You’ve probably heard of keto – the low-carb, high-fat diet boasted by celebrities such as Kourtney Kardashian. Now, the trend has caught on around the world with many swearing by the process to shed extra weight quickly.
Lately, intermittent fasting has started to become the new diet fad, with many combining the two processes to obtain even faster results. But is it healthy to do keto and intermittent fasting at the same time?
As compiled by InStyle, registered nutritionists and creators of the Nutrition Twins, Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos, have something to say about combining the two popular diets and the pros and cons to take into consideration.
What is the difference between keto and intermittent fasting?
It’s important to first understand how the keto diet and intermittent fasting might work together before delving in. Tammy and Lyssie recommend familiarising yourself with each of them.
“People who are truly following the keto diet — not just cutting carbs but eating less than 50 grams of carbs a day — are eating a diet that is very high in fat and very low in carbs and trying to force their body to break down fat for its main source of energy,” the nutritionists said, adding that this creates ketones, rather than using glucose. “So the goal of the keto diet is to achieve ketosis (and stay in ketosis), so the body is using ketones for energy.”
This process involves going without food for a set period of time and then eating during a particular window each day. A popular method is fasting for 16 hours a day and eating in an eight-hour window each day People also use the 5:2 method, which involves five days of normal eating matched with two days that restrict calories. This can not only assist in weight loss, but also metabolic and brain benefits and well as helping to reduce inflammation.
Pros of combining the process
Nutritionists say there are many benefits combining intermittent fasting and keto. For starters, fasting encourages your body to use fat for energy rather than glucose (once it’s used up its glycogen stores) and so does the keto diet, which means “intermittent fasting may help those following the keto diet to achieve ketosis more easily,” Lakatos Shames said.
“Other studies have shown that intermittent fasting may help to maintain muscle during weight loss and also be beneficial for energy levels. This may be especially helpful for those following a keto diet who are looking to lose some weight and have better exercise results.”
Cons of combings the process
There are some things to be aware of. Both of these diets are somewhat extreme on their own, and when coupled together need to be approached with the utmost caution.
Nutritionists caution to steer clear of any diet which involves fasting if you have struggled with an eating disorder; as well as pregnant or breastfeeding.
As for the day-to-day of sticking with a combination of the keto diet and intermittent fasting, Lakatos said it can be tough to make both work.
“Going out to eat and being social can be stressful when you have to stick to a strict regimen, and not eating during times when your friends are or not having options that you can eat can cause additional stress and lack of compliance,” she advised. “Adding another layer of complexity can make living a normal lifestyle more difficult.”
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