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Intermittent fasting has been around for a long time and it is particularly useful when you are going on a keto diet. It is considered a great way to maximize the benefits of your keto diet.
It is important to note that the success of keto dieting not only depends on the kind of foods and drinks you consume. It also depends on when, how much, and how often do you eat every day.
Fasting is not an essential part of keto dieting. It can be used as a tool to help you get into ketosis more quickly and minimize the symptoms of the keto flu.
Learn how to use intermittent fasting to induce ketosis and find out whether it is the right option for you.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is timing your food intake so that you have a longer period without any food. It is the act of cycling between periods where you eat and fast. When intermittent fasting, it is not a question of what you eat every day, but rather when you eat.
Most people are actually fasting whether they realize it or not. If you finish eating before 7 pm and don’t eat again until 7 am, that is a 12 hour fast. Easy right? You can increase your fasting time either by skipping breakfast and having your first meal of the day at noon, or skipping dinner and making lunch your last meal of the day.
This powerful and old dietary intervention is far from the same as starving. Fasting is choosing to withhold food for a certain amount of time on a daily or weekly basis. For instance, you may fast between dinner and breakfast the next day by skipping dessert or midnight snacks.
Intermittent fasting is simply prolonging the fast period you are already doing. It’s not a weird diet fad, but can be a part of everyday normal life. Eating your first meal at noon and your last meal at 8 pm means that you are fasting for 16 hours every day.
This restricts your food intake to an 8 hour period. This method of intermittent fasting is also known as the 16:8 method.
There are different types of intermittent fasting and each person has their own experiences with it. Some fast every other day, while some go on a weekly 24-hour fast also known as the eat-stop-eat diet.
For the brave ones, the warrior diet involves eating very little, such as a few servings of raw fruit for 20 hours, then eating one large meal at night.
Whichever way you choose, make sure you get advice and approval from your health care professional and don’t undertake this if you are already on a diet for special health conditions.
Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?
Do you have doubts about intermittent fasting? We will help you learn how intermittent fasting can in fact be healthy for your keto diet as long as it is done the right way.
When improperly executed, intermittent fasting can be ineffective as people have it in their mind to reward themselves after exercising or still indulge in unhealthy dietary habits on non-fasting days. There are also a few drawbacks like loss of energy, and spiking blood sugar when you eat.
Meanwhile, most people actually report that they feel better and have more energy during a fast. Aside from that, there are various other therapeutic benefits that we tend to overlook when participating in intermittent fasting.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
The first benefit of intermittent fasting is that it provides your brain with more mental clarity. The Center for Law and Biosciences at Stanford Law School state that it increases the plasticity of synapses, the markers of learning and memory, therefore helping the individual perform well on memory tests, growth of new neurons, and improve cognitive function as well as the quality of life.
It can also decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s since it reduces obesity and diabetes, and they can increase the risk of these neurodegenerative disease.
Another benefit for the brain includes the alleviation of depression. Intermittent fasting helps with mood disorders as you can develop a sense of peace and alertness during your fasting.
Make the most out of the mental advantages by resting and relaxing more often. Avoid strenuous activities when fasting and try mindfulness activities like yoga.
Once your body and brain are used to intermittent fasting and well-adjusted to keto dieting, it will effectively run on ketones which are the broken-down fat molecules in the liver. Fasting then gets easier once your body has adapted to this new metabolism.
Soon you will find yourself only eating when you are feeling hungry instead of having to eat all the time to the extent of going over your daily carb limit.
Intermittent fasting on a keto diet can also lead to a number of health benefits if you like to keep your fitness levels up. First, fasting while on a training regime can actually help you to increase your metabolic adaptations. It will also improve your muscle synthesis.
Studies have shown that muscle gains are actually increased when training while fasting and it will utilize proper nutrient intake in your body. It also improves your responses to post-workout meals. It will help speed up the absorption rate of nutrients in your body after a workout and lead to better training results.
Lose Weight Faster
One of the main reasons people do intermittent fasting is for the weight loss benefits. Fasting can help you with weight loss in a few different ways.
Firstly, limiting your food intake every day will naturally limit your daily calorie intake. This helps eliminate excessive snacking because of the smaller eating period.
Intermittent fasting can help to increase your satiety level in addition to reducing your appetite. It will be much easier to do intermittent fasting this way compared to diets which consist of high carb foods that only increase your cravings.
Fasting helps your body use all the stored up fats because the process helps boost your metabolism through thermogenesis or heat production.
For instance, according to the Journal of Translational Medicine, 34-resistance trained men were asked to participate where some would do the 16/8 method of fasting, while the rest follow their normal eating pattern. The former were able to lose up to 14% more body fat than the latter.
A Cleaner Body
Intermittent fasting will help you activate autophagy in the body. This is a phenomenon where basically the body eats its own tissues and cells to essentially clean and rid the body of harmful substances and toxic compounds and at the same time recycle your damaged proteins.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Help Induce Ketosis?
On a keto diet, you stop eating as many carbs and substitute them with more fats. The truth is, you do not necessarily have to fast during a keto diet. But there are numerous benefits that come if you are fasting to induce ketosis.
The keto diet basically makes your body switch its fuel source to ketones due to the very low-carb intake. When on a keto diet you are already limiting your intake of carbs and glucose.
Sometimes we slip up though and have too many carbs in a day and that can kick your body out of ketosis. Fasting can be a quick way to get yourself back on track.
Because of the high satiety level that keto dieting gives you, people on a keto diet are usually naturally eating less frequently and intermittent fasting is just an additional step to help with your diet.
Remember to stay hydrated while on a keto diet and fasting. Drink plenty of water and calorie-free drinks like herbal teas throughout the day so you can maximize the benefit of your eating schedule.
Avoid the Side Effects of Ketosis
Whether you are just starting a keto diet or are getting back into it after a break, intermittent fasting can further help you by minimizing some of the common side effects of ketosis such as the keto flu. Keto flu happens when your body is depleted of its glucose supplies and is switching to fat burning for energy.
Fasting and ketosis are vital elements of your diet that can help you lose weight and improve other aspects of your health. Together they carry the research-backed benefits for our health and wellbeing.