Two of the trendiest topics in the world of weight loss, fitness, and general health, are the keto diet and intermittent fasting. Some people swear by one, while yet others look to the other. But, what are the characteristics of each program, and just what are the benefits? And, if they are each beneficial, separately, can they be combined for an even greater benefit? Perhaps we should start with a brief look at each of these plans.
What Is The Keto Diet?
The keto diet plan has been around for a very long time, indeed. Sometimes referred to as the “caveman” diet, it is heavy on the consumption of meat, in all its glorious forms, and healthy fats, while simultaneously cutting back drastically on the intake of carbohydrates, limiting the user to less than 50 grams per day. Simply put, the keto diet plan is In basic terms, a high fat, low carb diet, moderate protein intake. It bears some similarities to the popular Atkins Diet Plan. The phrase “high fat”, tends to make people tune out, as they assume that such a diet couldn’t possibly work, as it appears to be just the opposite of the traditional low-fat plans so many of us are familiar with. But, contrary to their preconceived notions, the standard keto diet helps its practitioners to lose more than 2.2 times the amount of weight as those who employ a normal low-fat diet plan. The keto diet causes a change in your metabolism, forcing your body to use its fat reserves as an energy source in place of the sugars provided by carbs that it would normally burn. It forces your body into a state known as ketosis, where your liver produces ketones, which are then used as an energy source.
Also, it has proven beneficial for individuals suffering from diabetes or Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as Parkinson’s disease and other brain disorders. The keto diet has been used for over a century to help treat epilepsy. It can help improve blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, as well as prevent heart disease by controlling triglyceride levels. And, as trivial as it may seem when compared with brain disorders, heart disease, and diabetes, a keto diet plan may also help control acne. Good health, clear skin, and lots of meat and butter. What’s not to like?
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is concerned not so much with what we eat, but when we eat it. Many people may be distressed at the term “fasting”, but you must realize that our bodies are designed to fast, at least for brief periods. We cannot equate fasting with starvation, The former is strictly voluntary, while the latter may be forced upon us, with severe detrimental effects, including even death. We fast all the time, without even thinking about it. The English language term of the first meal of the day is breakfast, literally meaning to break our fast. We may skip a meal quite frequently, but we seldom think of this as fasting. But it is. Intermittent fasting is primarily used as part of a weight loss program. When we eat, our bodies convert the carbs we take in and turn them into sugar, which provides us with energy. But our bodies have a limited storage capacity for such sugars, so the excess carbs are converted by the liver into body fat and stored to be used another day. But, for many of us, that day never comes, and our storage facilities become way too overstocked. Just take a look in the mirror and you will see what I mean. Intermittent fasting causes our bodies to break down and use this stored fat for energy during our fasting hours. It clears the shelves, so to speak.
We can choose our fasting plan, based on our own needs and tolerances. Some choose to eat for five days and fast for two, others eat on alternate days. The most popular plan may be the 16/8 plan, which entails eating for eight hours and fasting for sixteen hours, usually overnight. Other more drastic plans involve fasting for a week or more, but should not be undertaken without consulting a doctor first.
Intermittent fasting is not for everybody, and certainly not for those who are underweight or suffering from anorexia. Diabetics should engage in such a diet with caution as it may easily affect their medications and their efficacy. They should always consult their physician before embarking on such a plan. And intermittent fasting may be beneficial in other ways in addition to weight loss. It can reduce inflammation, as well as improve brain function and blood sugar control.
Are The Keto Diet And Intermittent Fasting Compatible?
So, what’s the bottom line on combining the two diet plans? Most medical professionals feel that both plans, on their own, are harmless for most individuals, and the same goes for combining the two as your weight-loss regimen. There are, of course, certain people who should nor embark on a fasting plan, and these include women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and those with eating disorders. Individuals with heart disease or diabetes should always consult their doctors before embarking on such a program.
While it has been shown that combining an intermittent fast with your keto diet can help you achieve the benefits of ketosis more quickly than diet alone, it is not necessary to fast to achieve this state.. However, combining the two diet programs could help you achieve a more rapid weight loss. But you must be aware that adding an intermittent fast to your already structured keto meal plan can be difficult. Only you can decide if you can maintain the proper discipline to carry out both plans simultaneously. Some of the pitfalls include overeating on your non-fasting days, irritability, and fatigue. Trying to successfully utilize each plan may cause you to fail at both.