well.
The keto diet has been used for nearly a century to treat epilepsy and also demonstrates promise for other neurological disorders (
Whats more, it may reduce blood sugar, improve insulin resistance and lower heart disease risk factors like triglyceride levels .
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet linked to potential health benefits, such as weight loss and improved blood sugar control.
If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.
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.
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Extended Fasting Can Be Even More Powerful: Try The Snake Diet
I dont recommend that you dive right into extended fasting if you are new to living a fasting-focused lifestyle, but a 48-hour or 72-hour fast can be greatly beneficial to your body in many ways. Once you have practiced intermittent fasting for a few weeks, along with low-carb eating, you can try an extended fast for speeding up your weight loss efforts, along with clearing up your skin, improving your digestion, strengthening your immune system, and providing an overall detox for your body.
The best strategy to follow for extended fasting might be to adhere to the Snake Diet, which is a fasting routine developed by Cole Robinson that mainly involves drinking water with salt during extended fasts, along with occasional dry fasting. Check out Coles YouTube channel at the following link and get started on your weight loss journey today!
When Should I Fast
IF is probably best used when you know you have excess blood sugar and insulin to clear out. This could be post-holidays, or after a week or two when you know that you havent been eating low carb.
We suggest starting with a 16 hour fast, after dinner. Ideally, you would finish dinner between 6-7 p.m. on Monday and you would not consume your next meal until 10-11 a.m. on Tuesday. During your fasting period, we recommend making sure to stay hydrated and consuming adequate electrolytes.
You can stick with your chose fasting approach for as long as you would like, one day or one year. some people like to fast when they feel bloated or overate at dinner the night before, while others use it as a lifestyle. Pay attention to how you feel, and personalize it how you see best.
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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.