Many people who are considering the keto diet are doing so because they hope to lose weight. That was one of the reasons my family and I started our keto diet journey – we were looking for a way to improve our health.
That said, one method of compounding the effects of going on the keto diet is to combine it with intermittent fasting.
Some people who do this have found they lose a significant amount of weight, and achieve their total weight loss goals faster.
In this post, we’ll explore intermittent fasting on keto – what it looks like, different schools of thought on it, and how to set yourself up for success.
How Intermittent Fasting Works – What it Looks Like
Intermittent fasting is a method of dieting that involves eating at designated times, and “fasting” in others. Fasting means to go without food.
Fun fact – the word breakfast literally means “break fast.” While you’re sleeping, you’re not eating. So in the morning, you’re breaking your fast.
There are a few generally accepted ways to implement intermittent fasting.
- The 5:2 method where you eat a “normal” amount of calories for five days, and a low amount of calories for two days
- Typically the two days of low calories consist of 500 calories for men and 600 calories for women
- The National Library of Medicine reported that this is an effective means of controlling metabolism and weight loss
- The 16:8 method where you “fast” for 16 hours a day, and only eat for eight hours each day
- Some people opt for this method because it’s less difficult for them than having low calorie days
- 24 hour fast once or twice per week: Also called the “Eat. Stop. Eat” method – you eat a “normal” amount of calories most of the week, but only consume water for one or two 24 hour periods per week
- 20:4 method, also called “The Warrior Diet” – you “fast” for 20 hours, and eat a large meal in the four hour eating period
- Schools of thought on this vary as some followers of this diet believe consuming some raw fruits and veggies during fasting is okay, whereas others believe you should consume nothing but water during the fasting period
Why Intermittent Fasting?
Not only has it been shown to help people lose weight, but according to Harvard Health Publishing, intermittent fasting has also been shown to help regulate insulin levels.
The question is, should you try intermittent fasting on keto? The simplest answer is maybe, but maybe not.
Here are some fast facts about intermittent fasting on keto:
- If you combine intermittent fasting with the keto diet, there may be moments that it will be awful (because you will feel too hungry and/or weak) and you will want to cave
This is especially important for someone who is not yet used to being on the keto diet. It can take between four and six weeks of being strictly keto to be “fully fat adapted.”
When you’re on a keto diet and use fat for fuel, you will have more fat stores to draw from, so you’re less likely to get “hangry.”
In fact, most people will have an easier time with OMAD (one meal a day) on keto compared to people who are on non-keto diets because of being fat-adapted.
- While you do it, your ketone levels may increase and you could lose more weight as a result
- Not all body types enjoy additional weight loss from intermittent fasting on keto because for some people their body goes into starvation mode and hoards every calorie it can to survive
- Because it’s not an exact science, experts disagree on the success of intermittent fasting on keto
- Intermittent fasting is not safe for some people
- Cleveland Clinic reported that people who are pregnant, hypoglycemic, have certain types of chronic disease, and children should not try fasting, let alone combine it with the keto diet
Who is right? Who is wrong? It really depends on the person.
By the way, this is probably a good time to interject with an important legal disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on the internet. While I know what has worked for me, it might not work for you.
I can only share my story, and the things I’ve done such as my 5 day egg fast and report on my own unique results.
Never start a diet or workout regimen without first clearing it with your general physician.
Thank you for coming to my intermittent fasting on keto Ted Talk, and now back to the article!
Setting Yourself Up for Success
If you do decide to try intermittent fasting on keto, here are some tips for success:
- Don’t try to do the fasting as soon as you begin the keto diet
- The keto diet is shocking to the system, and so is intermittent fasting. Therefore, you should start the keto diet and get past the keto flu phase before adding another change
- Once you choose a fasting time, stick to it
- For example, if you choose to stop eating at 7 p.m. and to start eating again at 11 a.m. the next day, you shouldn’t fluctuate in those times from day to day.
- Drink plenty of fluids while fasting
- This will help prevent hunger
- Note: you should only be drinking water and tea or coffee that has no sugar added
- No calorie beverages that are sweetened with stevia or other no calorie sweeteners are a bad idea while fasting as these can increase feelings of hunger
- Get plenty of rest
- While you are fasting you may find your energy levels are lower. This is normal, so be prepared to take more time for rest
- Some doctors also recommend decreasing physical activity while combining intermittent fasting and keto
- You might want to refrain from combining the two diets long term
- Once you get to a healthy weight, it may be a good idea to stop intermittent fasting
- Again, consult with your doctor to determine your best course of action
Over to You!
Are you considering combining intermittent fasting on keto? Have you had positive results from combining the two? Or did you try it with bad results?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject in the comments below!