Combining Keto Diet With Intermittent Fasting: How To Get It Right.
Intermittent fasting and keto diet are among the trending phrases in the health and lifestyle niche.
Both have been scientifically proven to have several health benefits including healthy weight loss, mental clarity and reversal of metabolic conditions like diabetes, obesity, PCOS, and fatty liver.
This brings us to the question: is it more beneficial when you combine the two?
In this article we will attempt to explore the effects of intermittent fasting combined with the ketogenic diet.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting involves alternative periods of fasting and normal food consumption within a specific time interval.
One of the most popular methods of intermittent fasting is the 16/8 fasting method wherein you eat within an 8-hour time-frame and fast for 16 hours.
Some other methods of intermittent fasting include:
- 5:2 method: 5 hours of fasting followed by 2 hours of normal food consumption
- Warrior diet: extended periods of eating small portions followed by short intervals of eating large portions.
- Alternate day fasting: Alternative days of restricting calorie intake and normal food consumption
Intermittent fasting has been widely recognized as a healthy way to lose weight. However, there are other proven benefits of intermittent fasting such as improving brain function, reducing inflammation, and improving blood sugar levels.
What is a keto diet?
Ketogenic diet or the keto diet is a type of diet involves restricting the carb intake per day to 5% of the total calories or less.
This forces the body to utilize fat the main source of fuel in the body leading to a metabolic condition called ketosis.
During ketosis the body is switched to the fat-burning mode.
Hence the keto diet has been used extensively as a weight loss life-hack.
However, there are other benefits to the keto diet. In fact the primary reason for developing the keto diet was to treat epilepsy in children, and has been used for that purpose for the last 100 years.
Some of the other great benefits of a keto diet are:
- Reduction in symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
- Reversal of diabetes, PCOS, and fatty liver.
- Lowers risk factors for heart diseases like triglyceride levels.
What are the combined benefits of a keto diet and intermittent fasting?
Since intermittent fasting and the keto diet have closely related effects, practicing both might accelerate those desired effects and help you achieve weight loss faster.
In other words, if you are struggling to achieve ketosis intermittent fasting could jump-start the process for you.
Fasting also uses up the glycogen stores (storage form of carbohydrates) thereby naturally leading the body to a fat-burning state.
What the research says
Studies have shown that resistance training men who were on 16/8 intermittent fasting for eight weeks lost 14% more weight than individuals on a normal diet.
Other studies also show that intermittent fasting may help preserve muscle mass during weight loss. This is especially important for elite athletes and bodybuilders.
There is also evidence that intermittent fasting promotes satiety and increases a feeling of fullness that further helps in weight-loss.
Is it a good idea to combine them?
Combining ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is generally considered safe. Here are a few points to consider if you plan to combine them:
- It may not work for everyone. Read extensively and consult with your healthcare specialist before you consider incorporating it into your lifestyle.
- Avoid if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Avoid if you have a history of eating disorders.
- You may experience irritability, fatigue, and overeating behaviour during non-fasting time intervals.
- Intermittent fasting can be used as a means to reach ketosis, but may not guarantee ketosis on its own.
- It's important to note that different people respond differently to diets and fasting. It may not work the same for everyone.
Intermittent fasting may help you achieve ketosis faster. It may also help burn more fat. Combined with the keto diet, maybe doubly effective for some people. However, not everyone responds the same way to diets and life-hacks. And as with all major lifestyle changes, consult with your healthcare specialist before you begin practicing it.