Intermittent fasting and the keto diet are probably two of the most popular ways of losing excess weight as of late. The big question is: Can you do one in conjunction with another? The answer is a big yes! Here is how you can do intermittent fasting while doing the ketogenic diet.
Before going into detail about how to combine intermittent fasting and keto diet, it would be best to look into these two starting with intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting is basically creating an eating routine of sorts where you set aside time to fast and time to eat regularly. This type of diet does not restrict what food you eat but when you actually eat. There are different ways to do this:
- Full fasting. You do this when you do not eat for 24 hours twice a week while you eat regularly in the remaining five days.
- Minimizing calories. If you cannot go for absolutely no food for 24 hours, you can stick to a 500 to 600 calorie intake twice a week then you eat regularly in the remaining five days.
- Eating window period. The most popular kind of intermittent fasting is called the Leangains protocol. Here, you skip breakfast and then you start eating by 10:00 am. Your eating window period is eight hours so you can regularly eat from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. After that, you no longer eat until 10:00 am the next day.
With intermittent fasting, it would take a while before your body adjusts to this new eating routine. However, if you do it right, you get to enjoy all the benefits of intermittent fasting in due time. These include:
- Reduces insulin resistance which helps prevent type 2 diabetes.
- It improves heart health since it reduces bad cholesterol, regulates blood sugar and insulin resistance, and prevents inflammation. All these are risk factors for heart problems.
- Enhances brain health thanks to the development of new nerve cells.
- Extends lifespan
- Promotes quick and healthy weight loss
Intermittent fasting, however, might not be for everyone. It would be best to consult your physician if any of these conditions apply to you:
- Low blood pressure
- Eating disorders
- Fertility concerns
- Pregnant or lactating
- Blood sugar regulation concerns
If intermittent fasting focuses on when you eat, ketogenic diet looks at what you eat. This type of diet encourages regular eating for as long as the diet is high-fat, low-carb. By reducing your carbohydrate intake, the body goes into a state of ketosis where it uses up fat as an energy reserve instead of carbs. There are different ways to go about it:
- 75% fat, 20% protein, 5%carbs
- Follow the same ratio but do it in a cyclical manner. For example, you stick to the ratio for five days before going high carb for the remaining two.
- Follow the same ratio but load up on carbs when you have strenuous training or when working out.
- 60%fat, 35% protein, and 5% carbs.
Some of the health benefits of a ketogenic diet are as follows:
|Quick and healthy weight loss||Reduces symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Epilepsy|
|Prevents type-2 diabetes||May help manage acne problems|
|Enhances brain function||Manages symptoms of polycystic ovary syndrome|
|Lowers risk factors of heart disease||Reduces fat tissues|
|Treats several types of cancer||Extends lifespan|
|Inhibits tumor growth||Improves insulin sensitivity|
|Aid brain injury recovery||Promotes cellular repair|
When you are in a ketogenic diet, there are certain foods that you have to steer clear from. This includes foods with lots of sugar, starchy food, fruits, root vegetables, beans, low-fat food, unhealthy fat, and alcohol among others. You are encouraged to have more meat, fish, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, avocados, and vegetables.
Combining Intermittent Fasting and Ketogenic Diet
What you have to basically combine is looking at what you eat and when you eat them. In a ketogenic diet, for example, you have a full menu for three meals in one day. Instead of eating the food during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you take them during your eight-hour window period.
Remember, the quicker you get into a state of ketosis, the better. This is how intermittent fasting can be a useful tool to achieve a ketogenic state. Since there is a drastic reduction of carbohydrates at a controlled period of time, the body is goaded to use fat as its energy reserve. This makes the combination of intermittent fasting and ketogenic diet a viable one-two punch where achieving ideal weight goals are concerned.
Here are some reminders as you try and combine the best features of intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet to get a highly effective and eclectic way of managing your weight:
- Do not starve yourself to death. Stick to the ratio and eat regularly during the eight-hour window period. Both these ways to diet do not promote non-eating. Instead, it just tells you when to eat and what to eat so make sure you still eat enough.
- Keep track. While it seems taxing, you have to keep track of a lot of things. Keep track of your weight. Make sure that you do not lose too much weight that you become underweight. Keep track of your blood sugar and cholesterol. Keep track of your ketone levels as well.
- Seek the help of a nutritionist or a trusted health practitioner. While there is plenty of literature about intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet that is available online, it still does not beat face-to-face consultation and feedback. By engaging the services of a nutritionist or a doctor, you can be assured that you are doing things right and that you are not putting yourself in danger when you attempt to achieve radical changes in the way you eat.
Intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet as a combination are highly advantageous. They complement each other as one looks at when you eat and the other at what you eat. However, to be successful in doing these types of diet in conjunction, one has to do it right. Do your research. Consult a health practitioner. Eat enough. When you do all these, you can definitely achieve weight goals by combining intermittent fasting and a ketogenic diet.