There’s a lot of talk about Intermittent Fasting lately. Everyone wants to know if intermittent fasting will benefit them and then how to actually get started.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a new phenomenon. When we eat this way, we are really mimicking the life of our ancestors. Food was not available to them 24 hours a day.
Fasting is not a form of starving ourselves, either. Essentially, it is just an extension of what we already do. Most of us fast for 10 hours a night, right?
BASICS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING ON KETO
Fasting is not a diet, it is a method of eating. It is eating withing a window of time. It doesn’t determine what you eat, but when you eat. Knowing the basics can help you determine if you want to incorporate fasting into your routine.
TYPES OF INTERMITTENT FASTING
When people talk about fasting on the ketogenic diet, they’re usually referring to intermittent fasting, which is when you only eat within a certain timeframe. There are a few different versions of intermittent fasting:
Eating within a daily window:
This is one of the most common methods. For example, you might only eat between 11am and 7pm each day, giving your body 16 hours to fast and eight hours of calorie intake. Some will shrink that “feeding” window to six, four, or even as little as just one hour a day.
Fat fast plus intermittent fasting:
Fat fasting, a period of eating all fats for meals and snacks (eating fat bombs is an example), is popular for helping break weight loss plateaus. Fat fasting combined with intermittent fasting would mean still eating all fat but only during a certain window of time.
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This is a good method for easing into fasting and slowly getting used to not eating for every meal. For example, you could skip breakfast during the weekdays.
Alternating fasting days with non-fasting days:
An example would be eating nothing for a few days a week and eating normally the other days. This is less recommended than the other methods and may be too extreme for most people, at least in the beginning. One option that’s more doable is the 5-2 method where you eat normally for five days followed by two days of eating ¼ of your regular calories.
This is “One Meal A Day” and is considered a form of fasting, for obvious reasons. Some people choose not to restrict calories for their one meal a day, since it is nearly impossible to eat if you are only eating one meal.
KETOGENIC DIET AND FASTING
Thankfully, eating keto can actually make fasting easier because the high fat content in ketogenic foods makes you feel full and satisfied with less food!
Remember: it’s important to eat to satiety during your eating window. You still want to get enough calories and macronutrients in your day during this time. Stick to only water, black coffee, or unsweetened tea and no food during your fasting time.
Now, you might be wondering what’s so special about fasting.
BENEFITS OF INTERMITTENT FASTING ON KETO
There are so many benefits to fasting on keto. Here are a few of them:
To get into ketosis faster: Fasting can help you deplete glycogen stores more quickly and eliminate carb intake so you can enter ketosis more quickly. You can even plan to fast a few days before starting a ketogenic diet. Taking pure theraputic ketones can also help with this. Combine them and it’s like magic!
To drop weight faster: Just like with ketosis, intermittent fasting is a great option for those who want to lose weight quickly. Not only does the body begin breaking down fat for energy, you’re also more likely to eat less overall from intermittent fasting.
To get the benefits of calorie restriction: Intermittent fasting is often compared to calorie restriction, but they aren’t the same. However, intermittent fasting provides the same benefits and is much easier to follow long-term. Plus, intermittent fasting still helps you get proper nutrition and calorie intake each day while still helping promote weight loss.
To increase mental clarity: Ketosis and fasting are both beneficial for the brain when it’s running on ketones. Most people can expect a boost in mental clarity and less brain fog throughout the day.
Simplicity: Following a ketogenic diet might seem tricky while traveling or eating out, but not if you plan to fast. It takes away the worry of what to eat and lets you know that you’ll be okay abstaining until you can make yourself a good keto meal.
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IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH
Even if you aren’t interested in rapid weight loss or the other reasons above, fasting is worth it just for the health benefits.
Regular fasting has been tied to:
- Support of our muscles through enhanced growth and maintenance, as well as promoting anti-aging
- Better metabolism: Not only is fasting good for weight loss, it may also benefit your metabolic health
- Longer life span: fasting can change gene expression that might improve longevity.
- Reduced inflammation: even better than a ketogenic diet over the long-term
- Improved insulin sensitivity since you’re giving your body a break from constant insulin spikes from food, which can lead to metabolic problems like type 2 diabetes and more.
- Better repair of the body: Fasting has been shown to enhance the body’s ability to heal itself
COMBINING FASTING WITH THE KETO DIET
The main difference between fasting on any diet and fasting while on keto isn’t complicated: when you break the fast, you’ll only eat ketogenic diet foods. This is great because you’ll be able to maintain ketosis (which mimics fasting) and its’ benefits even when you do eat food.
Keep in mind:
Make sure you’re still staying within your macros for keto and eating enough calories for the day during your eating periods.
Fasting itself isn’t enough. It’s also important to combine it with good nutrition, enough sleep, and work on reducing stress. But that’s why it’s so powerful when combined with a ketogenic diet and wholesome high-fat foods.
If you find fasting difficult, you may want to try becoming keto-adapted first before jumping right into fasting. When your body is still dependent on glucose, it’s a safe bet you’ll get hungry much faster, which will make it harder to stick with your fasting schedule. But once you’re in ketosis using ketones for energy, fasting will feel more natural.
EXERCISE DURING FASTING
It’s a myth that this type of fasting will make your muscles waste away. Same goes for the ketogenic diet — which is why it’s specifically moderate (not high) protein to preserve muscle mass.
Start slow! You don’t need to jump into fasting for 16 hours. Build up to it over time- start adding a half hour or an hour to your fasting time in the morning or night and build up. Build up to 12 hours of fasting, and then see if you can get to 16 hours.
Intermittent fasting and the Ketogenic diet can compliment each other extremely well. Each of them provides many health benefits and are great for weight loss. If you’re healthy and able, try it out for yourself and see what changes you notice!
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candyJune 1, 2018 at 7:55 am
We fast once a month for two meals. The money we would have spent on those two meals for our family is donated to help other families in need.
terrynJune 1, 2018 at 10:44 am
That is such a blessing, Candy! I love that!
JordanJune 1, 2018 at 9:52 am
My husband is huge on both keto and intermittent fasting. I’m always amazed at how much energy he has, because you would think it would be the opposite. Our family is a fan! I’m currently expecting baby number two, but once I’m done nursing I am planning to hop back on the keto/fasting train 🙂
terrynJune 1, 2018 at 10:46 am
Hey Jordan! Yes, so much energy! Congrats on your baby! If it helps, I am nursing baby #7 and following a low carb/high fat diet and she is thriving. I have lost all my baby weight and then some without really trying much. You should join the group if you want some help!
Shraddha TripathiJune 1, 2018 at 2:01 pm
I am just thinking of doing keto for weight loss. This post might help me out. I like it and would love to try some of these.
terrynJune 1, 2018 at 2:20 pm
Hi Shraddha! I would be happy to help you reach your goals <3 Go ahead and join our free group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/KetoForMoms/ and you can order your ketones here: http://www.subscribepage.comstartyourexperience I’ll help you through everything!
Jessica JoachimJune 1, 2018 at 10:25 pm
I really appreciate you posting this! I have been thinking about trying IF, but haven’t been quite sure yet. It seems like something that would really work for me
ClaraJune 1, 2018 at 10:50 pm
Thanks for these tips. I’ve tried IF before and had some success. I think I’ll have more with these tips.
Marie AltenorJune 1, 2018 at 11:34 pm
This is the first I hear about intermittent fasting. Im very interesting in trying it.
AnnreebaJune 2, 2018 at 1:57 am
Thanks for sharing the information about combining fasting with the keto diet. I like it and would love to try this. Thank you so much Terryn.
What Corinne DidJune 2, 2018 at 6:25 am
I had never heard of intermittent fasting nor keto for that matter. It is quite interesting to read and I’d be curious to see what it does to my body. Maybe I should give it a try!
ElizabethJune 2, 2018 at 6:26 am
A thought provoking post, this! I’ve been piling on the pounds due to recovering from surgery, so I think I’ll try intermittent fasting to shift them.
Kelli AJune 2, 2018 at 10:31 am
I have been doing a little research on Ketogenic diets due to a recent auto-immune disease I have been diagnosed with. According to some studies it can help. This info helps!
Kate AndrewsJune 2, 2018 at 11:27 pm
I don’t think intermittent fasting is for me, but I think it is great that you’ve written up this guide for those who are interested in it.
dariaJune 3, 2018 at 12:13 am
I just bought this book Keto for life, and going to start with this diet. Fasting I have tried but can’t get through it.
AndreaJune 3, 2018 at 9:48 am
My brother has lost over 50 pounds doing intermittent fasting with the keto diet. It definitely works!
Melissa JavanJune 4, 2018 at 1:51 am
Interesting post. I love how you said fasting is a method of eating. Nice.
Tiffany HaywoodJune 4, 2018 at 8:20 am
I’VE NEVER REALLY LOOKED AT THINGS THIS WAY WHEN IT COMES TO INTERMITTENT FASTING. I MEAN WE REALLY DO FAST THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT. I THINK THINKING ABOUT IT TOO MUCH CAN DETER US FROM TRYING IT. GREAT POST AND VERY INFORMATIVE.
HeatherJune 4, 2018 at 10:03 am
As much as I read about Keto, I know that it’s something I’ll have to try. Can you do Keto if you don’t eat meat?
angieJune 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm
Thanks for the information I have heard about this before but like many was not sure what I needed to do first
KellyFebruary 5, 2019 at 8:15 am
My boyfriend’s parents do IF. I like your idea of building up to it. I think that’ll help me be more successful!
Kelly BolenFebruary 5, 2019 at 9:03 am
This is awesome! My son keeps telling me I should try it! Now I have a plan! Thank you!
candyFebruary 5, 2019 at 9:35 am
We fast the first sunday of every month. Sometimes more if someone needs special healing etc. The money we save on fasting is given to those who need help.
Kimmy Ripley (Give It A Whirl Girl)February 5, 2019 at 11:00 am
This is a great informative post! I have been doing intermittent fasting for a while now. It took a while to get used to but I am in the groove of it now.
Brandi WiatrakFebruary 5, 2019 at 1:44 pm
My sister has been fasting intermittently for the past year and she swears by it. I wasn’t completely sold, but she said she has much more energy. So much that she stopped drinking coffee?! I couldn’t believe it! My sister, like most moms, survived on caffeine! You give a great breakdown of the fasting and ketogenic process, so much I may have to finally give it a go!
ChelseaFebruary 5, 2019 at 8:33 pm
I never thought I could do intermittent fasting (I love breakfast too much!) but I’ve been trying it out for a couple of weeks now and love it! I used to snack so much in the evenings and it has really helped me cut that out. My cravings have even gone away, which is crazy. I’m a firm believer now!
Jennifer LoveFebruary 5, 2019 at 9:29 pm
Thanks for explaining this! I started keto 3 1/2 weeks ago and have been searching so much for reliable sources for information. After having friends over and “cheating” the other day I need to learn more about intermittent fasting and getting back on track. Thanks!
TracyFebruary 6, 2019 at 6:10 pm
I tried intermittent fasting last year and really liked the results I was seeing with it!
BaileyFebruary 6, 2019 at 6:49 pm
I’m SO intrigued! I saw a few articles pop up earlier in the week on intermittent fasting but had no idea where to begin. Thanks for laying out all of the different options!