Whenever someone starts a new diet, it seems like the focus is always on how many calories you eat, or whether you should eat a specific type of food. This makes logical sense, as it is estimated that as much as 75% of weight loss is attributed to the diet.
However in the past few years, there has been more interest in not just what you eat, but when and how often you eat.
The concept of intermittent fasting, and eating smaller meals more often are two trends that have become common. I believe that both have some value in improving your results.
Fasting and the keto diet work together
When considering a ketogenic diet, it seems that intermittent fasting works well, as typically you are less hungry for longer periods.
When your body goes into a ketosis mode, it begins to consume fat reserves. If you have just eaten fats (which is common on the keto diet), your body will burn those fats first. But if you keep yourself in ketosis, it will begin to consume your stored fat.
One of the challenges people have when on a conventional diet is that they are constantly hungry. I believe this is less to do with the actual physical hunger, and more to do with the psychological habit of eating too often.
How often do you really need to eat?
Our society teaches us to eat three meals a day, with snacks in between. But often we aren’t eating out of hunger as much as habit.
One of the keys that I have been talking to my keto diet patients about is whether they actually need to eat as often as they do. As a medical doctor, I am typically a very health conscious person, so I have always been very disciplined in my approach.
However, even when eating healthy, I have never experienced the same energy and weight loss results that I have on a ketogenic diet. This is especially true when combined with some intermittent fasting.
I have been adding some fasting days (24-hour fasts) and even tried a 72 hour fast recently. Both were actually less challenging than I had assumed they would be. I believe that is because of my adherence to the keto diet.
Try a fasting window with a keto diet
When you get started on a keto diet, you can also begin trying a ‘fasting window.’ This is another way of choosing a length of time when you don’t eat. For some people, this can start with 8 hours when they sleep or moving to 12 hours or 16 hours.
The longer you can resist eating, the better you will enable ketosis to begin in your system. Intermittent fasting has been proven to give some of these benefits:
- Balancing your blood sugar levels
- Improving nutrient absorption for the body
- Removing toxins naturally
- Clearing the mind and increasing focus
- Increased fat burning throughout the day
Aside from these nutritional and health benefits here are some lifestyle benefits I’ve found from fasting on a keto diet:
- Save money: you tend to eat out less, and that costs less
- Eat higher quality food: when you do eat, you crave high-quality, healthy foods
- Enjoy eating more: when you eat, it is enjoyable and satisfying
Changing your mindset around when to eat along with what to eat can be a game changer. It gives you back a sense of self-control and makes you accelerate your health results.
Jerry Hizon, MD is a keto doctor working from Murrieta and Temecula, California. He assists people with weight loss and lifestyle changes to improve their health. His keto coaching programs helps people to track their progress and stay on track. Visit his website today to learn more, or sign up online for a keto coaching session via nudge coaching.