A Crash Course on Intermittent Fasting While on Keto
Keto and intermittent fasting are effective weight loss diets on their own, but even more effective when combined. But you need to do it the right way to avoid negative health effects. Combining them is easy enough, if you know how to do it safely. Let’s start by reviewing what intermittent fasting is and how it complements the Keto Diet.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) means you plan to eat within specific time frames and fast for the remainder of the day. The ratio of eating to fasting is all up to personal preference. Some may choose to eat on a normal schedule during the week, then switch to an extremely calorie-restricted diet on the weekends.
The more common method is time-restricted eating, which involves fasting every day for a certain number of hours. Someone may choose to fast for 12, 14 or even 16 hours and reserve meals for the other part of the day—usually restricted to a certain number of calories.
How to safely start fasting on Keto (or vice versa)
Don’t start Keto and intermittent fasting at the same time! The body needs time to get used to replacing glucose with fat as the primary energy source. Make sure your body is in ketosis before you throw IF into the mix. Not eating for 24 hours right off the bat would be a shock to your system!
You may also want to practice delaying meals before intermittent fasting becomes a daily habit. For instance, try pushing back breakfast by an hour or two so your body can get used to going longer without food. Then, transition to eating meals at regular times and reserving a 12-hour window at night for fasting.
The benefits of fasting on Keto
While research is limited on the combined approach, many nutrition experts believe Keto and IF work together to accelerate weight loss.
The Keto Diet triggers a state of ketosis, which means the liver releases a high volume of ketones into the bloodstream. The body grows accustomed to using ketones (derived from fat) as their energy source instead of glucose. This trains your body to tap into fat stores for energy.
Similar to ketosis, the body experiences increased ketone levels during periods of fasting. The lack of calories means your cells aren’t getting any glucose, forcing them to convert body fat into energy. In this way, Keto and IF work in tandem to raise the ketone levels in your bloodstream, to help you lose weight faster.
There are risks, but they can be managed
There’s a right and wrong way to go about combining Keto and IF. Make sure you’re well-acclimated to Keto—past the Keto Flu stage and well into ketosis—before you start tinkering with a fasting schedule. During fasts, gradually restrict your calorie intake so you don’t lose too much weight all at once, no matter how tempting it may be. Your body still needs to sustain itself!
Together, Keto and IF can be tricky. Consult a nutrition expert to learn if the combined diet is right for you and how to start in a safe manner. Once you’ve mastered the rules of both, putting them together is simple enough—and effective!
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