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What Is Water Fasting In Keto

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Keto And Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide

Fat Fasting vs Water Fasting on Keto

Brady Holmer

When it comes to biohacking, there probably arent two more popular practices than the;ketogenic high-fat diet and fasting.

Both regimens have health benefits including improved metabolism, weight loss, and even better cognitive function. Research studies have shown benefits for each, and personal stories on social media serve as some pretty profound anecdotes.

It might not be surprising that many often adopt a keto diet with intermittent fasting. Maybe youre one of those people. This makes senseketo and intermittent fasting actually have a lot in common. Keto works in many of the same ways that intermittent fasting works.

And, in fact, sticking to a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic diet might actually make it much, much easier to practice intermittent fasting. The synergy of keto with intermittent fasting can lead to some pretty remarkable benefits for you body. This article will explore why.

Why Try Water Fasting

While various types of fasting have recently become trendy, the practice actually dates all the way back to early humans. Unlike in our modern-day society, historically, food was scarce. Fasting was the norm and our bodies have been evolutionarily programmed to handle long bouts without food. Of course, we no longer have to endure long periods of time without food, but our genes havent changed much. Some medical experts believe that our current round-the-clock eating patterns may be contributing to chronic disease and that fasting may be the key to treating and prevent chronic disease.

In animals, prolonged fasting has been shown to prevent and reduce cancer incidence, diminish the negative side effects of chemotherapy, and increase lifespan.

During prolonged fasting, usually 72 hours or more, a process known as autophagy is believed to occur. Autophagy is the bodys cellular recycling process in which it breaks down damaged and dysfunctional proteins and other cellular components. Prolonged fasting is one way to induce this, though we dont know exactly how long this takes in humans. Exercise has also been shown to induce autophagy in both humans and animals.

What Happens Metabolically When You Fast

Our bodys preferred source of energy is the monosaccharide, glucose. Glucose is stored in the body in chains known as glycogen. During a fast, our body taps into our glycogen stores to get the energy it needs. Once the stored glycogen is used up , the body starts breaking down protein and fat. After about 48 hours, the body goes into a protein-sparing mode and relies predominantly on fat for fuel, turning it into glucose and molecules known as ketones to be used as energy. This adaptation is known as ketosis, the bodys starvation mode.

Without incoming nutrients, many physiological processes related to growth slow down. Fasting results in decreases in the hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 . High levels of IGF-1 have been associated with chronic disease in adults. Fasting also results in decreased levels of insulin and leptin and increases in the fat-burning hormone adiponectin.;Meanwhile, antioxidant and stress-resistant enzymes are activated in response to decreases in these hormones, which is believed to be one mechanism by which fasting results in disease prevention.

Additionally, some individuals report increased mental acuity during fasting. However, one study of a three-week ketogenic diet showed no differences in cognition and mood in healthy adult participants.

Recommended Reading: What Should Your Blood Sugar Be Fasting

What To Avoid When You Break Your Water Fast For Ketosis

Do not drink any sugar or other carbs. Avoid foods with high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sugars and preservatives to maintain ketosis! Try these healthy substitutes: Stevia sweetener instead of Splenda. Xylitol is also a great alternative for those who want something sweeter than stevia or have diabetes.

For example, use xylitol in your Oatmeal instead of brown sugar or honey. You can substitute almond milk for cows milk and soy sauce for Worcestershire sauce when cooking meat on the grill. Such as chicken breasts, pork tenderloin chops/steaks and salmon fillets, etc. Its not only healthier but gives food a also saves money!

Reduction Of Hdl Cholesterol

Water Fasting: Everything You Need to Know  Kiss My Keto ...

A 2018 study conducted on ten volunteers found that high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was reduced after ten days of water fasting 1. HDL is known as the good cholesterol because of its anti-atherogenic properties, that is, it limits the build-up of plaque in blood vessel walls. Cardiovascular diseases are often associated with reduced levels of HDL cholesterol, especially in people with diabetes 2.

Since prolonged water fasting has been found to reduce good cholesterol, it may also reduce the health benefits associated with HDL such as its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Read Also: How To Lose Weight Fast By Fasting

Ketosis And Fasting: All You Need To Know

The keto diet has taken the world by storm, and not necessarily because its another fad, but rather, since people tend to see results. Both the keto diet and fasting have a lot in common, cutting out foods especially. You may have some questions about ketosis as it relates to fasting. For example, can being on a fast help you enter ketosis sooner?

Indeed, intermittent fasts of 24 hours or fewer should allow you to enter a state of ketosis more quickly than going without. Studies also indicate that fasting when on a keto diet can accelerate weight loss.

If you have yet more burning questions about ketosis and fasting, then this is the article for you. Ahead, well discuss ketosis in depth, explain how its different than fasting, and dive deeper into the data on how fasting speeds up ketosis.

Lets begin!

How To Break Your Water Fast And Stay In Ketosis

The first thing to do is talk with your doctor and make sure that this water fast fits within their recommendations.

Ask for a consult if you are not already working with one of these specialists in fasting, as they will take into account what has been happening during the water fast . They can also provide input on the best time to break your water fast if you are interested in fasting again.

The goal is to maintain ketosis, which means that after a few days of eating, its important not to overdo it and go back into starvation mode by consuming too many calories all at once.

A day or before breaking your fast, the best thing to do is consume a small meal. This will help ease back into eating and keep you in ketosis if its been less than 24 hours since you last ate.

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A Brief History Of Fasting

Contrary to popular belief, going a period of time without eating isnt a new idea brought on by the wave of fitness influencers. Actually, fasting has existed for thousands of years

Ancient civilizations and religious groups have implemented this practice for various reasons. From preparing to approach deities to using it as a form of penitence, people have engaged in short-term fasts for centuries.

While there are certainly some folks who fast as part of their religion, more people have opened up to the idea of a fasting window for the potential health benefits.

So why might someone want to only eat during a certain time frame?

For one, fasting can help usher along;autophagy, which is one of your bodys natural detoxification processes. Plus, when overseen by a physician, fasting can also help with weight management, blood sugar control, and even support healthy aging.

Of course, the practice of fasting isnt just a one-size-fits-all model. While intermittent fasting is the most popular method, there are other ways to implement this eating pattern. From dry fasts to wet fasts , there are different ways to incorporate fasting into your lifestyle.

Related:;The Complete Intermittent Fasting Guide for Beginners

Weight Loss And Body Composition

What can Keto and water fasting do for me

Short-term water fasting has many benefits, but weight loss might not be one of the most robust.

In 24 – 48 hours, most of the weight you lose will be the result of shedding a significant amount of water weight and/or a minor loss in muscle glycogen, along with smaller amounts of muscle and fat.

For long term fat loss, a more prolonged water-only fast may be needed, or a dedicated regimen of intermittent fasting undertaken for a significant length of time.

Yet, some studies do demonstrate significant weight loss after short term water fasts.

After a 24-hour water-only fast, healthy adults experienced a decrease in weight which was maintained for up to 48 hour post-fast. Horne2013 Larger changes in body mass are seen with longer fasts. In an older study consisting of 46 obese participants who were put on a 14-day fast, average weight loss was 7.6 kilograms. Gilliland1968 A similar time period in rats led to significant weight loss, body fat loss, and an increase in relative lean mass . Huth1959

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Does Fasting Allow You To Enter Ketosis Faster

Youre certainly interested in ketosis, as the keto diet seems like it can be largely advantageous for your health. How long will it take you to enter ketosis if youre adhering to a low-carb diet?

It can be a while, anywhere from two to seven days depending on what youre eating. A week can be a long time to go without carbs, but fortunately, you can accelerate the amount of time it takes to enter a ketogenic state.

Here are some methods you can use:

What about if you go on an intermittent fast while following the keto diet? Is it possible to speed up the amount of time it takes you to enter ketosis that way?

Yes, it is. Intermittent fasting allows you to consume some food depending on the type of fast youre on. With alternate-day fasts, you spend 24 hours fasting then the next 24 hours eating, in this case, abiding by the keto diet.

On the 16:8 fast or some variation thereof, you spend 16 hours fasting and another eight hours eating. The 5:2 diet requires you to cut your calories to no more than 600 calories a day twice a week. Then youd spend the other five days eating more regularly.

You dont necessarily have to dedicate yourself to a particularly long fast to speed up ketosis. Short-term fasting for a few hours at a time, even between meals, can put you into a state of ketosis faster than eating continuously.

If you find thats not the case for you, then you can fast for periods of 24 to 48 hours, typically with a doctors approval, when on the keto diet.

Tips For Breaking A Longer Fast On Keto

If fasting for longer than 24 hours, its important to slowly reintroduce nutrients into your body. You dont want to load your digestive system with too much after going more than a day without eating.

So whats the best way to break a longer fast on keto?

Start with simple foods that your body can easily digest. If you know a particular food gives you trouble, its best to avoid it at this time. Instead, go for lighter options like veggies, lean proteins, broths, and soups that wont be difficult on your digestive system.

More Diet Tips From Bulletproof

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Intermittent Fasting For Disease States

Recent studies support the use of intermittent fasting as a means of lowering blood glucose in people with diabetes and leading to overall improved health outcomes.

In particular, one study published in the World Journal of Diabetes found that subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus implementing short-term daily IF significantly reduced body weight, fasting glucose and improved post meal glucose variability.

IF has been shown to:

  • Improve markers of stress resistance
  • Lower inflammation and blood pressure
  • Improve glucose circulation and lipid levels, leading to a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, neurological disorders and cancer.

Beyond its application for diabetes management and reducing the risk of other diseases, IF is also proven to be as effective as some approved drugs for reducing some types of seizures and seizure-related brain damage and for addressing symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

Additionally, research is beginning to emerge showing positive effects of alternate day fasting on reducing the toxic effects of chemotherapy and decreasing morbidity rates associated with cancer.

Live Long And Prosper

How Long Does It Take To Get Into Ketosis On A Water Fast ...

Its hard to study lifespan in humans, so in this area, we dont have a lot of data on IF promoting a longer life. But, in rodent models, animals were fasted intermittently showed increased lifespan and healthspan compared to mice who ate more frequently. Mitchell2019 Lifespan might be enhanced through several mechanisms involving increased autophagy, reduced oxidative stress, and lower levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 . Parzych2014,Martinet2006,Mizushima2004,Mojto2018,Lee2012,Fuhrman2002

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How To Break The Fast:

My general rule on breaking an extended water fast is to add up the amount of days you fasted and divide by 2.; Give yourself that many days before adding back harder to digest foods such as raw veggies, meat and eggs.

The first meal when you break your fast should be a protein shake with high quality ingredients, possibly bone broth or vegetable broth and a fermented drink like coconut water kefir.; Here is a helpful infographic to guide you.

What To Expect On A 5 Day Water Fast

Water fasting is one of the most ancient and powerful healing strategies known to mankind.; Modern science is showing the profound benefits of water fasting on reducing inflammation, stimulating cellular cleansing called autophagy and producing stem cells to regenerate new tissue. In this article, I will take you on a journey to understand what is happening in your body and what to expect as you go through a 5-day water fast.

Fasting is like exercise in that it is very uncomfortable and can even be downright painful when you first get started.; But just like exercise, as you develop your fasting fitness, it will get easier and more enjoyable.

Most people are highly concerned about what they may experience on an extended water fast and rightfully so.; My purpose in writing this is to go through day to day what you can expect as you navigate the journey on a water fast.

Recommended Reading: What Is The Advantage Of Intermittent Fasting

Brain Fog Or Feeling Confused

Ketosis can lead to more mental clarity, but at first you may find yourself feeling confused, forgetful or foggy. If your body is used to a blood sugar roller coaster, then lowering levels can trigger brain fog. It can show up no matter how much sleep you get or whether or not youve had coffee. Try to go into the first day or two of fasting being aware of the potential brain fog, as it takes some time to transition.

How Often Should I Do An Extended Fast

Water Fasting Class 13 – What to eat to stay in Ketosis – Refeeding Keto

I believe that for many people a 4-5 day water fast is all that is needed.; If you are significantly overweight or have debilitating inflammation, you may consider doing a longer fast such as 8-10 days or you can just do the 4-5 day fast more frequently.

For lean individuals with;chronic inflammatory;diseases, I will typically recommend a 35 day water fast every 812 weeks until the inflammatory condition improves.; Your body will get stronger and healthier through each fast.; Over the course of 6-8 months, you can see dramatic improvements by doing these periodic extended fasts.

For individuals with a lot of weight to lose, I will often recommend a 10-day water fast every other month or a 5-day water fast each month.; This is a great regimen to follow along with daily intermittent fasting or alternative day fasting to see significant weight loss and dramatic improvements in insulin sensitivity and inflammation levels.

Recommended Reading: Does Fasting Help With Belly Fat

Water Fasting And Intermittent Fasting

Now that you know what water fasting is and what to keep in mind before deciding to practice it, the next thing to consider is whether to do the water fast on its own or combine it with intermittent fasting.

For those who dont know what intermittent fasting is, its when you fast for a certain amount of time during the day or on certain days of the week and eat when youre not fasting 4. Intermittent fasting is very popular in the low carb diet communities like the ketogenic diet community.

NOTE: Sleeping is counted as fasting, and you can extend that by a few more hours to reap the benefits of intermittent fasting.

Some of the popular intermittent fasting methods are:

OMAD: One Meal A Day is a type of intermittent fasting protocol where youll fast for 23 hours and use 1 hour to eat all your required macros for the day. Its also an advanced version of intermittent fasting.

20:4: Similar to OMAD, the 20:4 ratio means youll be fasting for 20 hours and allocating 4 hours to eat your food for the day.

16:8: This is when you fast for 16 hours and allocate 8 hours to eat your food for the day. The 16:8 protocol is also one of the most commonly practiced forms of intermittent fasting because if you exclude the sleeping hours, youll only be fasting from morning till lunch. Its a lot easier to manage when youre entirely new to fasting.

Water fasting on its own?

Why Water Fasting Induces A Ketogenic State

So what’s this have to do with ketosis? A quick biology primer: The digestive cycle includes two phasesanabolic and catabolic. During the anabolic phase, you’re eating and digesting, while during the catabolic phase, you’re living off stored calories and nutrients.;During the first phase, the body stores glycogen;as glucosea simple sugar that your brain counts on for energy once you’ve reached the resting, catabolic phase. Skip a meal though, and your glucose supply;will eventually;run out.

Luckily, your body has a backup plan. “The body is smart. It doesnt want to waste muscle tissue,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. “So after it sees that no food is coming, after like 16-24 hours of not eating, the brain develops the ability to accept ketones as an alternative fuel to save muscle.” Cue weight loss, energy, mental clarity, and more.

Yes, this is essentially the same thing that happens when you’re eating a low-carb, high-fat dietyour body is forced to adapt to burning fat for fuel. So why go to the extreme of cutting out food altogether? It all comes back to autophagy. Since you’re still eating and digesting on the keto diet, the autophagy benefits don’t occur. And, remember, autophagy isn’t believed to kick in until you’ve reached the 24-hour mark with no foodso even keto-style intermittent fasting isn’t likely to get you there.;

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