As we enter this new year, hot health topics like “keto” and “intermittent fasting” are trending more than ever. Even people that have never tried the ketogenic diet or fasting are tempted to give them a try this year in high hopes that these methods will be the ticket to their health dreams, whether they be losing weight, increasing energy, building muscle, or even stabilizing blood sugar levels.
You may be wondering, though, what are the differences between keto and intermittent fasting? What are the benefits? Is it wise to do both at once? Let’s dive right in!
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to get into the metabolic state of ketosis. Instead of using glucose as energy, fat is used to fuel the body. When the body breaks down fat for energy, a byproduct called ketones is created. These ketones help power the body.
BENEFITS OF KETOSIS
It’s no wonder the ketogenic lifestyle is so popular right now. According to research, there are quite a bit of different benefits from following a ketogenic diet, including helping with:
• Type 1 and 2 diabetes
• High blood pressure
• Alzheimer’s disease
• Parkinson’s disease
• Chronic inflammation
• High blood sugar
• Heart disease
• Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
• Fatty Liver disease
• Better brain function
• Decreased inflammation
• Increase in energy (Gustin, 2018)
As you can see, the ketogenic diet provides a wide variety of benefits, from benefiting your brain, heart health, to even weight loss support!
To reach ketosis, you want to have a diet high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbs.
There are additional things you can do to help you reach ketosis and improve your experience. For example: making sure you're drinking enough water, resisting unhealthy snacks, getting in your exercise, and… fasting! That’s right, intermittent fasting is one way to help you reach ketosis.
If you’re wondering if you can intermittent fast while on the ketogenic diet, the answer is yes!
Fasting and the ketogenic diet complement each other. In fact, fasting is one of the fastest ways to get into ketosis. Combining intermittent fasting with keto is basically a “level up” because it amplifies the results! As you fast, you rid your body of glycogen stores, which then directs the body to turn to fat for energy.
Although it seems like the popular new trend, people have been “fasting” for thousands of years, and our bodies are well-equipped to handle periods of time with no food. There are several different ways to fast. Here are 3 really popular methods:
16/8 Method: Eat for 8 hours a day, fast for 16 hours.
Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
5-2 Diet: Eat only 500-600 calories a day for 2 days a week.
Following one of these fasting methods may seem a little overwhelming, especially when people are used to eating at all hours of the day. But if you time it correctly, you can be asleep for half of the fast.
If you stop eating at 8:00 pm and then begin eating again the next day at noon, it can be a little easier, especially for many people who don’t really feel the desire to eat in the morning anyway.
However you decide to implement fasting, make sure you’re getting enough to eat during your eating periods.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
There are many benefits of intermittent fasting. Here are some of the more notable advantages:
1. Supports Weight Loss
With intermittent fasting, you’re only eating during certain time periods. As a result, you can definitely experience weight loss, even without “calorie counting.” However, when you aren't fasting, make sure you focus on enjoying a variety of nutrient-dense foods.
2. Naturally Increases Human Growth Hormones (HGH)
During one 24-hour fast, research has shown that Human Growth Hormone levels can spike by 2000% in men and 1300% in women. HGH helps to build muscle, lower fat levels, and improve bones mass. (Brooks, 2018) In addition, skin thickness improves, making it more resilient to signs of aging.
3. Slows Down Aging
Stem cells are produced much faster when your body is in a fasting state. Stem cells keep you (your cells) younger. They replace old cells and are great for chronic pain, skin, and joints!
4. Improves Brain Function
While fasting, the protein in your brain “BDNF” increases, which improves memory, learning, and helps your brain run more efficiently.
5. Helps With Inflammation
Intermittent fasting helps decrease stress and inflammation, both of which are related to aging and disease. Protecting our bodies against inflammation will aid in helping our bodies run better and longer.
Why KETO & Intermittent Fasting Go Together
Keto and Intermittent Fasting can work together to increase your efforts. Ketosis and intermittent fasting are very similar, but still very different. When paired together, our bodies become efficient fat-burning machines.
When we fast, our bodies can get to a point where it has no choice but to create and use ketones to energize the body, because we aren’t actively fueling our bodies with food.
When on ketosis, we draw on the fats in our foods and break down the fats in our body for energy.
Together, your body becomes an efficient fat-burning machine.
For those who have a goal to lose weight, combining keto and intermittent fasting can provide some incredible benefits:
- Reduced Cravings: Keto + Intermittent Fasting helps keep your blood sugar stable and low, which eliminates cravings, fatigue, and mood swings!
- Reduced Hunger: On keto, ghrelin (hunger hormone) stays low even when you’re not eating, which makes fasting easier, so you can fast long enough to get the benefits.
Fat Loss: Even when you don’t restrict calories, both fasting and keto increase fat loss. When together, the weight comes off quickly.
A POWERFUL COMBINATION:
The ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are a powerful combination you can use to boost your health and increase fat loss. While doing the ketogenic diet, try one of the recommended fasting patterns highlighted above!
Have you tried the ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting? What about the two together? Tell us about your experience in the comments!
Looking for new ketogenic recipes to try? Check out these Keto Cinnamon Rolls or these Cranberry Orange Cheesecake Bites.
Brooks, Spencer. “Why Keto Is More Effective With Intermittent Fasting.” Bulletproof, Bulletproof, 14 Dec. 2018, blog.bulletproof.com/keto-intermittent-fasting-weight-loss-diet/.
DC, Dr. Eric Berg. “Keto and Intermittent Fasting: the Big Overview for Beginners.” YouTube, YouTube, 6 Dec. 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnyFVWwzgJI.
DeLauer, Thomas. “Ketosis & Fasting: Why They Are So Effective Together- Thomas DeLauer.” YouTube, YouTube, 8 May 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlojGmbl4J4&t=14s.
“Insulin Resistance: How The Ketogenic Diet Helps.” Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones, 13 Dec. 2018, perfectketo.com/ketogenic-insulin-resistance-diet/.
“Intermittent Fasting and Keto: Can You Do Them Both?” Perfect Keto Exogenous Ketones, 17 Aug. 2018, perfectketo.com/intermittent-fasting-and-keto/.
Keto. “Intermittent Fasting on Keto: How Does It Work?” Kiss My Keto, Kiss My Keto, www.kissmyketo.com/blogs/foods-nutrition/intermittent-fasting-on-keto-how-does-it-work.
My Natropath told me to startKeto plus IF three months ago. Specifically a 24hr water fast once a week. It has been, by far, the most revealing and yet troubling. I feel so much better when I don’t eat. I use to be an athlete until my health started declining with muscle wasting and PEM. I now have several confirmed health issues that involve NAFL, tonsillectomy (abcess tonsil), thyroidectomy (cancer), and Neuropathy, venous insufficiency, which all happened within five years of each other. I also have Gilbert’s Syndrome, EDS, fibromyalgia and CFS/ME. I’m seeing a GI next week to explore issues with my gut. All in all, Keto with IF has been the most effective for feeling better and seeing results along with light exercise.
I have been doing Keto for 4 months and have lost 13 Pounds but have stalled there for over a month now. We do one big meal most days around 5:00 pm and nothing the rest of the time except tea, etc. I am 65 and healthy but maybe it is insulin resistance??? How do I set my macros so things start working again?