As someone who has gone keto several times (with mixed results) I’ve learned a thing or two about the low carb, high fat diet. One of the biggest things that stands out is the effect it has on your appetite. I’ve found that when I’m doing keto, I can easily forgo eating until around 12pm and eat only two meals per day. It’s not because I’m actively trying to—I’m simply not hungry and don’t feel like it. Now, as someone who is a a massive foodie and LIVES for breakfast, that’s a big deal. Experts believe it’s because eating a diet high in good fat balances your your blood sugar levels and hunger hormone, ghrelin, but I would also argue that because you can’t eat delicious carbs, you don’t eat for the sake of eating.
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It makes sense, then, that intermittent fasting would fit in perfectly in a keto diet. For those who need a refresher, intermittent fasting is when you only eat within a certain time frame (for example 12 pm to 7 pm) But the question is–is it safe to combine fasting with a ketogenic diet and will it help or hinder your results?
Well, according to clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe, intermittent fasting can be just the thing to kickstart ketosis and maximise your fat loss results. “Intermittent fasting is beneficial on its own and can be helpful in supporting weight loss, appetite control, digestion, and detoxification, but it’s further kicked up a notch when you’re in ketosis,” he told Popsugar.
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When fasting, your body looks to your available glucose storage and any stored glycogen in your liver for energy. Once these run out, ketones are produced as an alternative fuel source for your brain and vital organs. “Fasting therefore accelerates the process of entering ketosis and making ketones because it rapidly depletes glucose and signals to your body that it’s time to burn fat instead,” Dr. Axe said.”With less intake, the body is forced to burn existing fat stores for energy once in ketosis. Fasting also prompts the body to enter into ketosis more easily as there is no other fuel source being put in during this time.”
Dr. Josh Axe notes that you, of course, you don’t have to practice intermittent fasting when you do keto—but you may find that it lends itself to it and “can accelerate your results.” It can also make the diet easier, as you have less meals to think about and plan—not that that’s an issue with so many awesome keto cookbooks on the market!