Research shows intermittent fasting to be a powerful tool for helping you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
Fasting means you aren’t eating for an extended period of time. If you think about it, fasting isn’t all that unnatural.
What exactly is intermittent fasting (IF)?
It’s not a diet necessarily (like paleo, ketogenic, or low-carb), but, more of a style of dieting.
Although there are many approaches to IF, the underlying principle is the same:
Restrict the amount of time you’re eating every day.
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So what’s intermittent fasting?
Unlike keto, intermittent fasting is not a diet. It’s an eating pattern fashioned around certain feeding and fasting periods.
One of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting is a 16:8 split, where people fast for 16 hours and only eat during an eight-hour window.
This usually means not eating after 8 p.m., going to sleep, then having a big lunch at noon the next day.
Other fans of intermittent fasting might choose to do an 18:6 split or fast 24 hours every other day.
Intermittent fasting can take many forms and has many benefits. Like keto, people have used it to lose weight, control blood sugar levels, and achieve more clarity.
When you’re fasting, the body doesn’t have to release insulin to break down sugar and resorts to turning fats into ketones.
Plus, if you aren’t binging during your feeding window, you’re naturally consuming fewer calories without having to track it.
Some people also use intermittent fasting just to give their digestive systems a chance to reset.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting Backed By Science
IF is not magic, let’s be clear on that, but it can certainly feel like it once you’ve been doing it for a while and especially when you start seeing results.
Studies on Intermittent Fasting
Here are some of the benefits of intermittent fasting that have been backed by countless studies:
- Fasting has been shown to improve biomarkers of disease, reduce oxidative stress and preserve learning and memory functioning, according to Mark Mattson, senior investigator for the National Institute on Aging, part of the US National Institutes of Health. 
- Growth Hormone (GH) increases when in a fasted state. 
- Autophagy occurs while fasting; it is the body’s way of renewing the cells and getting rid of all the worn-out cells in the body. Autophagy is the primary driver of anti-aging (longevity).  
How to start intermittent fasting?
There is more than one way to start intermittent fasting, which is great because every BODY is different. The key is to experiment and listen to your body to see what works best for you. Here are some of the ways to get started:
- 16:8: You eat all of your daily calories within a shortened period (typically 6-8 hours) and fast the rest of the time.
- 5:2: You eat normally five days a week. On the other two days, you “fast” by eating between 500 and 600 calories.
- Alternate Day Fasting: You alternate a day of eating normally with a day eating 25 percent of your typical daily calories. A study found that obese adults following an “alternate day” intermittent fasting schedule lost up to 13 pounds over 8 weeks.
If intermittent fasting causes fatigue or other negative symptoms, try fasting just once or twice a week, and build up from there. As with any diet or exercise plan, consult your healthcare provider to determine what’s best for you.
Intermittent Fasting and Keto: Should You Combine the Two?
If you commit to the ketogenic diet while doing intermittent fasting as well, it could offer the following benefits.
Intermittent fasting may help your body reach ketosis quicker than the keto diet alone. Combining the diet and the fast may help you burn more fat than the diet alone.
The idea is that combining the ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting will maximize the time that someone is in ketosis.
Eating a ketogenic high-fat low-carb diet will make fasting easier and more manageable.
This is because a keto diet will help you become more fat-adapted, which will enhance your ability to perform an extended fast without feeling lethargic, depressed, or unbearably hungry.
Keto diets and intermittent fasting both have the same metabolic goals—train the body to efficiently burn fat for energy and get into a state of ketosis.
Both regimens do this by depleting glucose and lowering insulin levels in the body.
Another advantage of combining keto with intermittent fasting is that IF may help you get into ketosis even faster and perhaps achieve higher ketone levels.
Intermittent fasting promotes ketosis, and ketosis may help with intermittent fasting. A beautiful metabolic marriage.
This could mean more weight loss, fewer hunger pangs, and more energy.
The keto diet and intermittent fasting are two of the hottest current health trends.
Many health-conscious people use these methods to drop weight and control certain health conditions.
While combining the two might boost results, these styles of eating are not for everyone, whether independently or together.
Intermittent fasting is mainly used as a weight-loss technique.
However, studies found that it may benefit health in many other ways.
Always consult your doctor or registered dietician before changing your eating habits.
You want to have a solid game plan and know that you are practicing in a way that’s healthy for you.
If you’ve got the green light and don’t know where to start, the easiest route is to give intermittent fasting a go first.
Then, later on, you can try to tack on keto if you want and see how you feel. Again, consult your health professional and find a community that can inspire you to stay on track.
Keto and IF Diet Plan
Maybe you’re thinking about trying the keto diet or experimenting with fasting. Perhaps you’re already doing both. Either way, we’ve provided a sample daily and weekly layout of what a plan might look like for someone on a keto diet who is also integrating some alternate-day fasting and 16:8 time-restricted feeding into their regimen.
6:00 am: Water and/or black coffee (no, coffee won’t break the fast)
9:00 am: More water or black coffee.
12:00 pm: TRF ends. Have a keto-friendly meal: maybe a salad with grilled chicken topped with olive oil and feta cheese, avocado, and some hard-boiled eggs or bacon bits.
3:00 pm: Snack on some nuts or have some nut butter, and maybe coffee with some MCT oil or coconut oil.
6:00 pm: 8 – 12oz of a fatty cut of meat (ribeye steak or fatty fish) plus some vegetables; maybe brussels sprouts cooked in butter.
8:00 pm: Small snack of nuts, blueberries, and a piece of strong dark chocolate for “dessert”. This is your last meal of the day.
Monday: Same eating window as yesterday: 12 – 8 pm.
Tuesday: Fasting day. No calories were consumed today.
Wednesday: Eating period of 12 – 8 pm. You might be hungrier today since you fasted yesterday, especially if you did an early morning workout today.
Thursday: Fasting day
Friday: 12 – 8 eating window. Work out in the morning or, if you want to do a fueled workout, do so in between lunch and dinner.
Saturday: Fast day
Remember, this is only one example out of a nearly unlimited number of iterations! Change this up to fit your lifestyle, and use it as a guide to design your own fasting regimen.
After all of the evidence presented, it’s hard to argue against the keto diet or intermittent fasting. They seem to benefit so many different physical conditions and diseases, along with having benefits for non-disease-related functions.
Tips for intermittent fasting for weight loss
It’s not easy to resist the cravings, but there are some easy ways to avoid feeling hungry that can also help you get even more out of your fast:
Don’t skip breakfast – going without your morning meal can be hard. So, instead of skipping breakfast, enjoy a creamy cup of satisfying Bulletproof Coffee. This simple hack keeps you in a fasted state and keeps the “hanger” away while nourishing your body with good fats.
Eat the right fats – The ultimate hack for your intermittent fast: Bulletproof Brain Octane MCT oil and XCT oil. They’re MCT oils, but better. Your body turns MCTs into ketones, which help burn fat, curb cravings and power your brain with more energy, better mental performance, and fewer cravings.
Cut back on carbs – Follow a low carb/keto diet during your eating periods to supercharge the impact of intermittent fasting. Restricting carbohydrates will decrease your appetite (bye cravings!) and make it easier for your body to shift into fat-burning ketosis.
Plan meals ahead of time – when it’s time to eat, those sweets and snacks start looking mighty tempting. To avoid binging on carbs or junk food, prepare healthy options ahead of time with the right fats, high-quality meats, and vegetables. These keto meal prep recipes will help you stay on track.
Intermittent fasting and ketogenic dieting may enhance each other’s effectiveness, it’s unnecessary to combine both. Depending on your health goals, you may choose one over the other.
Should You Combine Them?
Combining the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting is likely safe for most people.
However, pregnant or breastfeeding women and those with a history of disordered eating should avoid intermittent fasting.
People with certain health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, should consult with a doctor before trying intermittent fasting on the keto diet.
Though some people may find merging the practices helpful, it’s important to note that it may not work for everyone.
When Women Should Not Fast
You should not even try to experiment with IF under the following circumstances.
If you’re pregnant: With everything said earlier you should know better than to make your body think that you’re starving while being pregnant. You should concentrate on the new energy needs of your body.
You have previously had eating disorders: If you’re not good at keeping a balanced eating schedule, this method can cause all sorts of problems for you.
You are suffering from chronic stress: Stress is very energy-consuming for your body and fasting is best done when your body is in a state of balance already.
You have problems sleeping: Fasting can challenge any of your life rhythms, so it is never a good idea to start it if you’re already having problems with these issues.
You are entirely inexperienced with diet programs and working out: This method can be very hard on your body, and you should always try to do as much research about how you plan to lose weight. You have to take into consideration your physical shape.
Keep in mind that intermittent fasting is not necessary to reach ketosis, even though it can be used as a tool to do so quickly.
Combining the keto diet with intermittent fasting may help you reach ketosis faster than a keto diet alone. It may also result in greater fat loss.
However, while this method may work wonders for some, it’s not necessary to mix both, and some people should avoid this combination.
You’re welcome to experiment and see whether a combination works best for you. But as with any major lifestyle change, it’s advisable to speak to your healthcare provider first.
If you’ve had a great experience with keto, IF, or both, leave a comment below and let me know! I’d love to hear.
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