Intermittent fasting is something most people have heard of because of the endless features on how it works in the media. It’s discussed in Netflix’s recent (Un)Well series. It has been featured in various TV programmes by the UK’s expert fasting Dr, Dr Michael Mosley (most recently on The controversial Fast 800 on Channel 4). Even morning TV sweetheart Philip Schofield is said to be a big fan. Everyone is doing it, but what does it involve? And what does it have to do with Keto?
The Lowdown On Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a way of eating that involves you limiting when you eat. There are lots of different patterns, but mostly it involves eating during a specific window of time during the day having not eaten for a set amount of time, usually 16 hours with something called the 16:8 method. Some people also fast twice a week either by eating nothing at all, or by eating a very low amount of calories.
The idea is that we are able to, as humans, go without food for long periods of time because food wasn’t always available to us as hunter-gatherers. Theoretically it is more natural to go without food every now and then, than it is to eat a set amount of meals per day.
When it comes to science, there is a lot of evidence to suggest intermittent fasting could be a really good way to lose weight and boost your health. A recent scientific article cited studies done on rats who when subjected to an intermittent fasting diet, were found to benefit from lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and sustained weight loss. The main issue is that people find it very hard to sustain long-term, although that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good option for many.
Intermittent Fasting & Keto
A ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb diet that is exceptionally popular at the moment. It helps your body burn fat instead of glucose for energy, resulting in effective weight loss once ketosis is achieved.
Intermittent fasting relates to keto because it can boost the benefits of the keto diet in many ways including the following:
Boosts Your Route To Ketosis
Intermittent fasting might help you get into ketosis quicker. This is because your blood sugar levels drop during fasting leading you to burn fat for fuel. Since that is the goal of keto, intermittent fasting is essentially like a rocket booster getting you to that all important ketosis state faster.
Better Fat Loss
Intermittent fasting is thought to encourage the body to produce more heat, causing it to burn fat. Because of this process, combined with keto, fat loss could be more effective overall and this process is seen in various studies.
Muscle Mass Maintenance
Some studies have suggested that intermittent fasting could help us to maintain muscle mass when we lose weight. The loss of muscle mass during quick weight loss can be a problem, so having the ability to hang on to muscles and instead drop fat is a real benefit.
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To summarise; intermittent fasting could be considered a way to boost the potential benefits of keto, and help you do better with the process of keto.
“Everybody can work magic, everybody can obtain their goals, if they are able to think, if they are able to wait, if they are able to fast.” - Hermann Hesse
If you are interested in intermittent fasting and keto either separately or combined, it is important you speak to your doctor first. Although incredibly popular, both keto and intermittent fasting might not be right for everybody and if undertaken, can yield the best results with expert guidance.