The keto diet is quickly becoming the ideal plan for losing weight and attaining the body you’ve always wanted. One of the greatest challenges of the keto diet is to get deep into ketosis, where you’re keto-adapted – this sets your body up for optimal weight loss.
A method that is excellent for those on the ketogenic diet is fasting. There are various methods of fasting, but it generally involves skipping meals and committing to not eating for certain hours of the day. Explore the practice of fasting, why it works, and how it can safely and effectively stimulate your potential to lose weight.
A Brief History of Fasting
The ketogenic diet was initially invented as a diet for epileptic kids, and fasting was the main way they could reduce their seizures. Prior to that, fasting was an integral part of many religions, including Christianity, Buddhism, and Mormonism. While fasting for weight loss used to be viewed as a controversial or unhealthy option, it’s effectiveness when paired with the keto diet makes it a tool that is undeniably useful for stimulating ketosis and shedding pounds.
Modern Fasting – Why it’s Worth It
The popularity of the keto diet has skyrocketed in recent years, and with it, the popularity of fasting has seen a similar boost. Various studies show the advantages of fasting, including one that details how it improves muscle synthesis or other research that shows it’s positive effects on your metabolism. Combined with the fact that it puts you deeper into ketosis and is phenomenal for weight loss, there are a lot of reasons to give fasting a try.
The Most Common Types of Fasting for the Keto Diet
If you’ve been on the keto diet for a while, it’s likely that you’ve heard the term, intermittent fasting. Intermittent implies that you’re only consuming calories for set hours throughout the day. There are various approaches to intermittent fasting, and all of them will yield the metabolic and ketogenic benefits you’re looking for. These are some of the most common methods of fasting:
4 Common Methods of Intermittent Fasting
1. Skipping Meals
This is widely regarded as the best way to get into the habit of fasting. By simply planning to skip meals, you can gradually get used to consuming less food each day. For example, you can skip dinner on certain nights, or start your day without breakfast on each workday for example.
2. The 5 and 2 Method
Another way to get your body accustomed to fasting is with the 5-2 method. For five days you’ll eat normally, then for the remaining two, you’ll eat a fraction of what you’d normally consume. This lets you still have a sense of normalcy while still exposing your body to intermittent fasting.
3. Choosing a Timeframe for Eating
One very popular method of intermittent fasting involves choosing a period of time to limit your eating. This interval of time may be a 6-hour period in the evening or whenever is most convenient for you. This takes a lot of the guesswork out of your diet as well, since you know you’re only eating between certain designated hours.
4. Fat Fasting
Fat fasting is highly recommended for those whose progress has plateaued while on the keto diet. For a fat fast, you’ll eat nothing but fat for the time that you’ve specified. Since avoiding carbs and consuming fat is crucial for producing ketones that you burn on the keto diet, going on a fat fast may be just the thing to get you back into ketosis.
The Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
While fitness and weight loss may be what initially draws you to fasting, its benefits far transcend each of those factors. From enhancements in mental clarity to simplifying your lifestyle and saving money, check out the advantages to intermittent fasting.
- You absorb nutrients faster after a fast
- Fasting can purge your body of cancerous cells
- It rapidly triggers ketosis or puts you deeper into ketosis
- Improves sensitivity to insulin
- Enhanced neuroprotective effects and cognition
- Maximizes the calorie restriction benefits of keto
- Enhances autophagy, the body’s ability to heal itself
Fasting Safely – What are the Concerns?
Fasting is highly effective for fitness, weight loss, and other purposes, but some have concerns about skipping some of their daily meals. One of the leading concerns with fasting is that it can reduce muscle, but studies show that muscles adapt to nutrients even better after a fasting session. Assuming you’re healthy and listen to your body, there is no harm that can come from responsible intermittent fasting, only discomfort, and feelings of hunger.
Common Concerns about Fasting
By listening to the way you feel and simply eating when you start to feel bad, you can avoid many of the negative effects of fasting. However, to reap the benefits, you’ll have to stay consistent with intermittent fasting. For those who are up for the challenge, these are some of the major concerns about intermittent fasting.
Hunger and Nausea
The biggest thing you’ll notice with fasting is the feeling of hunger and mild nausea that eventually occur as you get hungry. As you grow more experienced at fasting, you’ll get more used to this feeling and the instances of feeling bad due to hunger will be few and far between. Plus, your body gets used to it and those feelings don’t occur as often or as heavily.
Until you adapt to it, fasting can be a stressful change in your life. The stress of not having the food you’re used to at the time you typically have it can take some time to get acclimated to. But by listening to your body and eating when you feel nauseous or hungry, you can fast in a responsible way, ensuring that
If you’re highly active and concerned about losing muscle while fasting, one option is to take an amino acid supplement. While those have very little calories or nutrition value, they provide the right amino acids to maintain your muscle during intermittent fasting sessions.
Think Fast – How to Get Started with Intermittent Fasting
Now that you’ve read the research, methods, and controversies regarding fasting, are you ready to give it a try? These tips can help you start fasting and melting away weight faster than ever.
The Easiest Method – Simply Skip Breakfast
The most popular method of intermittent fasting involves picking an 8-hour interval during the day when you can eat and fasting for the remaining 16 hours. This method leverages your time sleeping as fasting time and just requires you to skip breakfast, making lunch your first meal. Due to the simplicity and logistics involved, this is often considered the easiest way to begin your intermittent fasting regimen.
Make Gradual Advancements at First
You don’t have to jump into hardcore fasting when you’re getting started. In order to stay motivated to reach your goals, it’s important that you not hate the experience and equate the fasting time to suffering. If you have to cut your fast short because you’re feeling too queasy, irritable, or hungry, so be it. While pushing yourself past your comfort zone is important, there’s no need to make yourself miserable.
Try to Stay Busy and Active During Fasting Sessions
Fasting isn’t meant to be a time of sitting around starving and dreaming of food. Any method of fasting is far easier if you stay busy with the activities you love, including work, class, exercise, and social activities. Ultimately, fasting works best when the time goes by and you don’t even realize you’re doing it. Consider planning activities and tasks to keep you occupied while fasting.
Learn to Enjoy the Fasting Experience
Many people who fast on the keto diet report increased mental clarity and a higher overall energy level. If that sounds skeptical, consider all of the effort your body goes through to digest foods and snacks you might otherwise eat throughout the day. With that energy freed up for your other activities, you’ll be able to approach life with full focus and vigor.
Are You Willing to Try Intermittent Fasting to Improve Ketosis?
Fasting is a powerful tool for attaining the body you’ve always wanted, but it isn’t for everyone. If you follow the keto diet and are willing to do what it takes for your ideal level of fitness, fasting can be the missing piece that takes your fitness routine to the next level. For those who will stop at nothing to be as fit, slim, and strong as possible, consider leaving your comfort zone and giving fasting a try – your results will be unlike any you’ve seen so far.