3 Intermittent Fasting Methods

Three Widely Used Intermittent Fasting Approaches for Losing Weight

Intermittent Fasting Methods

A widely favored method of intermittent fasting is the '16/8' technique.

Two other common methods are the 'Eat-Stop-Eat' and '5:2 Diet'.

16/8 Fasting Approach

The '16/8' method involves an 8-hour window for eating, followed by 16 hours of fasting. Typically, the eating period is scheduled between 11 am and 7 pm. This timing aligns with social meal times and corresponds with periods of higher energy demand. Eating late at night is generally avoided as it does not support the goal of reducing body fat.

Eat-Stop-Eat Fasting Technique

The 'Eat-Stop-Eat' approach includes one or two 24-hour fasting periods per week. For instance, you might have breakfast, then fast until the next day's breakfast. In a two-day version, you would have breakfast, fast for the rest of that day and the entire next day, and then break the fast with breakfast on the third day.

5:2 Fasting Method

The '5:2' diet involves restricting calorie intake to 500 - 600 calories for two non-consecutive days per week, while eating normally on the other five days. Weight loss can be achieved as long as the non-fasting days consist of healthy food choices.

Is It Possible to Combine Intermittent Fasting with a Keto Diet?

Combine Keto and Intermittent Fast

Absolutely, it's feasible to practice intermittent fasting alongside the ketogenic diet. Both these dietary approaches are highly effective in their own right and share a key element - inducing the state of ketosis.

When used together, intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet can form a potent combination.

To appreciate how these diets synergize, it's essential to understand their individual mechanisms.

Intermittent Fasting: A Dietary Timing Approach

A Dietary Timing Approach

Metabolically, the human body alternates between two states: fed and fasting. Intermittent fasting primarily focuses on the timing of meals rather than their content. While it may seem counterintuitive at first for weight loss or health improvement, the reality is different.

Intermittent fasting leads the body into ketosis, a state where stored fat is utilized for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. This approach includes various methods, of which the three most common are:

Meal Skipping

Regularly omitting a meal, such as dinner or breakfast, to extend the overnight fasting period.

Time-Restricted Eating

Eating only during a designated time frame, like within a 4-hour window and fasting for the remaining 20 hours.

Alternate-Day Fasting

Abstaining from food on certain days of the week, then eating normally on other days.

As food consumption decreases, glucose availability drops, prompting the body to search for an alternative energy source, leading to the production of ketones for energy.

An additional benefit of intermittent fasting is the reduced need for large portions to feel satiated. Despite potentially strong hunger, you're likely to stop eating once full.

Adopting the Ketogenic Diet

Adopting the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet's effectiveness hinges on significantly limiting carbohydrates while increasing intake of fats and proteins. This strategy aims to shift the body into a state of ketosis, where it burns stored fat for energy rather than relying on sugars or glucose, necessitating the stringent carbohydrate restriction.

Initially, it's crucial to accurately measure your food and monitor your intake of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins) to ensure you successfully enter ketosis. While over-the-counter test strips are available to check for ketosis, they may not always be reliable.

Fortunately, there are other methods to confidently assess whether you have achieved a ketogenic state.

Combining Intermittent Fasting and Keto: Why It Works

Get into Ketosis Faster

Pairing intermittent fasting with the ketogenic diet can significantly enhance your results. Firstly, it can help mitigate some ketosis side effects, such as the "keto flu" - a non-infectious condition characterized by symptoms similar to flu, occurring as your body transitions from using glucose to ketones for energy.

This combination is an effective way to jumpstart your ketogenic lifestyle. When you follow a keto diet, your eating window during intermittent fasting is filled with satisfying, keto-friendly options, making it unlikely you'll feel deprived. Initially, you might even find it challenging to consume all your required macros within the eating window.

Another major advantage is the feeling of fullness provided by keto-friendly foods, which reduces the temptation to snack. This makes fasting periods more manageable, as hunger is less of an issue.

Mentally and physically, you may notice improved clarity, satiety, and energy levels, all while losing weight and enhancing overall well-being.

However, it's always wise to consult a healthcare professional before making significant dietary changes.

Do Intermittent Fasting and Keto Speed Up Ketosis?

Indeed, they do! Reducing carbohydrate intake puts you in a metabolic state akin to fasting, accelerating ketone production. This simulates an intermittent fasting pattern but at an intensified level. When glucose is scarce, your body has no option but to turn to stored fat for energy.

During fasting, your body becomes a fat-burning machine, producing ketones to break down fatty acids, particularly fueling the brain.

This process is efficient and rapid. While ketosis might typically take around 48 hours to initiate on a keto diet alone, intermittent fasting can hasten this process.

Remember, though, that glucose remains the body's preferred energy source. Exceeding your daily carb limit can disrupt ketosis, but don't be discouraged. Bouncing back is easier with intermittent fasting, allowing you to re-enter ketosis more quickly after a slip-up.

Additional Health Advantages of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Health Benefits

Beyond aiding in weight loss, intermittent fasting offers a range of other health benefits. Studies indicate that it can lower the risk of, and potentially help prevent, various ailments such as type 2 diabetes and heart-related problems.

Another exciting aspect of intermittent fasting is its potential to decelerate the aging process. Moreover, there's evidence suggesting that fasting can enhance mental health and cognitive functions, as well as diminish oxidative stress.

Effective Strategies for Successful Fasting

When engaging in any form of fasting, there are several useful tips to keep in mind. A key aspect is staying hydrated, which is crucial throughout the fasting period. Remember, abstaining from food doesn't mean avoiding fluids - hydration is essential and should be your primary focus during fasting.

To maintain ketosis and support weight loss, it's important to be mindful of your food choices. Opting for low-carb, nutrient-dense foods instead of high-calorie, carb-rich options is essential, not just for losing weight but also for maintaining your target weight post-fasting.

Finding a fasting schedule that suits your lifestyle and body is critical for reaching your weight loss objectives. Pay attention to your body's signals and know when to stop.

In many ways, fasting can be simpler and more manageable than traditional calorie-counting diets. Being vigilant about your food choices is still important. Typically, high-calorie foods are processed or high in sugar. By avoiding these and focusing on healthier options, you can steer clear of the need for meticulous calorie tracking and constant label reading.

Intermittent fasting is an effective weight loss tool and beneficial for many, but it's not suitable for everyone. If you're considering starting a fasting regimen but are unsure about its suitability, consulting with a healthcare professional or nutritionist is advisable. They can guide you towards a fasting method that optimizes your chances of success.

About the Author

Turning 80 in 2024, I weigh the same as I did when I was 18 and remain seriously fit and healthy.
I'm on a mission to help everyone to become happy, fit and slim.
In the long-term, the only way to prevent the dreaded yo-yo effect and not only lose weight but keep it off for the rest of your life is to embrace a lifestyle change that welcomes healthy eating and moderate exercise.
But that can be dishearteningly slow for most people.
It’s very easy to fall away from that journey before it’s had time for any real effect and also well before it’s had any chance to become a lifestyle habit.
That’s why I recommend a 2-prong approach.
Studies show that most overweight people have a compromised liver function. So the first prong is a supplement designed to help you lose weight immediately by fixing that.
And the second prong is the Happy, Fit and Slim training course designed to change your lifestyle so that the weight stays off permanently.
Click on Free Stuff in the main menu to find out more.

Phil Lancaster

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}