The keto diet and intermittent fasting are two common dieting techniques that help some women stay slim and eat in a way that makes them feel good.
A lot of people combine intermittent fasting with keto, but is that effective? In this blog post, I’ll answer some of the most common questions I get about how keto and intermittent fasting work together.
WHAT IS THE KETO DIET?
The keto diet is short for the ketogenic diet, and it is all about lowering your carbohydrate intake. I’ve written in depth about keto in this blog but let’s cover some basic here.
When you eat carbohydrates (fruit, bread product, and so on), your body converts the carbs to glucose and uses that for energy.
On a keto diet, you eat mostly fats and protein to force your body to get its energy from fat instead. Being in this state is called ketosis, and it can promote weight loss.
Also, many people find fats and protein more filling than carbohydrates. Often, you end up eating less calories because you feel more full throughout the day.
Keto isn’t perfect though, and it isn’t for everybody. Some people feel like they can’t get enough micronutrients because they limit their fruit and vegetable intake. Others feel like they aren’t getting enough fiber, so they have difficulty digesting their meals.
Many women love keto, but it is okay if it doesn’t work for you! There are other ways to lose weight in a healthy way besides ketogenic diet :)
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting is a dieting technique with the purpose of interrupting your body’s metabolism. With this diet, you purposefully try to force your body to burn up the energy it already has instead of giving it extra energy with food. And it proved to be an effective weight loss mechanism for a lot of people!
I’ve written a much longer blog about the pros and cons of intermittent fasting and how to do it safely.
In this blog, I’ll briefly go into a few of the different intermittent fasting methods:
Fast for 12-16 hours. Most people fast overnight, skip breakfast, and begin eating later in the day.
Fast for 16 hours a day and eat for 8 hours a day.
Fast two days a week. On these days, you can eat but stick to only 500 calories. I’ve written more about this method here.
FULL DAY FAST
Fast for an entire 24 hours, starting after you wake up. Don’t do this more than once a week and make sure to check with your doctor!
IS KETO DIET MORE EFFECTIVE IF YOU COMBINE IT WITH FASTING?
The goals of the keto diet and intermittent fasting are the same: to force your body to use stored fat instead of carbs to burn energy. Because of this, keto and intermittent fasting can enhance each other. Here’s how:
FASTING CAN MAKE IT EASIER TO REACH KETOSIS
Remember, ketosis happens when your body uses stored fat for energy. This happens eventually during keto, and it also happens when you fast. In both situations, your body has to switch from using carbs as fuel to fat in order to maintain normal functions.
YOU MIGHT LOSE MORE FAT
When you fast, your body starts to produce slightly more heat. This process helps speed up your metabolism, and your body begins to use fat sources as fuel.
Because your body is looking to burn fat, not protein, studies have shown that dieters are often able to keep their muscle mass while doing keto and intermittent fasting.
This is great news if you’re trying to diet and maintain a toned look.
Even though intermittent fasting and keto often go well together, they aren’t a magical combination that will work for everybody. Here are a few things to be aware of if you’re combining them.
EATING TOO LITTLE CAN HURT YOUR METABOLISM
If you chose to do keto or intermittent fasting, you need to make sure that you’re still eating enough. If you don’t eat enough, your metabolism will slow down, which mean it will be harder for you to lose weight.
On the flip side, it is easy to overeat on keto or on non-fast days. Foods full in fat are also high in calories. Make sure that you’re eating enough and that you pace yourself on your non-fast days.
IT MAY BE UNCOMFORTABLE, BUT IT SHOULDN’T HURT
Eating keto and fasting will probably take some time to get used to it.Your body probably won’t like it at first, and you might feel weaker than you normally do. However, you should still be able to do all the things you love, and you should never be so weak that you faint.
If you’re prone to feeling weak or fatigued, I encourage you to talk to a doctor. Keto and intermittent fasting might be too much for your body to handle. That’s ok! There are other ways to lose weight and be healthy!
SHOULD YOU TRY COMBINING KETO AND INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Keto and intermittent fasting can go well together. When combined, many people lose fat faster than they would already. But, in my opinion, you don’t need to do both of them to see great results.
If you want to combine them, I suggest following these guidelines.
- Try one of these diets by itself for about a month before you introduce any other diet changes.
- Start slow, especially with intermittent fasting. I recommend trying the crescendo method first.
- Calculate your daily caloric intake. You don’t have to track calories regularly with these diets, but it is nice to know roughly how much you should be eating. You don’t want to overeat or undereat while doing this!
- Make sure you’re still getting important micronutrients.
- Stop if you feel like your body can’t handle it.
- Talk to your doctor before starting a new diet, especially if you’re pregnant, on medications, or have any medical issues.
Many women love the way they look and feel while doing keto or intermittent fasting. If you want to combine them, go ahead — as long as you’re doing it safely! You might have even better results!