There are tons of weight loss methods out there, so it can be challenging to know which one works and if you can combine more than one.
Many people wonder about combining the keto diet with intermittent fasting. Combining these two popular diets can achieve results faster, but it is not necessary to do both to achieve ketosis, which is the goal for keto diets.
We’re going to look at both the keto diet and intermittent fasting and the benefits and cons of combining the keto diet with intermittent fasting.
What is a Keto Diet?
The keto diet is a popular dieting trend that has shown promising results for many users. Keto is short for ketogenic, which means foods with low carbohydrates and high fats.
In a keto diet, you will need less than 50 grams of calories a day. When using keto, your body starts to burn body fat instead of glucose (sugar) as your primary energy source, helping you lose weight.
This process is known as ketosis and occurs when your body breaks down fat and turns it into ketones, which your body then uses as a fuel source.
There are multiple types of keto diets, including:
- (SKD) Standard ketogenic diet – low-carb, high fat, moderate protein (75% fat, 20% protein, 5% carbs)
- CKD (Cyclical ketogenic diet) – combines keto and higher-carb refeeds (5 keto days and two high-carb days)
- TKD (Targeted ketogenic diet) – carbs can be added for workouts
- High-protein ketogenic diet – similar to regular keto but with more protein (60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs)
Unless you are a bodybuilder or athlete, you will most likely use the standard or high-protein ketogenic diet over the other types.
These are the two with the most supportive research, which proves keto is a great diet choice for anyone wanting to lose weight and body fat.
Benefits of Keto
Keto isn’t just for losing weight, but it can also have advantages for treating epilepsy and has been shown to improve the mental symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
Also, keto can help reduce blood sugar and improve insulin resistance, which is a massive benefit for anyone with diabetes or attempting to prevent it. It can even help reduce the chances of cancer.
And finally, keto has been shown to lower the risks of heart disease by reducing essential factors like your triglyceride levels.
Intermittent fasting is a technique where you switch between fasting – calorie restriction – and healthy eating patterns. Fasting typically happens by not eating or reducing the number of calories you consume.
But fasting doesn’t restrict what you eat, although you do have to watch your calorie intake. An essential part of intermittent fasting is eating and fasting at the proper times.
There are multiple types of fasting techniques to use, and the primary goal of fasting is to lose weight. Different methods of fasting include:
- 5:2 Method: normally eat five days a week; two days a week, non-consecutively, you eat only 500-600 calories
- 16:8 Method: fasting for sixteen hours and eating for eight (eat between the hours of 11 AM and 7 PM, not eating before eleven or after seven)
- Eat-Stop-Eat: Fast for 24 hours, once or twice a week
The 16:8 method is the most common and the easiest to do. You may want to get into the habit of keeping a food log, so you know the exact time of your meals if you plan to do the eat-stop-eat or 5:2 methods.
Advantages of Intermittent Fasting
Although intermittent fasting is primarily for weight loss, it also has other advantages that make it a great tool to manage your health.
Fasting can also help reduce inflammation and can improve brain function. This process reduces oxidative stress and promotes the growth of new nerve cells.
Fasting can also increase the levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor), which can reduce depression and other brain issues.
Intermittent fasting is also useful for reducing insulin levels, which improves the speed of how fast your body breaks down fat.
Short term fasting can also increase your metabolic rate between 3.6-14%, so you burn more calories and reduce the amount of food you consume.
Combining Keto and Intermittent Fasting
Combining keto and intermittent fasting is a great way to improve the chances of losing weight.
Using intermittent fasting in addition to keto can speed up the process of ketosis, so your body converts fat faster, meaning quicker weight loss. This event happens due to fasting boosting your metabolism through thermogenesis (heat production).
Fasting while dieting can also help preserve muscle mass, so your body loses fat instead of muscle. It can also improve your energy levels. Fasting can even reduce feelings of hunger, making you eat less.
For most people, it is entirely safe to combine the keto diet and intermittent fasting. But there are instances where it might not be recommended to use both techniques together.
Pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, as well as anyone with a history of eating disorders, should not use fasting as part of their dieting regime.
If you have any health conditions, including heart disease or diabetes, you should discuss your dieting options with your doctor. Your physician may recommend that you not fast.
There are challenges to combining fasting with your keto diet. Many people find that it can be challenging to stick to a fasting schedule. Many people also experience adverse side effects of fasting, including irritability, fatigue, and overeating during non-fasting days.
Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting Together
The keto diet is a great way to lose weight, but intermittent fasting can also help facilitate weight loss. Combining a keto diet with intermittent fasting can increase the speed at which you lose weight and fat by increasing the process of ketosis.
Ultimately, fasting isn’t a requirement of keto. You can do a keto diet without intermittent fasting, especially since fasting can be challenging, and it is not recommended with certain medical conditions.