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Intermittent fasting and the keto diet are two of the most popular health trends right now. These strategies are used by many health-conscious people to lose weight and control specific health concerns.

While both have excellent studies to back up their claimed benefits, many people worry if combining the two is safe and beneficial.

The keto diet and fasting will surely result in rapid weight reduction in the short term. Nonetheless, there is a lack of long-term studies (more than two years) on persons who use keto for weight loss.

Many of the assertions that keto can cure health conditions apart from epilepsy, like high blood pressure, cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, require more research, according to a review published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013.

This article outlines intermittent fasting and the keto diet and discusses whether the two should be combined.

Keto fasting is the practice of following a keto diet at specific times of the day for a set period of time. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet.

Carbohydrates are often restricted to 20 to 50g per day, forcing the body to depend on fats rather than glucose as its primary energy source.

Your body will break down fats to generate chemicals called ketones, which serve as a supplementary fuel source during the metabolic activities known as ketosis.

This diet is an excellent approach to losing weight, but it also offers several other advantages.

The keto diet has also been used to help treat epilepsy for nearly 100 years and offers advantages for other neurological illnesses.

For example, the keto diet may help persons with Alzheimer’s disease improve their mental symptoms.

Furthermore, it may improve insulin resistance, lower blood sugar, and lessen risk factors for heart disease such as triglyceride levels.

Intermittent fasting or Keto can aid with losing weight in the short term, but both diets are extremely restricted and are not for everyone.

But what if you combined them? Could two be superior to one?

First, some experts believe that combining the two methods makes sense. The keto diet raises ketone levels in the body; ketones are also raised during fasting periods. When in a ketosis state, the brain will depend very little on glucose for energy. As a result, after a few weeks of eating low-carb or keto, the shift into a fasting (ketogenic) state during the daytime becomes effortless.

This is an approach that practitioners at the Cleveland Clinic’s Functional Ketogenics Program advise their patients. Intermittent fasting can help take things to the next level. The next phase could be breaking through a weight loss barrier since people who practice intermittent fasting ingest fewer calories. It can also be a natural step from a keto diet for people who are satiated by eating so much fat (ketosis may also reduce appetite) and aren’t concerned by a smaller eating window.

Just about everyone on keto for more than 2 weeks and wants to add intermittent fasting can do so with the approval of their healthcare provider. However, the keto diet has grown in popularity among those with prediabetes or diabetes, albeit depriving these patients of food for an extended period of time can be harmful. 

If you have a chronic renal illness, a history of eating problems, are pregnant, undergoing active cancer treatment, or are breastfeeding, this combination diet plan is unlikely to be a good fit for you. Individual diets (intermittent fasting and keto) may also be unsuitable for certain people. Consult your medical team.

Also, if you’re already on the keto diet and satisfied with your eating habits, you don’t need to incorporate intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting has been shown to have numerous health benefits. However, because it places the body under stress, it is not advised for everyone.

Bear in mind that the ketogenic diet can be taxing on the body, so consult your doctor before embarking on it!

If you are unfamiliar with the keto diet, it is not advisable, to begin with, Intermittent Fasting right away.

It is far better and easier to begin and study the ketogenic diet first, and then adopt intermittent fasting once your body has accustomed to its new normal.

Begin With Keto

The Keto Diet is mostly about lowering our carbohydrate consumption to get our bodies into ketosis.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which our bodies burn fat, which can aid in weight loss.

Beginning a keto diet before applying Intermittent Fasting allows your body to adapt. It takes a couple of weeks for your gut bacteria and system to transition from metabolizing high-carb meals to just being offered low-carb food.

It is also critical to examine the mental element of the transition. Keto is a rigorous diet, and if those around you aren’t encouraging, it will take some time to reduce the vulnerability and build resilience. Adding Intermittent Fasting to the mix can be mentally exhausting.

Implement Intermittent Fasting

Once you’ve gotten used to the keto diet, understand what you can and can’t eat, and have discovered your favorite keto dishes, using Intermittent Fasting may help you break through the keto plateau.

Slowly incorporate Intermittent Fasting on a Keto diet!

You don’t have to go all out since Intermittent Fasting gives instant daily benefits if you’re currently in ketosis.

How Long Should You Fast On Keto?

You can begin implementing Intermittent Fasting 1 or 2 two days each week. Increase it to 3 to 4 days per week as you discover more about your body. And if you feel better and more energetic and achieve the results you want, go for a whole week!

Some people have adopted an intermittent fasting regimen that becomes their new normal. Intermittent fasting is a technique for some people to reset their lives for a week occasionally.

When Should I Fast?

If you’re on a keto fasting schedule and already in ketosis, the autophagy stage that gives the health benefits of Intermittent Fasting begins after 8 to 12 hours.

Because autophagy is not instantaneous, you need to be on several implement keto fasting hours to reap its effects.

Keep in mind that the longer you fast, the stronger autophagy becomes. So increasing the amount of time your system is in this condition virtually quadruples its cleansing power. As a result, the standard guideline is to fast for 16 hours and focus on eating during the remaining 8 hours.

On a 16/8 fast, you might have your final meal at 7 p.m. and skip breakfast until 11 a.m. the next day (to break your fast). If it is too lengthy for you, fasting for fourteen hours will provide you with part of the self-cleaning.

On a 14/10 fast, if your last meal was at 7 p.m., your breakfast would be at 9 a.m. the next day.

If your healthcare team has given you the go-ahead to try this combination approach, you may be wondering what you’ll consume (and when). Your intuition is correct: this diet regimen is all about timing.

Here’s what 3 days on the plan may look like, according to experts, when performed with time-restricted meals in a 16-hour fast, 8-hour meal schedule. This isn’t the only method to do intermittent fasting – there are numerous ways to fast. You can, for instance, fast for 12 or 14 hours every day.

You will see that snacking is optional in this strategy. Please remember that your glucose, protein, and fat requirements to maintain ketosis are unique to you. Working with a trained dietitian who is experienced with formulating keto diet and fasting plans can assist you in determining such ratios.

Day 1

10 a.m. Scrambled eggs and black coffee with avocado slices; water throughout the day

Lunch at 1 p.m. 2 tablespoons vinegar, olive oil, and 3 ounces grilled salmon atop a large green leafy salad

Snack (optional) at 3 p.m. ¼ cup Macadamia nuts

6 p.m. Dinner 2 cups olive oil-boiled zucchini and  ¼ cup cooked wild rice

Day 2

10 a.m. A keto-friendly smoothie, Plain hot tea, and plenty of water throughout the day

1 p.m. Lunch 1 full avocado, 3 oz grilled chicken breast, half a dish of cauliflower, and broccoli drizzled with 1 tbsp olive oil

Snack (optional): unsweetened coconut chips around 3 p.m.

6 p.m. Dinner 3 oz. seared tuna in olive oil on a bed of Asian coleslaw, drizzled with sesame seeds and olive oil

Day 3

10 a.m. Keto chia pudding, b Black coffee; water throughout the day

1 p.m. Lunch spinach (1 cup) cooked in 1 tablespoon olive oil, topped with ½ avocado, and served with ½ cup sliced tomatoes. 3 egg omelet with peppers (½ whole peppers), 

Snack (optional) at 3 p.m.

6 p.m. 3 oz shrimp drizzled with your choice of vinegar and olive oil. Large kale salad (3 cups).

Practitioners at renowned clinics do not recommend starting both keto and intermittent fasting at the same time. Changing from glucose to ketones as fuel is a major shock to your system, and applying intermittent fasting is a significant change.  As a result, people would begin with keto. After a few weeks to months on the diet, they may explore intermittent fasting.

It’s also critical to pick the right time. Experts recommend a 12- to 16-hour fast for their patients. For most people, not eating 12 hours per day (say, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.) is a common norm that does not need skipping meals.

To begin, consider delaying breakfast (beginning with an hour and then increasing the duration) to train your body to go longer periods without eating. Reinstate breakfast sooner in the day and broaden your overnight fasting time once you have adapted your new eating pattern, as consuming breakfast not only makes for better cognition but also enhanced insulin sensitivity and better metabolism, as per a study published in the American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology Metabolism in August 2018. 

In terms of how long to stay on keto-intermittent fasting, experts suggest doing it for no more than 6 months before moving to a more traditional low-carb diet.

If you adhere to the keto while also undertaking intermittent fasting, you may get the following benefits.

It could help you get to ketosis faster.

Intermittent fasting may assist your body in reaching ketosis faster than the ketogenic diet alone.

This is because your body maintains its energy balance when fasting by switching its source of fuel from carbohydrates to fats – the precise principle of the keto diet.

Fasting causes glycogen stores and insulin levels to drop, causing your body to naturally begin burning fat for fuel.

If you’re having trouble reaching ketosis while on a ketogenic diet, using intermittent fasting may help.

Improved Weight Loss

One of the main reasons individuals resort to Keto is to lose weight. Indeed, studies show that eating a high-fat diet might suppress your appetite, allowing you to feel fuller for longer.

The combination of diet and fasting may help you to lose more fat than either diet alone.

Since intermittent fasting promotes heat production or thermogenesis, your body may begin to use stubborn fat stores.

Several studies have found that intermittent fasting can effectively and safely reduce extra body fat.

In an eight-week trial of 34 resistance-trained males, those who used the 16/8 intermittent fasting strategy shed about 14 percent more body fat than those who followed a conventional eating routine).

Similarly, a meta-analysis of 28 trials found that persons who practiced intermittent fasting shed 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) additional fat mass than those who followed very low-calorie diets.

Furthermore, intermittent fasting may assist to keep muscle mass while losing weight and boosting energy levels, which may be beneficial for keto dieters wanting to improve sports performance and lose body fat.

Furthermore, research shows that intermittent fasting might lower appetite and greater feelings of fullness, which may benefit weight loss. Keto can also lead to a faster loss of weight when contrasted with a high carbohydrate diet, albeit this may be related to glycogen storage and a loss of water.

Neurological Disorders and Epilepsy

Keto was originally utilized in a healthcare setting to supplement epilepsy treatment. Since then, the diet has shown promise in the treatment of various neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, with animal studies indicating that Keto may assist to halt cognitive loss, however further research is needed.

Blood Marker Improvements

Apart from body composition, some people use Keto to assist manage a variety of health concerns.

According to research, there may be some advantages to cardiovascular health, with Keto possibly leading to a significant increase in HDL (good cholesterol) and a drop in triglycerides.

Lowering carbohydrate intake and increasing protein intake may also lead to more steady blood sugar levels. According to one study, after 6 months of following a Keto diet, 95 percent of patients with diabetes were able to reduce or entirely eliminate the glucose-lowering medication.

Despite its demonstrated benefits, Intermittent Fasting is not suitable for everyone on a keto diet.

There are several potential adverse effects to be aware of:

Feeling sick: Symptoms of sickness include headaches, tiredness, and constipation. Physiological rhythm variations can have an impact on a variety of body functions.

Causing overeating: After a fast, the body pushes the brain to overeat in order to make up and prepare for a possible re-run. So expect a bigger-than-usual appetite during the first few days.

Reducing too much weight too quickly: While Keto and Intermittent Fasting are a powerful combination, reducing too much weight too quickly can be damaging to the health. Consult your doctor!

Irritability: Decreased blood sugar levels have long been connected to mood swings. In addition, fasting has been shown in control trials to enhance irritability.

Dehydration: Fasting involves not eating for an extended length of time. It does not imply that you should not drink water! Many individuals mistakenly believe that they must not drink water when fasting, whereas it is recommended that they drink more!

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