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Two of the hottest health trends include the keto diet and intermittent fasting. While the former is a high-fat low-carb diet plan, the latter is merely a pattern of eating.
Both are claimed to effectively make you lose weight and provide other great health benefits for the mind and body.
The question remains, which one is better for weight loss? We take a look at intermittent fasting versus the keto diet.
Although most dieters would pick one over the other, some want to get the best of both worlds by combining keto and intermittent fasting.
Is this safe and recommended? What are the potential risks of combining the two? Are there alternatives you can try? Find out everything here!
What is the Keto Diet?
The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb way of eating, meaning the majority of the calories you eat come from fat, while the rest comes from a moderate amount of protein and little to no carbs. This means goodbye to pasta and hello to steak and eggs.
This type of diet will let you undergo a metabolic process known as ketosis, where your body breaks down fats to form substances called ketones that serve as an alternate fuel source. This usually only happens when the body does not have enough carbs to sustain everyday activity.
Aside from the popular weight loss, the keto diet can improve mental symptoms in people with Alzheimer’s disease, improve insulin resistance, lower risk of heart disease, and treat epilepsy.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
On the other hand, intermittent fasting is more of an eating method than a diet plan and cycles between calorie restriction and normal food consumption during a specific period. There are a number of ways to do this and one the most popular is a 16:8 split, where you fast for 16 hours and only eat during an eight-hour window.
Just like with keto, intermittent fasting is an effective eating pattern that aids in weight loss. It also helps you control blood sugar levels and achieve more mental clarity. This can also put you in ketosis since your body doesn’t have insulin to break down sugar.
This method has been used by many intentionally and unintentionally. Humans have lived through seasons of feast and famine, while many cultures include fasting in their practices.
Intermittent Fasting Versus Keto Diet – Which One is Better for Weight Loss?
The truth is, both of these diets are effective in helping you lose weight. The main question is, which one is more sustainable? Can you last for months without pasta, bread, rice, and some fruits? Can you spend a certain amount of time without food in your stomach? It all depends on you.
Another thing to consider is your effort in making your diet a balanced one. The key is to make sure these diets are properly planned for you to get enough nutrients to stay healthy.
Not everyone needs to do keto all the time, and intermittent fasting can offer the same benefits as keto. You need to weigh the pros and cons depending on your body, preference, and routines.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. Choose what will work for you.
Benefits of Combining Keto and Intermittent Fasting
Can you combine both diets? Yes, you can! Both are likely safe for most people, except pregnant or breastfeeding women as well as those with a history of eating disorders. Meanwhile, people with diabetes or heart disease should consult with a doctor before trying intermittent fasting on the keto diet.
The idea is that combining the two will maximize your time in ketosis, meaning easier weight loss, fewer cravings, and more energy, although this method is not for everyone. Most people start with keto then combine intermittent fasting with it.
A diet similar to keto can be mixed with intermittent fasting, and it’s called the low-carb, healthy-fat diet (LHCF). LHCF contains carbs from anywhere between 50-100g per day, a moderate amount of protein, and increased amounts of healthy fat. It’s like a liberalized form of keto.
This kind of diet goes better with the intermittent fasting so as not to keep you super restricted. It can lead to an increase in insulin resistance (IR). IR is the precursor to weight gain, diabetes, obesity, and many other metabolic conditions.
Potential Risks of Combining Keto and Intermittent Fasting
As mentioned, the ketogenic diet combined with intermittent fasting is safe for most people, but there are potential risks that some may be susceptible to. Some nutrition specialists think that the combination is overly regimented, restricted, and antisocial.
Intermittent fasting on keto may be tough when you’re always out and about with your friends for brunch or nights out. You’ll only be tempted to eat something which isn’t allowed, meaning it is unsustainable.
Combining the two may also worsen the symptoms of the keto flu, which includes nausea, headaches, dizziness, and stomach pain. A low-carb diet also runs the risk of not providing enough vitamins and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, calcium, and fiber.
Another difficulty that may arise includes overeating on non-fasting days. Your hard work on combining the two may just be put to waste when you get super hungry and eat too much.
Obviously, it’s not recommended for teenagers as they need to be able to eat whenever they feel like it. Those who are over the age of 65 may also have trouble getting enough nutrients and calories to sustain certain body tissues and body mass.
Remember that you can reach ketosis without fasting, even if it can be a tool to make the process quicker. Simply following a healthy, well-rounded keto diet is enough for anyone looking to improve health by cutting down on carbs.
Are You Interested in Combining Keto with Intermittent Fasting?
Both the keto diet and intermittent fasting are effective methods that can help you lose weight through the metabolic state called ketosis, where your body uses fat instead of sugar for fuel.
For some people, it is safe to combine the two for ketosis to kick in quicker and stay there longer. If you want to make it less restrictive, try combining intermittent fasting with the LHCF diet, a diet that’s a liberalized form of keto.
However, fusing both methods also has potential pitfalls like worse symptoms of the keto flu and the tendency to overeat on non-fasting days.
It is totally up to you if you want to pursue intermittent fasting on the keto. You can experiment and see whether the combination works or not, but we recommend consulting your doctor or your dietician first before changing up your eating habits!