Intermittent Fasting Keto Dieting
In a world obsessed with consuming, fasting from time to time comes as a respite for the body. Many fitness enthusiasts are turning to intermittent fasting as a way to lose weight, keep disease away, and live a longer life. Those interested in Keto diets are also discovering the gains from intermittent fasting for Ketosis.
There are a few variations in intermittent fasting plans. All of them will need you to get other things in your life right, like sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day, staying hydrated, getting enough sun, and chewing your food properly – your Mother was right!
You can fast either by restricting calories, restricting nutrients (e.g. athletes occasionally cut down protein), or by eating seasonally, in the style of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a calorie-restriction fast. But there’s more than one way to do it.
There is evidence to show IF is good for obesity and weight loss. IF may also increase feelings of satiety. But it may have other benefits too, such as improved brain function and blood sugar control. And when you combine with keto, the benefits may be combined for out of this world fat loss results.
Types of Intermittent fasting
During IF, you alternate between periods of fasting and eating. You can choose which approach to IF works best for you. But you have to work out, through trial and error, the right fit for you. At MAP – My Action Project, our weight loss Keto and IF plans can be combined together and worked out over a the IF methods.
For instance, you may find it easy to fast for 16 hours and eat only within an 8-hour period. Or you may find it easier to have shorter fasting windows – the flexibility is there to move it around your lifestyle making IF one of the most sought after dieting programs in 2021.
The 16/8 Method
This is perhaps the most popular of IF methods. In this plan, you eat during an 8-hour time frame and then fast for 16 hours.
You can also switch around the hours and follow the 14/10 method.
These methods are popular because you can factor in your sleeping hours, when you’re already fasting, into the method. It’s a more sustainable Intermittent Fasting plan than others.
You could skip breakfast and not eat until lunch. Or you could have an early dinner (around 8 pm) and not eat the next day until noon or 10 am.
If you want to try IF for the first time, this is the safer option. You can repeat this a few times a week or as often as you like.
The 5:2 method
This is the twice-a-week method, where you fast on two days and cap your calories at 500 on those days. On the other days, you eat a normal, balanced whole-foods diet – or choose one of the more challenging program like the No Bullsh!t Keto Diet or the Competitive If You Dare but factor in that there should be at least one day between your fasting days.
On fasting days, you’ll typically eat one 200-calorie meal and another 300-calorie meal. These meals should be high-protein and high-fiber so you feel full, as well as low calories. Hydration is important during any IF Dieting or Keto Dieting phase, you’ll be surprised at how less hungry you are when you are drinking water.
Tip: Drink lightly sparkling water with a little low calorie / low sugar sweetener. The bubbles surprisingly make you full for longer.
This variation involves fasting every other day. On fasting days, you’ll limit your calories to 500, or up to about one-fourth of your normal calorie intake – bare in mind, this is not advised to stay on alternate day fasting as it isn’t the best type of program for long term health benefits.
Note that one study found if you quit the diet after six months of it, your body may show elevated bad cholesterol (LDL) levels after months off the diet.
The 24-hour Fast
Once or twice a week, you can fast for a full day. Typically, you’ll fast from lunch to lunch or breakfast to breakfast. The side effects of this method can make you irritable, fatigued, hungry, low energy and even give you headaches – I know, I’m not selling a lot of fun here. You should return to a normal healthy diet (or Keto) on days you’re not fasting. We do notice that you do get accustomed to the fasting diet programs after the initial week or two, it’s still hard, but motivating when you see a positive scale result.
Combining Keto and IF for more benefits
Keto is known to reduce BMI, body weight, lower triglycerides, blood glucose and LDL (bad) cholesterol – plus the correct structured plan can smash off a lot of fat!
Keto has been used for almost a hundred years to treat epilepsy – who knew!
Now, anyone struggling to reach Ketosis may benefit from Intermittent Fasting, which may effectively jump-start the process of Ketosis.
This is because when fasting, your body keeps its energy balance by shifting its fuel source from carbs to fats. This is exactly what happens in the Keto diet as well.
During fasting, glycogen stores and insulin levels decrease, and your body naturally starts burning fats instead of glucose for fuel – pretty fancy eh!
One study of a normal-weight type-2 diabetes patient found combining IF and Keto together brought her blood sugar down significantly without significant weight loss.
There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that IF on Keto increases fat loss even further.
IF promotes thermogenesis or heat production and boosts metabolism, meaning, your body may start burning stubborn fat stores. IF also may help preserve your muscle mass as you lose weight, and bring your energy levels up. This can help keto dieters who want to lose weight and improve their performance at the same time.
Fasting on a keto diet is not easy, and it’s not for everyone. Breastfeeding women, pregnant women, and those with a history of irregular eating should avoid IF. Those with diabetes or heart disease should only start keto or IF after consulting a health professional.
Fasting on a keto diet can also have negative effects. You may find yourself unable to help overeating on days you’re not fasting. You may feel fatigued or irritable. Your goal should be to adopt an eating / fasting pattern that doesn’t disrupt your quality of life or mental health. It should also be sustainable. If you find Intermittent Fasting and Keto together doesn’t work for you, it’s best not to club them together.
IF is not necessary to reach Ketosis, although it does speed up the process.
Keto and IF alone are known to be effective for weight loss and a host of other advantages. But when you combine the keto diet with fasting, you may see even greater benefits.
Of course, trial and error is necessary to find out which combination of the two diet plans works for you. You’ll also need to hit upon a plan that is sustainable for you, so you don’t end up overeating on non-fasting days.
At the end of the day, safety is important. Consult your doctor, if possible, before you embark on a new diet plan.