Intermittent Fasting on a Keto Diet

 

The idea of fasting can seem daunting. But fasting has long been linked with some seriously positive health effects—in fact, it may even help extend your lifespan.

Fortunately, more and more people have found a way to reap the benefits of fasting without having to suffer through long bouts of deprivation. 

This is intermittent fasting, and you’ve likely heard plenty of raving reviews about using this protocol alongside a keto diet.

While many people will quickly dismiss intermittent fasting, those who have tried it can speak to its wide-ranging health benefits.

Here, we’ll dive into the different methods of intermittent fasting, the science behind it, and all the potential health benefits that come along with it.

The keto diet has proven to be a life-changer—even lifesaver—for a growing number of people. 

But as we learn more and more about how ketosis works, scientists and “diet-hackers” have found another valuable method of eating (or rather, not eating) that may expand the keto diet’s benefits even further.

They’ve found that it’s not just about what and how much you eat, but when you eat. When all of these components are aligned, there’s no stopping you.

This is the claim of intermittent fasting on a keto diet—a combination that can bring incredible benefits, from weight loss to mental clarity to extending your life. 

Intermittent Fasting on a Keto Diet

While intermittent fasting isn’t a requirement on a keto diet, it can certainly give you a nice boost—in ketones, energy, and overall results.

If you have yet to start a keto diet or have found yourself stuck in a plateau, you may want to consider trying intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting itself promotes the production of ketones, which can help you reach ketosis faster and with greater ease. Fasting also triggers a cell renewal process called autophagy, making your body run more efficiently.

For keto beginners, intermittent fasting can also reduce some of the unwanted symptoms that come with the keto flu, making your transition into a keto lifestyle much smoother.

How Long Can We Last Without Food?

Have you long thought that fasting is merely just a form of self-torture? Thing is, we often don’t give our bodies enough credit. They are designed to survive—and ultimately thrive—as long as we know how to support some of its most complex processes.

When you first start fasting it may seem an impossible task, this is okay, and it’s totally normal. Mahatma Gandhi lasted 21 days without food, and Terence MacSwiney, an Irish political prisoner, went a whole 74 days foodless.

Of course, these are extreme cases, and nothing you’ll ever have to endure, but it’s a good reminder of how strong and resilient our bodies are. Even if you fasted for three full days you will likely not experience any health complications.

This is a good thing to remember when you first start intermittent fasting. Soon enough, you’ll find that a 15- or 16-hour daily fast will feel perfectly normal.

Eating Windows

Structuring your days around specific eating windows is one of the preferable ways of intermittent fastingYou can schedule your eating window to whatever works best for you and your lifestyle.

For example, you may choose to fast for 16 hours, while giving yourself an 8-hour eating window. This could mean skipping breakfast and then allowing yourself to eat from, say, 1pm-9pm.

As your body adapts to intermittent fasting, you can start to experiment with shorter eating windows—but only if you want. Just remember always to adjust your eating and fasting windows to whatever makes you feel your very best.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is far more accessible than the traditional fasts most of us are familiar with; it involves set periods in which you’ll eat and fast, and there are various methods that you can follow.

It’s important to know that no matter what method you choose, you’ll experience the same benefits of fasting—but in a much easier-to-follow format.

Intermittent Fasting Methods

Here are some of the more popular forms of intermittent fasting:

  • The 16/8 (or Leangains) Method: You will fast for 14-16 hours each day, leaving you with 8-10 hours for eating (aka your “eating window”). For example: Eat 2-3 meals plus snacks between 12pm-8pm, then fast throughout the entire night and morning. Some people choose to skip breakfast with this method simply.
  • The 5:2 Diet: For five days a week, you will eat as you typically would with no restrictions. The other two days, consume only about 500-600 calories.
  • Eat Stop Eat: For five or six days a week, you will eat as you typically would, then fast for a full day or two.
  • The Warrior Diet: You will fast for a full 20 hours every day, then eat one large meal at night.
  • Alternate-Day Fasting: You will do a full fast (or restrict your calories to about 500 calories) every other day while eating.

How Does Intermittent Fasting Work?

The main and most immediate benefit of intermittent fasting is that it can simply help you cut calories—without you even realizing it.

Your body can only handle so much food in so much time, so if you restrict that time, you’ll inevitably eat less. Ketosis and fasting actually have a whole lot in common.

When you’re in ketosis, your body is already acting like it’s in a fasted state by breaking down stored fat to use as energy.

Over time, intermittent fasting can promote weight loss, boost your metabolism, lower the risk of chronic diseases, and maybe even reverse aging.

What About Muscle Loss?

Intermittent fasting can improve muscle synthesis when you exercise in a fasted state. Researchers believe that intermittent fasting may be more effective in maintaining muscle mass than traditional non-fasting diets.

The reason you can avoid muscle loss during intermittent fasting comes back to the crucial process of autophagy, which helps renew and repair cells—including muscle cells—letting them thrive instead of die.

What About Refeeding Syndrome?

If you’ve fasted for a week and then you resume eating, you could experience major shifts in fluid and electrolyte balance. Add a keto diet to that mix, and it could turn ugly.

One of the top 3 keto mistakes is not taking into account the greater loss of water and minerals that come with a low-carb diet.

The best thing to do after a fast is to fill your plate with mineral-rich sources, including foods like leafy greens, salmon, and avocado.

Feel free to add unrefined pink or sea salts. Electrolyte supplements can also be helpful.

That said, intermittent fasting should never involve abstaining from food for such an extended period, so you shouldn’t experience any complications.

Tim Ferriss’s 3-Day Ketosis Boost

Tim Ferriss found that alongside intermittent daily fasts, doing a longer fast every now and then could offer some amazing benefitsFerriss suggests a 3-day fast, three times a year (though he does this once a month).

If you’re starting on the keto diet or feel you need an extra push, this type of fast can help get you into ketosis quickly and efficiently.

Ferriss chooses to do this fast from Thursday night to Sunday night. Throughout these three days, you must get plenty of sleep—it will help with any fatigue.

Here are the details of his plan:

Thursday Evening:

Friday Morning:

  • Upon waking, consume exogenous ketones (try Keto Activate to get you started).
  • Within 30 minutes of waking, get ready for a nice, long walk (a 3-4-hour one, to be exact). Walking will use up your glycogen stores to get you into ketosis faster.
  • Stay hydrated on the walk (bring at least 1 liter of water) and be sure to add a little salt to make sure you’re getting enough electrolytes.
  • If you don’t have time for such a long walk, try doing a 45-60-minute HIIT (high interval intensity training) session instead.

Friday Day:

  • Upon waking, consume exogenous ketones (try Keto Activate to get you started).
  • Consume MCT oil 2-3 times during the day to give you an extra boost of energy as your ketone levels start to increase naturally.

Saturday Morning:

  • Upon waking, consume exogenous ketones (try Keto Activate to get you started).
  • Next, test your ketone levels with a ketone blood meter.
  • Your goal is 0.7mmol or higher. If your ketones are under 0.7mmol, you may want to go for another long walk before retesting. 
  • You can use a urine strip if you prefer, but these are not as accurate. 

Saturday & Sunday Day:

  • Upon waking, consume exogenous ketones (try Keto Activate to get you started).
  • Consume MCT oil, coconut oil, or exogenous ketones, if and when you feel you need it.
  • Keep hydrated and continue to add salts to your water or opt for electrolyte replacement supplements.
  • You can also consume some nori sheets for minerals and a little something to chew on.

Sunday Evening:

Of course, you can pick any three days that this sort of schedule will work for you. The addition of exogenous ketones, MCT oil, or coconut oil can help you get through feelings of hunger and fatigue over these 72 hours.

Once you break the fast, remember to get in plenty of minerals and let yourself indulge with your favorite keto meal!

An easy way to break your fast to forgo a stuffy meal and instead, go in gently with a high-fat Keto Shake. This will awaken your metabolism and start to refuel you for your eating window.

Keto Shake is available in 3 delicious flavors and perfect for starting or ending a keto fast.

First, our bestseller strawberry cheesecake. Our customers have enjoyed Keto Shake so much they describe it as “healthy as a kale avocado salad, but tastes just like a strawberry milkshake!”

Banana creme brulee is designed, as well, to support all-day energy without the crash, as well as enhanced mental focus and clarity that helps you get more done during the day, and keeps you performing at your best. 

And of course, the fan-favorite creamy chocolate is a heavenly on-the-go meal supplement shake is not only tasty but also filled to the brim with essential nutrients and superfoods your body will love. 

The Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Numerous studies have shown that intermittent fasting can lead to some strong benefits for both your brain and body.

Intermittent fasting helps you lose weight, improve your metabolism, lower inflammation, and reduce the risk of diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even Alzheimer’s.

Knowing that you have a restricted period to eat can also make your day more structured and a little less stressful. But the most exciting possibility? It can help you live longer.

As a proven age-defying technique, intermittent fasting has become a hot topic in the nutrition and science world. Now, the rest of us want to know how it may help us feel our absolute best.

Here’s what the science has found so far:

A Nobel Prize-Winning Lifestyle “Hack”

Fasting and calorie restriction has long been linked to lowered disease risk and longevity, but only recently have we started to figure out how it all works.

In 2016, Japanese Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi won a Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his study on “self-eating” cells.

The term for this crucial process is called autophagy. It allows cells to digest and recycle their proteins and other components to be used for energy so that they can continue to thrive.

It also helps cells get rid of any damaged parts and ward off bacterial or viral invaders. Without autophagy, cells would not survive. With it, our bodies can remain active, healthy, and youthful. 

Autophagy promotes a faster metabolism, less fatigue, smoother skin, and possibly even protection against cancer.

This process works as a sort of essential survival technique. When cells are stressed or starved, it allows them to make their fuel.

One of the easiest ways you can activate this process is through intermittent fasting. By intentionally depriving your body of nutrients for a set period, you will be forcing your cells to turn on this autophagy feature.

While all this mind-blowing magic is going on at the cellular level, you’re going to start to notice how it affects your overall well-being—from the inside out.

Mental Clarity

After a week or so of getting used to a regular intermittent fasting routine, many people will start to notice a clearer head.

This is partly because fasting allows your nervous system a much-needed break. All of that energy your body would typically be used to digest food can go to your brain instead.

Intermittent fasting also increases the production of ketones, which can help protect brain cells and reduce brain fog.

A brain powered on ketones is much more able to focus since it won’t be distracted by manic hormonal shifts and insulin fluctuations (something you can’t avoid on glucose).

Fasting has been shown to help “declutter” or “slow down” brain activity—at least the activity that isn’t necessarily serving you. This means you’re better able to focus on the task at hand.

Body Composition

Not only will intermittent fasting have you thinking more clearly, but it will also have you looking and feeling stronger than ever.

Simply put, intermittent fasting can help you lose weight and belly fat, and there’s a pretty straightforward reason why. Restricting your eating times will help you eat fewer calories overall—without even thinking about it.

Several studies have proven this, showing significant weight loss (as much as 8% over six months), as well as a loss of belly fat (up to 7% in waist circumference) from intermittent fasting alone.

But it’s not just about your calorie count.

Intermittent fasting also helps lower insulin levels and increase your metabolism, both essential for burning fat.

It can also reduce inflammation in the body, something that can prevent you from losing weight.

As you can see, several factors go into play when you fast—your hormones stabilize, your blood sugar levels even out, and your cells can better cleanse themselves.

This all points to a better and longer functioning brain and body.

Should You Add Intermittent Fasting to Your Keto Diet?

If you’re looking for maximum effects, intermittent fasting alongside a keto diet is a powerful combination.

As mentioned above, intermittent fasting helps promote the production of ketones, which will help you maintain ketosis. This is the case even if you find yourself slipping with your macro counts now and then.

If you’re starting on a keto diet, fasting also helps reduce some of the unwanted side effects that can come with the “keto flu.” It can also bring you into ketosis at a much faster rate.

For all, you workout warriors, exercising in a fasted state can also boost your ketone levels.

So, instead of eating breakfast, you may want to take a trip to the gym, and then enjoy a fabulous keto lunch as your reward.

How to Incorporate Intermittent Fasting Into Your Lifestyle

Fortunately, intermittent fasting can easily be incorporated into any schedule, no matter how hectic. The key is to choose the form of fasting that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Believe it or not, you’ll likely find that restricting your eating times can be a great form of stress relief. It automatically provides structure for your day—something we could all use a lot more of!

While fasting itself has some fantastic benefits, don’t forget about the power of the food that you eat, too!

When not fasting, you’ll want to consume mostly healthy fats and some proteins, including fatty fish, grass-fed meats, dairy, eggs, and high-quality oils, then round it all out with a colorful mix of low-carb plants.

With a keto diet and a regular intermittent fasting schedule, you will get into ketosis faster and be able to maintain it longer and with far more ease.

Add some Konscious Keto exogenous ketones to the mix, and you’ll see even more significant effects. Now, that’s a recipe we can get behind!

Summary

Remember that fasting has some incredible benefits, but it’s also not required on a keto diet. If it’s just not your thing, don’t force it. You’ll still experience all of the fantastic benefits that come with ketosis.

Keto Resources

  1. Varady, K. A. (2011), Intermittent versus daily calorie restriction: which diet regimen is more effective for weight loss?. Obesity Reviews, 12: e593-e601. doi:10.1111/j.1467-789X.2011.00873.x
  2. Zhang J, Zhan Z, Li X, et al. Intermittent Fasting Protects against Alzheimer's Disease Possible through Restoring Aquaporin-4 Polarity. Front Mol Neurosci. 2017;10:395. Published 2017 Nov 29. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2017.00395
  3. Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings
    Barnosky, Adrienne R. et al.
    Translational Research, Volume 164, Issue 4, 302 - 311

    SIGN UP TO RECEIVE YOUR FREE KETO DESSERTS COOKBOOK PLUS 10% DISCOUNT OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER!