Are you having a difficult time reaching – or staying in – ketosis while on the keto diet? Intermittent fasting and keto is ideal for weight loss and could be a good way to ramp up your fat burning efforts.
And don’t be scared away because it includes the word “fasting.” Basically, you fast overnight and skip breakfast the next morning, which many of us do, anyway. Lunch then becomes the most important meal of the day.
Intermittent fasting has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, because it limits the amount of time you eat during a 24-hour period, creating cycles of fasting that can speed up ketosis.
There are a variety of different levels of intermittent fasting. The most popular, and least taxing on your body is the 16/8 eating plan. This teams 16 hours of fasting with an eight-hour window for food consumption. Totally do-able for most people.
Getting in a workout before your first meal can also boost the benefits of intermittent fasting. You will likely burn more fat during this workout than you would if you waited to hit the gym until after you ate.
But fat burning is hardly the only benefit associated with intermittent fasting.
A 2016 study from a team of researchers from Italy, the U.S. and Brazil that appeared in the Journal of Translational Medicine found that men who followed a 16/8 eating plan not only lost weight, but they increased their metabolism, improved their heart health, lowered inflammation levels, and saw improved blood glucose.
The ketogenic (keto) diet offers some of the same benefits, including weight loss, improved blood sugar levels and heart health, so the two seem like a dream team for those looking to lose weight and improve their health.
Understanding Keto in a nutshell
Keto is a high-fat, low-carb diet that reduces the amount of glucose the body has available for energy, so it is forced to burn fat, instead.
The keto is ideal for a large number of people looking for a weight loss plan that not only helps you to shed excess weight and fat, but improves your overall health.
Fat was originally excess glucose roaming through the bloodstream. The process of ketosis turns those fatty acids now stored in fat cells into ketones, which are then used as energy in place of glucose.
With a limited glucose intake, the body remains in a fairly steady fat-burning mode. This allows you to lose weight more quickly – especially stubborn belly fat, than you would if you were taking in larger amounts of carbs.
Other benefits include lower blood sugar levels – a natural response to lower carb intake – as well as a reduced risk of heart disease due to lower triglyceride levels. According to a 2004 study appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read more about what is the keto diet.
You are also likely to see reduced symptoms of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to type 2 diabetes that includes obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and high blood sugar levels.
All of these conditions improved on a low-carb diet, according to a 2005 study from the journal of Nutrition and Metabolism.
There’s a lot to love about keto, and once results show themselves on the scale, it’s hard to return to a high-carb diet, no matter how much we thought we loved chips.
How Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss fasting helps
Intermittent fasting kicks the process of fat burning into high gear. This is because the fasting period – typically from 8 p.m. to noon, a 16-hour window – gives the body time to use stored glucose. This in turn forces your body to use up your fat reserves faster by burning fat for energy.
Fasting also lowers the body’s levels of the hunger hormone leptin, researchers have found, so the desire to eat is kept in check. Therefore the use of intermittent fasting and keto is ideal for those looking to shed excess weight quickly and safely.
Adding exercise to the mix can amplify the benefits.
Registered dieticians note that exercising while fasting burns more fat because stored carbohydrates are depleted quicker.
Consider what happens when you go for a long bike ride or run. During exercise, your body uses a mix of carbs and fat for energy. In order to access fat stores, say the experts at Runner’s World, there must be some carbohydrate also available so you don’t fully empty your body’s glucose stores, which leads to hitting the wall, or “bonking.”
Intermittent fasting helps train your body to burn fat rather than available glucose. This is because of how the body uses fat to generate energy during the fasting period.
That training helps your body during extended periods of exercise. You are then able to burn fat more efficiently without exhausting glucose stores completely.
To sum it up-
Because Intermittent Fasting and keto encourages the body to enter a state of ketosis, it helps those on a keto diet stay in ketosis. So fat burning occurs throughout the day, even during the eight-hour window intermittent fasting allows for food consumption.
For those who aren’t monitoring their carb intake as closely as they should, intermittent fasting can rev up fat-burning engines. This is even despite you taking in a few extra carbs eaten throughout the day.
And for those who love a good fat-burning workout, intermittent fasting amps up the fat burn as well.