Aligning KETO with intermittent fasting
On your ketogenic journey, it’s important to know that your success is not dictated solely by eating enough fat and protein and restricting your carb intake. Other important factors like when you eat, how often you eat, and how much you eat also have a substantial impact on your overall ketogenic function as well.
Intermittent Fasting, is relatively new and is often used as a supplement to KETO. It revolves around the timing of food intake and can have some benefits in the long run. There are quite a few people misinformed on the art of proper fasting, so we’ll clear that up and explain how intermittent fasting can be useful.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the world's most popular health and fitness trends happening now. This simply involves alternating cycles of when you fast and when you eat.
Many studies show that this can cause weight loss, improve metabolic health, protect against disease and perhaps help you live longer.
Think about this for a moment, people already "fast" every day, while we sleep. that said, Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending that fast just a little bit longer for some added benefits.
Different Types Of Intermittent Fasting
The 16/8 Method: This is when you fast for 16 hours everyday. The 16/8 method involves daily fasts of 16 hours for men and 14-15 hours for women. On each day, you restrict your eating to an 8-10 hour “eating window” where you can fit in 2-3 or more meals.
The 5:2 Diet: Fast for 2 days per week. The 5:2 diet, involves eating 500-600 calories for two days of the week, but eating normally on the other 5 days a week.
Eat-Stop-Eat: This is an intermittent fasting program with one or two 24-hour fasts per week.
Alternate Day Fasting: Alternate-day fasting means fasting every other day, either by not eating anything or only eating a few hundred calories.
One Meal A Day: Eat one big meal day, whenever feels best, and then fast the rest of the day.
Spontaneous Meal Skipping: Another more "natural" way to conduct intermittent fasting is to simply skip 1 or 2 meals when you don't feel hungry or don't have time to eat.
Intermittent Fasting On Keto
At first glance, it really doesn't seem like KETO and Intermittent fasting have a ton in common. But, when you really dive deep into what each does, they are quite compatible. KETO is responsible for the content of your daily menu (eating mostly healthy fats, with fewer proteins and very few carbs), while Intermittent fasting changes the timing of when your "eating window" should commence.
Ketosis is the state when your body starts burning fat for energy (instead of carbs.) Ketosis can be achieved in two different ways. By fasting or by adopting a KETO menu.
That being said, intermittent fasting compliments the fat-burning effects that KETO provides. In fact, some people use intermittent fasting to jump start ketosis by driving blood-sugar levels down, which can promote or enhance ketosis.
A key component to the success of this dual-plan is to pay attention to your KETO macros ratios (as a reminder, they're: 75% of your calories from healthy fat, 20% of your calories from protein, and 5% of your calories from carbs).
Tips: Fasting On Keto
Be careful to ensure that you still eat enough food. Intermittent fasting does help you naturally eat less during the day, but be sure you’re still eating nutritious ketogenic foods to avoid any deficiencies or metabolic issues.
Measure your ketone levels. Even though fasting can really help you stay in ketosis, it’s still important to make sure you aren’t eating too many carbs or doing anything else to kick you out of ketosis.
Intermittent fasting (IF) may feel uncomfortable at first, but give yourself time to adjust. Control your willpower. Hey, think of it this way, if your body was forced to adjust, it would do so.
Example: You're on a long hike, alone and you decide to put your moderately heavy backpack down, on a flat rock, and you take a moment to venture forward with a little less weight on your back toward what looks to be a cool looking new trail that eventually turns you around in circles.
You're lost. Terribly lost. (All of your food is in that backpack.)
Hours and hours go by while you continue to move in circles.
You find shelter in a carved-out cave shaded by trees.
Three days pass.
It's day four and you stumble on your backpack and clamor to open it up - and eat!!!
You're still alive after three days. Your body adjusted to keep you alive.
Now, by no means does this KETO/IF experience feel like the example just provided being lost in the woods. That's an example of your body in fight/flight mode. There are stressful, psychological components to a lost in the woods scenario that makes it different on the body as well. That experience was simply to illustrate how quickly the body physically adjusts.
Intermittent fasting is much more calculated and your body will get used to fasting over time. You’ll find that as time goes on, and the longer you eat KETO-friendly foods, you’re not feeling as hungry in between your "eating windows."
Intermittent fasting is not a necessary part of conducting KETO, but it’s definitely compatible (and highly recommended) if you want to double down on all of the benefits and achieve some very favorable results!
Please consult with your Physician or another healthcare professional before starting this or any other nutrition or exercise program to determine if this is appropriate for your needs. Thank you.