Another aspect of the keto lifestyle, is starting intermittent fasting. Many wonder: Does intermittent fasting work? I would like to educate you on how to do intermittent fasting properly and how it enhances a keto diet/lifestyle. I want you to understand the amazing fasting health benefits and why intermittent fasting works. Intermittent fasting will happen naturally as you progress in this ketogenic lifestyle, because the high fat satiates us for longer periods of time. So it really turns out to be an easy habit to incorporate into our Keto way of life.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting has grown a lot of popularity as of late. It is spans of time spent eating and longer spans of time not eating including your sleep time. Intermittent fasting and keto go hand in hand as you progress in this lifestyle and happens naturally. With time and consistency on the keto way of life you will naturally want to start fasting as you won’t be as hungry as often, eating a high fat diet actually makes us feel fuller longer. Always listen to you are body, eat when you are hungry and don’t eat when you are not.
As I explained in my article “History of Keto” intermittent fasting has been around for centuries. Used in many cultures and part of religious practices, this idea has proved useful time and time again. Intermittent fasting has become popular this day and age mainly for its weight loss benefits. If you haven’t heard of Autophagy it is a great side affect of fasting, after you have reached 24 hours or longer. I have included an article called Autophagy as well but you can just click on the title right here. =====>The Power of Autophagy<=====
How it works
When you fast for an eight-hour period or longer, your liver uses the last of any glucose present. After this point the body enters into what’s called a gluconeogenesis state of fasting mode. This state burns more calories at a time and with no carbs coming in, the body uses its fat supply. So you can see how well intermittent fasting works with the ketogenic diet or way of life for people who are “lifers”.
Generally with intermittent fasting and keto there are ratios for eating and fasting windows. We usually recommend starting small and working you are way up. Where you might start would be 8 – 10 hour fasting window, and that includes you are sleep time. Next would be fasting for 14 – 16 hours and you are optimal fasting window would be for a full 24 – 72 hours. This always includes your sleeping time. You can drink all the water you want as well as black coffee and tea, there are some theory’s that include eating fat and not knocking yourself out of a fast but I myself do not trust this process yet.
As I stated earlier I find that as you progress on the keto diet or lifestyle, you will naturally want to start doing this. For me, it used to be that I was hungry first thing in the morning. Now I’m not hungry until early to mid-afternoon. So I am naturally fasting for the most part. Just remember anything but black coffee/tea and water will break you are fast.
Some people like to start the keto lifestyle with a bang and try fasting into a ketogenic state. Unless you are very strong willed I would highly deter this behavior. I think that if you are to the point where you want to make a lifestyle change and become a keto’er you should start small and simple. Otherwise you could be setting yourself up for failure and no one wants that.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- blood sugar control
- fights inflammation
- better brain function
- aids in weight loss
So lets break this down and discuss how the ketogenic diet or way of life benefits us in these four areas.
Blood Sugar Control
Staying on a ketogenic diet helps control high blood sugar because it keeps glucose levels at a low but healthy level. It also prevents large spikes in blood sugar, that is why it helps some people with type 2 diabetes. Preventing the high spikes in blood sugar and keeping the sugar at a more stabilized level makes them less dependent on insulin.
Another thing to remember, someone with type 2 diabetes following a ketogenic diet and taking insulin should be aware that this could result in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. That is why it is so important to discuss and diet or lifestyle changes your making, with your Doctor. Hypoglycemia happens when the blood sugar levels are 70 milligrams per deciliter or less.
There are two types of inflammation. One being acute inflammation, this is when you have some type of injury. The body reacts by flooding more blood to the injured area, this is an attempt to cleanse the area of harmful bacteria. By sending more blood its sending white blood cells to try and prevent an infection from starting. This type of inflammation is healing not harmful.
The other type of inflammation is called chronic inflammation and this is harmful to us. This type of inflammation can be caused from stress, untreated acute inflammation that have been infected, auto immune disorders, long term exposure to chemicals, toxins or polluted air. This deteriorates the tissue in that area.
Having this chronic condition can lead to many other problems like: hay fever, inflammation around the tissue of the teeth which can cause shrinkage of gums and in turn loosen the teeth. This is called periodontist. Chronic inflammation can also deposit plaques of fatty material on the inner walls of the arteries, this is called atherosclerosis as well as rheumatoid arthritis and possibly cancer.
Another cause of chronic inflammation is the food we eat. This one really grabs my attention because it is one we can control. I bet you can guess what the number one culprit is? If you guessed SUGAR, your absolutely right. In my article “Poison by Sugar” I really get into how bad sugar is for the human body. Processed sugars in many forms and many different label names can cause chronic inflammation. These sugars go by so many names but a good indicator if your looking for these bad boys, is if the last three letters are ose it is most likely a form of processed sugar.
Refined carbohydrates are another culprit. What I mean by refined are: white flour products, white rice, any form of processed potato like instant mashed potato or french fries. All these carbs are high on the glycemic index, meaning they are high in sugar.
These are only a few contributors to chronic inflammation but i’m sure you can understand now, why the ketogenic diet or life style should you choose to live it works well as an anti inflammatory. I have also recently written an article on what other things we can do to lower inflammatory affects and ease the pain it causes. ====>How to ease your pain<====
Better brain function
As I mentioned in my article of “History of Keto“, dating back as far as the 1920’s ketogenic diets were used to treat epilepsy patients that did not respond well to the medications. Some clinical trials even indicate that keto was used in treatment for head aches, sleep disorders, bipolar disorders, autism, neurodegenerative disorders such as parkinson and even brain cancer.
The brain is very hungry organ and uses a total of 20% of our bodies energy for itself. Than brain can not directly use fat for energy, but thanks to the ketones produced on a keto diet the brain can indirectly use fat for fuel instead of sugar.
So the brain is getting a pure source of energy from fat and functions better than when fueled by processed sugars. As I research, its very clear to me that sugar is the common denominator in many illnesses and diseases. Unfortunately its in many of the foods we eat.
Just for an example: I was grocery shopping last week and picked up a shrimp ring. I thought to myself surely shrimp is keto friendly, but when I looked at the label ingredients, sure enough sugar was listed. In my opinion sugar is slowly poisoning us all. So, just on an overall out look on health in general. Keto seems like a pretty healthy choice.
The reason for weight loss is pretty simple. On a keto diet, our carbohydrate intake is lowered. The carbohydrates we do eat are from above ground vegetables like: lettuces, spinach, cauliflower, brussels sprout, cucumber, asparagus etc.
Our Sugar/glucose levels are slim to none and any we do consume are natural. Refined carbohydrates as we discussed earlier, the body converts to sugar. That is why we as keto’ers keep the carbs down to a lower level.
I think we all know what sugar does without a scientific explanation. Among many other side effects sugar causes weight gain and is on the top of the list for many ailments. Just by going how I feel when I do fall of the keto wagon and consume sugar or too many carbs keeps me jumping back on. After experiencing the cleansing feeling of a ketogenic diet and reaping all the benefits it has to offer I guarantee you will not want voluntarily go back to carbs and sugar.
There’s not many things in life we can control but our health is one of them, I never really thought too much about this when I was younger. Now that I have a family of my own, three beautiful children that look up to me and depend on me. I want to be healthy so I can be in their lives for as long as humanly possible.
Please let me know what you think of all this in the comment section below. Thank you for taking the time to read this.