Intermittent Fasting and Keto

Intermittent fasting or the keto diet – which is better for weight loss?

Can’t decide? Why not take a step further and try both at the same time?

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting has gained popularity in the past few years as celebrities and Silicon Valley execs praised the diet for helping them stay in shape. But periodic fasting has actually been around for centuries so this isn’t just a health fad that will disappear in time.

To put it simply, intermittent fasting involves cutting yourself off from any food for a prolonged period of time. Its numerous benefits include weight loss [1], lower insulin levels [2], improved brain health [3], lower risks for cancer [4], lower blood pressure, and reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress [5].

There are a number of intermittent fasting methods to choose from. Just pick the plan that will best suit your lifestyle.

What Is the Keto Diet?

The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet. The goal of the diet is to reduce your carbs intake to put your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. By depleting the glycogen stores in your muscles and liver, the body will start to burn ketones for fuel instead of carbs during ketosis. This leads to weight loss [6].

Why you should combine intermittent fasting and the keto diet

Get into Ketosis Faster

This is usually the main goal for people who decide to combine the two. While it’s possible to enter ketosis while you fast, it’s much harder to do so if you continue to eat a high-carb diet during your eating window. By following a strict low-carb diet, entering ketosis will become much easier and this helps you lose weight quicker.

Hunger Suppression

Okay, let’s face it, fasting for 16 hours or more can be a daunting task because most people start to feel hungry a few hours after eating a meal. That’s why some remain skeptical of intermittent fasting. This is where the keto diet comes in.

Keto is great for appetite control. Research shows that ketones can help control ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and cholecystokinin, a hormone shown to influence satiety [7]. That means you no longer have to worry about those hunger pangs that leave you feeling cranky.

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Intermittent fasting and the keto diet work quite well together and they have many of the same health benefits. Combining them can help you achieve your health goals quicker.

And here’s a friendly reminder: if you decide to do both diets at the same time, start with a shorter fasting window and build upon that once you get used to it. A 12-hour fast is the easiest way to go when you are starting out. Of course, this is just a suggestion.

 

Sources:

[1] Barnosky, AR., Hoddy, KK., Unterman, TG., and Varady, KA. (2014). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research: The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24993615

[2] Mattson, MP., and Wan R. (2005). Beneficial effects of intermittent fasting and caloric restriction on the cardiovascular and cerebrovascular systems. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15741046

[3] Mattson, MP., Moehl, K., Ghena, N., Schmaedick, M., and Cheng, A. (2018). Intermittent metabolic switching, neuroplasticity and brain health. Nature reviews. Neuroscience. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5913738/

[4] Brandhorst, S., and Longo, VD. (2016). Fasting and Caloric Restriction in Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Recent Results in Cancer Research. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27557543

[5] Azevedo, FR., Ikeoka, D., and Caramelli, B. (2013). Effects of intermittent fasting on metabolism in men. Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23582559

[6] Bueno, NB., de Melo, IS., de Oliveira, SL., and da Rocha Ataide, T. (2013). Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. The British Journal of Nutrition. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23651522

[7] Paoli, A., Bosco, G., Camporesi, EM., and Mangar, D. (2015). Ketosis, ketogenic diet and food intake control: a complex relationship. Frontiers in Psychology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4313585/