Fasting on Keto: What is the Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Keto?

Fasting on Keto

Health-conscious people are always in search of new trends and diet plans so that they can try them out for weight loss and other health concerns. In this article we will learn about fasting on keto.

Intermittent fasting [1] on keto diet has been in the practice of many peoples for a long time individually. But the combination of these two diets has been a hot topic for a while and people are getting intrigued by this idea like what is it? How does it work? Etc. This idea has been approved by many doctors and dietitians as a healthy way of losing weight and controlling the sugar levels of blood.

Fasting on Keto: What is the Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Keto? Bariatric Station

Intermittent Fasting on a Keto Diet

Intermittent fasting is a method of food restriction and consumption for a specific time. [2] There are many versions of intermittent fasting, but the most popular one is the 16/8 method, [3] in which you eat only for eight hours and then do keep a fast for the remaining hours. It is a very effective way of losing weight and maintaining your blood sugar levels. Periodic fasting on a high-fat, low-carb diet has been in trend for a while but the real question is why?

The reason behind combining the intermittent fasting plan with the keto diet [4] approach is their same premises. Both the diet plans stimulate ketosis in your body which makes fat your primary fuel source, results in fat burn. That’s why the fasting periods on the keto diet works, they both benefit each other more and the results become more satisfactory. These diets are a natural way of losing weight, without the involvement of any harmful medicine or artificial foods, so it is safe to do.

The diet plan for it is pretty simple, you have to do periods of fasting for a particular time and then consume keto-friendly meals during the eating window.

Hormesis [5] is a word used in toxicology, it is the adaptive response to low dose stress, and however, the stress is positive which can provide various biological benefits. When you do keto and a period of fasting, your body goes through positive stress during the adaption stage, this stress helps you weight loss, better immunity, reduced insulin, etc. So, combining these two diets is very beneficial and healthy.

For a detailed review on this topic, Checkout our detailed article about Intermittent Fasting

How Long Do I Have to Do it?

It is your choice for how long you can do this diet, from our side you can do it for your whole life as it is very beneficial and has no major health side effects. Although, over time, you can make some variations in it.

Benefits of Fasting on Keto Diet:

Improved Blood Sugar Control and Insulin Sensitivity

Days of fasting lowers blood sugar levels which cause insulin sensitivity. So, when your insulin levels become sensitive and resistant, it results in weight loss.

Mental Clarity:

Many studies have shown that when you get adapting to the hours of fasting, your body has more mental clarity and high energy levels, the reason behind it is the balanced sugar levels and increased adrenaline hormone.

Fasting on Keto: What is the Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Keto? Bariatric Station

Anti-aging and anti-inflammatory:

Alternate-day fasting restricts oxidative stress which results in anti-aging [6] and anti-inflammatory benefits, as the oxidative stress produces harmful free radicals which are not good for the human body.

Prevent diseases:

Intermittent fasting can help you with the prevention of several diseases like diabetes, heart problems, cancer, etc., [7] as it maintains a balanced equation in your internal body functioning.

What to Know Before Combining the Diets for Weight Loss?

Before combining these two popular diet trends, you should know a couple of things:

Always start the keto diet first and then combine intermittent fasting with it, otherwise, your body will face difficulty in managing both at the same time.

When you follow these kinds of diet plans, having sickness at the beginning is very common. So, when you start a keto diet, having symptoms like headache, nausea, cramps are all a part of the adapting process, as your body is shifting its fuel source from carbs to fats. And same with fasting, when you decide to merge these two, you should prepare yourself and your body, to go through some changes.

When you start low-carbohydrate diets, you may experience lower blood sugar levels before the body gets orientated with the change, so it is normal to feel more tired and lazy for few days.

This plan is a very healthy way of eating, you just have to reschedule your meals and eating patterns. But people with these issues must consider their respective doctors first;

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women
  • A person with severe eating disorders
  • A person with pancreatic or liver problems.
  • Diabetic or people with high blood pressure issues.

The results of the keto diet can also vary from person to person. Some people may lose weight faster than others, as everyone adapts to it according to their body functioning.

Fasting on Keto: What is the Effect of Intermittent Fasting on Keto? Bariatric Station

The Right Way to Start an Intermittent Fasting Keto Diet:

The right way to start is to first do the keto diet for one or two weeks and then merge it with intermittent fasting. [8] If your body, shift so quickly from carbohydrate metabolism to ketosis, its functioning can get affected and it will not be able to manage both diets at the same time.

So, the best way is to first start a keto diet, get adapting to it and then combine intermittent fasting with it.

The 16/8 method of fasting window is the most suitable for the ketogenic diet also, try to skip breakfast time as your body can easily function without having breakfast. But it is not the same with lunch or dinner, so try to eat only at lunch and dinner time during the eating window.

The simple way to skip breakfast is to sleep a little longer.

A Sample Menu for Keto and Intermittent Fasting

When you have a fasting window on the keto diet, the first task is to decide that how long will you fast? There are a couple of fasting durations suggested by the dietitians which include 16/8 hours, 18/6 hours, and there is also an eat-stop-eat method, etc. The 16/8 method is the one that is mostly adopted by people who are on a keto diet, as its ratio is very compact and also moderate.

In the 16/8 method, you do intermittent fasting for 14 to 16 hours and restrict your food intake for 8 hours. Your fast will start from 8 pm let’s suppose, then the eating window will begin from noon, you can customize the timings of the fast however you like.

Your body will be in the resting position (ketosis) for 16 hours with an 8-hours eating pattern. It depends upon you how many meals you want to have like one large meal or two moderate meals.  Fasting on health is easier to do than you think, you just have to exclude breakfast and snacks from your daily routine.

The next step is to choose the keto meals you will consume during the eating window of the intermittent fast. Here is a sample menu for 1 week of intermittent keto fasting diet, this menu will contain only lunch and dinner, as you cannot consume breakfast or snacks during it:

Monday:

Lunch: Tuna salad with added celery and tomatoes topped with sautéed greens.

Dinner: Roast chicken with cream dressing and stir fry broccoli

Tuesday:

Lunch: A bunless grass-fed burger topped with avocadoes, tomatoes, cheese, and mushrooms with some greens.

Dinner: Chicken with stir-fried green vegetables in coconut oil.

Wednesday:

Lunch: Caesar salad with chicken fillet

Dinner: Bison steak with cheesy broccoli

Thursday:

Lunch: Steak bowl with cauliflower rice topped with herbs, avocadoes, salsa (homemade), and cheese.

Dinner: Chicken with vegetables

Friday:

Lunch: Arugula salad with turkey and hard-boiled eggs topped with blue cheese and avocadoes

Dinner: Coconut chicken curry

Saturday:

Lunch: Cobb salad made with cheese, turkey, hard-boiled egg, greens, and avocado.

Dinner: Grilled salmon with spinach cooked with coconut oil

Sunday:

Lunch: Bunless salmon or tuna burger with pesto sauce.

Dinner: Meatballs with zucchini noodles topped with shaved parmesan cheese.

The Possible Health Benefits of Fasting on Keto Diet

When you combine keto with intermittent fasting, the results can be beneficial and satisfactory.

May increased fat loss:

Intermittent fasting makes you burn stubborn fat as it stimulates the process of thermogenesis; heat production in the body. During fasting, your body utilizes the stored fat for energy production. This fat-burning process is similar to ketosis which forms the concept of the keto diet. So, combining them both will increase your fat loss efficiently.

May decreases ketosis side effects:

When you do a keto diet and intermittent fasting at the same time, the side effects of keto flu can be reduced. Because your body adapts to ketosis more effortlessly when you do intermittent fasting with it. So, your body will go through fewer side effects like keto flu, stomach ache, headache, etc.

May Smooth Your Path to Ketosis:

Intermittent fasting may support your body in reaching ketosis faster than the ketogenic diet alone. Because your body, when fasting naturally balances its sources of energy by transferring it from carbs to fat, which is the exact point of a keto diet plan. They both exhibit the same premise, which makes them a great combination.

During fasting days, your blood sugar levels (insulin and glycogen) reduces which aid in burning the stubborn fat. So, if you want to have an optimized and efficient keto diet, merging it with fasting is a very intelligent move.

May evaluate your energy Stores:

Since the keto intermittent fasting diet speeds, the process of ketosis, even more, helps you to have more evaluated energy Stores. Many studies have shown that this specific keto version makes your adrenaline hormone levels high, which increases your productivity as well.

The Bottom Line on Combining the Keto Diet with Intermittent Fasting

The concept of combining intermittent fasting with a keto diet is a successful way towards weight loss and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The process of it is also very simple and appealing, people like to challenge themselves with this diet plan, and after some time, they start to enjoy it. The health community also favors it a lot, as it a safe and effective way to solve your health-related problems.

Author: Idrees Samih

Founder, Certified Ketogenic Diet and Ketosis Health Coach.

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