What Is A Ketogenic Diet
A ketogenic diet means eating high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-to-no carbohydrates.
When the levels of ketones in our blood get elevated, we enter the metabolic state called ketosisthe root of the term keto diet.
The calorie breakdown of a typical ketogenic diet looks like:
- 70-80% of calories from fat
- 15-30% calories from protein
- 0-10% calories from carbohydrates
Most ketones pack more energy per unit than carbs. They can also fuel the vast majority of your cells. For the few other types of cells that need glucose, your body will synthesize it from protein. This is a natural process called gluconeogenesis.
/5is It Safe To Do So
Itâs important to remember that both Keto and Intermittent Fasting do have their fair share of pros and cons. So, following two diets at once could also mean that you end up at the risk of double the side-effects, especially if you are a beginner.
Experiencing low blood sugar, nausea, mood swings, fatigue, constipation can also be common in the starting days. More so, do remember that trying the two diets together also requires a lot more patience and commitment, since itâs a narrow way of eating.
If you do try the diets, the best would be to ease into them, rather than going all-in. Add foods in your diet which release energy slowly, and donât completely quit out carbs. If you have a history of eating disorders, trying this method out wouldnât be wise.
Top 6 Questions About Intermittent Fasting
1) Wont I get really hungry if I start skipping meals?
As explained above, this can be a result of the habits you have built for your body. If you are constantly eating or always eat the same time of day, your body can actually learn to prepare itself for food by beginning the process of insulin production and preparation for food.
After a brief adjustment period, your body can adapt to the fact that its only eating a few times a day. The more overweight you are, and the more often you eat, the more of an initial struggle this might be.
Remember, your bodys physical and cognitive abilities most likley wont be diminished as a result of short term fasting.
2) Where will I get my energy for my workouts? Wont I be exhausted and not be able to complete my workouts if fasting?
This was a major concern of mine as well, but the research says otherwise: Training with limited carbohydrate availability can stimulate adaptations in muscle cells to facilitate energy production via fat oxidation.
In other words, when you train in a fasted state, your body can get better at burning fat for energy when there are no carbs to pull from!
Ill share some of my experiences, now doing heavy strength training for 3 years in a fasted state:
Here I am pulling 420 lbs. at 172 BW after a 16 hour fast:
3) I like the idea of fasted training, but I work a regular 9-5 or a night shift and cant train at 11AM like you do. What am I supposed to do?
4) Wont fasting cause muscle loss?
Read Also: Does Fasting Cause Weight Loss
How To Start Intermittent Fasting
There is more than one way to start intermittent fasting, which is great because everybody is different. The key is to experiment and listen to your body to see what works best for you.
Here are some of ways to get started:
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period and fast the rest of the time.
- One meal a day : Also known as eating once a day. You eat all of your daily calories in just one meal each day, and fast the rest of the day.
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you fast by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- Alternate Day Fasting: You alternate fasting on certain days of the week: a day of eating normally, followed by a day eating 25% of your typical daily calories. A study found that obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule lost up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
If intermittent fasting causes fatigue or other negative side effects, try fasting just once or twice a week, and build up from there.
As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider or dietitian to determine whats best for you. If you struggle with healthy eating patterns or dieting behaviors, intermittent fasting may not be for youand thats totally okay. There are many different ways to live a healthy lifestyle. Intermittent fasting is just one style of eating that works for some people, and doesnt work for others.
Fasting On Alternate Days
Alternate-day fasting consists of fasting one day, then eating regularly the next. On this schedule, your caloric intake on fasting days will be roughly 25% of your usual calories. For example, if you typically eat a 2,000-calorie diet, youll limit your calorie intake to 500 calories during your fasting time.
Also Check: Can You Eat During Intermittent Fasting
Stable Blood Sugar Levels
Stable blood sugar levels are vital to the success of any diet. This is because when glucose levels plummet, it leads to intense hunger, which almost always results in binge eating. Stable blood sugar levels help eliminate headaches, lack of focus, poor memory, and brain fog as well. Interestingly, these are common complaints among those who follow high carbohydrate diets, as opposed to diets that are rich in fat and protein.
A Sample Menu For Keto And Intermittent Fasting
If youve gotten the green light from your healthcare team and want to try this combined approach, you might be wondering what youll eat . Your instincts are right: This diet is all about the timing.
Below, heres what Shemek says three days on the plan might look like when done with time-restricted eating in a 16-hour fast, 8-hour feed pattern. This approach isnt the only way to do IF there are many ways to fast. For example, you can also do a 12- or 14-hour daily fast.
In this plan, youll see that snacks are optional. Also keep in mind that your carb, protein, and fat needs to stay in ketosis depend on your individual health. Working with a registered dietitian familiar with keto-IF can help you determine those ratios.
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So Which Is Best For Weight Loss Intermittent Fasting Or Keto
- Both diets promote weight loss, provided youre eating fewer calories than you burn
- Both diets have the potential in increase insulin sensitivity, leading to improved glucose utilization and reduced risk for developing diabetes and heart disease
- Intermittent fasting is more flexible than keto when it comes to the types of food you can eat. This increases the pool of available vitamins and minerals obtainable from the diet
- Intermittent fasting can be modified for those who require or desire shorter fasts and is not mandatory to fast every day. Keto is all or nothing: youre either in ketosis or not and keto requires strict daily adherence.
- Keto may produce quicker results compared to certain types of intermittent fasting
Read Also: Can I Do Keto While Breastfeeding
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.
Recommended Reading: How To Start With Intermittent Fasting
How Weight Management Works With Intermittent Fasting
When youre intermittent fasting, you eat all the food your body needs, but during a shorter period of time. There are many methods, but the most common involves eating during a six- to eight-hour window and fasting the remaining 14 to 16 hours. Its not as bad as it sounds, especially when you fuel up beforehand with Bulletproof Coffee to keep hunger levels in check.
Multiple studies show that intermittent fasting supports weight management. In a 2015 review pooling 40 different studies, participants lost 10 pounds in a 10-week period on average. Another smaller study of 16 obese adults following an alternate day intermittent fasting schedule resulted in them losing up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
Intermittent fasting also triggers a perfect storm of metabolic changes to tackle weight management and fat reduction. Heres how it can help you stay at a healthy weight:
What Do The Experts Say
According to a 2019 review, intermittent fasting produces equivalent weight loss when compared to continuous energy restriction with no differences between groups in weight or body fat loss. Basically, this means that when it comes to weight loss, intermittent fasting provides no added benefit compared to just eating fewer calories throughout the day, provided you are burning more calories than youre eating.
Intermittent fasting may also give rise to additional health benefits. For example, periods of fasting have been shown to improve insulin resistance, glucose metabolism, and inflammation, decreasing the risk for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. But as with weight loss, these effects appear to be due to the calorie restriction and not the fasting itself.
Please note because intermittent fasting as a weight loss method is a relatively new topic, there is not a lot of research on the long-term effects and potential complications of it. Furthermore, many of the existing studies have been done using animal models or were purely observational, meaning the evidence is not very strong. Randomized control trials using human subjects is the gold standard for strong research.
Recommended Reading: How Do I Lower My Fasting Blood Sugar
Types Of Ketogenic Diets
There are four main ways to practice the ketogenic diet: Standard Ketogenic Diet , Targeted Ketogenic Diet , Cyclical Ketogenic Diet , and High-Protein Ketogenic Diet . Each of these focuses on staying in ketosis as much as possible, but the latter two allow for more carbs or protein at certain points.Standard ketogenic diet : a very low-carbohydrate with moderate-protein and high-fat diet. This diet typically contains 70% fat, 20% protein, and only 10% carbohydrates. Its the most common form of the keto diet and also the most studied.Cyclical ketogenic diet : allows for periods of higher-carbohydrate intake between the keto cycles to allow for carb re-feeding. Most commonly, a CKD eater would have five ketogenic days followed by two high-carbohydrate days as one cycle. This way of eating may increase long-term compliance, but more studies need to be done to better understand it.Targeted ketogenic diet : allows for additional carbohydrates before an intense workout. Right before strength or endurance training, you would select a very easily digestible carbohydrate to boose glycogen production, theoretically to improve performance .High-protein ketogenic diet : includes more protein than SDK, usually used if a dieter experiences a loss of energy or muscle mass. The ratio for this version of keto is around 60% fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates. This way of practicing keto is closer to the Atkins diet, which allows for more protein than SDK.
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. .
Also Check: What Is Fasting And Prayer
Keep Up Your Water Intake
During the non-feeding period, make sure you keep yourself hydrated by drinking a higher amount of water.
The rule of intermeeting fasting is not extended to water intake.
Hence, you can drink as much as water you want during the feeding as well as non-feeding period. No restrictions applied here!
This will prevent fatigue and keep you energetic throughout the day.
Intermittent Fasting Differs From Calorie Restriction
Fasting is not about how much you eat, but rather WHEN you eat.
On the one hand, it means you eat specifically after your workout. On the other hand, it means you dont eat during the fasting period before exercising because even small meals raise insulin levels.
Hence, conventional diet advice often prevents fat loss through exercise.
Besides, intermittent fasting does not require calorie reduction, as many people would like to believe. It merely involves timing calorie intake to favor fat loss and muscle gain hormonally.
If you only eat two instead of three times a day, your meals will automatically get bigger. For some people, this may still result in a slight calorie deficit.
However, if muscle building is your stated goal, intermittent fasting 16/8 does not require you to hold back during the eating period. Instead, you concentrate your daily needs on a specific period.
Although conventional calorie restriction can lead to weight, it leads to fat gain and muscle loss in the long term. Besides, the basal metabolic rate decreases when you eat less but frequently .
Unfortunately, the human body is still often reduced to a combustion engine. Nevertheless, it is controlled by hormones. And this fact applies to both muscle building and fat loss.
Also Check: What Can I Eat For Fasting
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.
Can You Eat Anything While Intermittent Fasting & Still Lose Weight
For optimal weight loss results, you should follow a balanced and healthy diet while intermittent fasting.
This means providing your body with adequate nutrition from each food group without depriving it of nutrients. After all, nutrients are the building blocks for better health, cellular repair, recovery, better sleep, and even weight loss.
While a lot of people restrict calories and shed pounds, eventually, the body will feel the deprivation and slow down the metabolism and require fewer calories to sustain itself.
A deprived body of both calories and nutrition will think its being starved and hang on to its fat stores for dear life -think plateaus.
For long-lasting results, its important to understand how many calories your body needs and feed it the right amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats.
To learn more about what to eat and drink while intermittent fasting, check out this post.
What Is Intermittent Fasting 16/8
Intermittent fasting involves eating within a specific time and fasting during the rest of the day.
Although very different intermittent fasting forms exist, fasting within a time window of around 16 hours is by far the most popular.
Because it allows you to build muscle mass and lose body fat simultaneously, 16/8 intermittent fasting is also known as the Lean Gains Method or Peak Fasting.
For example, you eat between noon and 8 pm. This way, your gastrointestinal tract can rest for the remaining 16 hours of the day.
After you sleep 8 of the 16 fasting hours, intermittent fasting is more comfortable than many people assume.
Therefore, to begin regular 16/8 intermittent fasting, all you need to do is skip breakfast.
Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is far from mandatory due to the energy boost from hormone release in the morning.
Due to increased adrenaline, cortisol, glucagon, and growth hormone levels, we wake up in the morning.
In conclusion, breakfast is the most important meal of the day for the food industry, but not for you. Nevertheless, Intermittent Fasting is flexible and can be customized to fit your daily routine.
Besides 16/8 intermittent fasting, the following intermittent fasting protocols are widely used:
- One-Day Fasting you do not eat anything on a full day a week
- Two-Day Fasting you do not eat on two days
- Alternate Day Fasting Eat one day, fast one day
- One Meal A Day 23/1 intermittent fasting, where you eat once a day