Want to try Intermittent Fasting & the Keto Diet, but not sure where to start? Learn how combining fasting with a ketogenic diet can help you lose weight faster & if you should try it!
Intermittent Fasting and the Keto diet share many of the same health benefits; weight loss, stabilized blood sugar levels, and improved cholesterol profiles to name a few. So, the question is: should you combine the two for maximum results?
Let’s dive into a few basics about Intermittent Fasting & the Keto Diet. Once you know a little more about these two weight loss methods, you’ll see why combining the two is such a powerful weight loss tool.
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Intermittent Fasting isn’t a diet-It’s a method of eating that focuses on when to eat and not what to eat. And Intermittent Fasting is not about starvation. It’s about having control over your hunger and body for health, weight loss, and often, religious reasons. Fasting works for weight loss by allowing your body time to burn off excess fat.
When you eat meals, you typically take in more food than you use for energy. (Unless you are running a marathon immediately after you eat.:)
This food is then stored away for later use.
Insulin is the hormone that rules this process.
When we eat, insulin levels rise triggering our body to store sugar and fat.
When we fast, insulin levels decrease, which signals our body to burn that stored energy.
If you want to lose weight, you have to give your body time to use stored energy.
That’s what Intermittent Fasting does!
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- Weight Loss + Body Fat Loss
- Improved Fat Burning
- Increased Focus & Mental Clarity
- Improved Lipid Profiles (Better Cholesterol Numbers)
Intermittent Fasting Schedules
These are popular Intermittent Fasting schedules, but there aren’t any rules that say you can’t adapt your own fasting schedule once you learn what works or doesn’t work for you! In fact, that’s precisely what you should do!
Leangains – AKA 16/8
Trainer Martin Berkham popularized this form of Intermittent Fasting. Leangains restricts eating to an 8-hour “feasting” window and a 16-hour “fasting” time. Water is allowed! The classic Leangains method involves skipping breakfast & there is another version for skipping dinner.
Allows a 4-hour eating window and a 20 hour fasting time.
Eat Stop Eat
Founded by Brad Pilon, author of Eat Stop Eat: Intermittent Fasting For Health and Weight Loss This IF schedule consists of fasting for 24 hours twice a week and then eating responsibly for the remaining 5 days.
Eat freely for 5 days of the week, but restrict calories to 500-600 on the remaining 2.
The Warrior Diet
Created by Ori Hofmekler, a former member of the Israeli Special Forces, The Warrior Diet is an extreme form of fasting based on Ori’s observations and eating patterns of ancient warriors who ate little during the day but feasted at night. This form of IF is not based on science but the beliefs and observations made by its founder.
The Warrior Diet consists of a 20-hour fasting window followed by a 4 hour feasting period where no food is off limits.
The most popular form of Alternate Day is The Every Other Day Diet by Dr. Krista Varady.
The keto diet is a strict low carb diet that requires you to dramatically decrease your carb intake. This could mean consuming anywhere from 20-50 grams of carbs per day depending on your gender, weight, and activity level.
Use this Free & Easy To Use Keto Calculator to determine the number of carbs you need to eat in order to lose weight.
Limiting your diet to low carb foods and healthy fats leads your body into ketosis-a metabolic state in which your body burns fat stores for energy rather than glucose.
You avoid all sugary, processed foods on a ketogenic diet. Some vegetables and fruits also need to be avoided because of the number of carbs.
For more detailed information on starting a Ketogenic Diet and a full list of Keto foods, see Total Keto Diet for Beginners
Benefits of Keto Diet
- Weight Loss
- Appetite Suppressant You’re in more control of your hunger when your body turns to fat stores for energy making Intermittent Fasting easier.
- Type 2 Diabetes Improvements
- Healthy Heart Benefits: Many studies show improved cholesterol numbers, lowered blood pressure
- Better Focus/Clarity
Benefits of Combining Intermittent Fasting & Keto Diet
Faster Route to Ketosis
The metabolic state known as ketosis is the ultimate goal for those who observe a ketogenic diet. Intermittent Fasting helps your body get to this fat burning state faster. During a fast, your body’s insulin levels and glycogen stores decrease which leads your body to burn fat for fuel naturally. Many people, myself included, have used Intermittent Fasting to kickstart this process.
Increased Fat Burning
Intermittent Fasting boosts metabolism by promoting heat production known as thermogenesis causing your body to tap into its fat storage for energy.
More Craving Control
Keto diets are known for their appetite suppressing effects. When you achieve ketosis, your body produces ketones for your cells to use as fuel. Ketones suppress ghrelin, the body’s hunger hormone. Lower levels of ghrelin result in a more natural fast because you won’t be as hungry! This is especially important to women.
Read more about Intermittent Fasting for Women here.
Stabilized Blood Sugar Levels
Keto diets stabilize blood sugar – and if you’re not on the sugar roller coaster, you won’t have as many cravings.
If you eat a standard high carb diet with Intermittent Fasting you may be setting yourself up for failure — the moment a carbohydrate hits the bloodstream it turns into sugar. Your body responds by producing more insulin, and you end up in a vicious cycle with a sugar high one moment and a crash the next. Spikes in blood sugar result in energy crashes, cravings, trouble focusing, and mood swings.
By combining the Keto diet with Intermittent Fasting, you’ll avoid these sugar crashes.
Who Should Not Try Intermittent Fasting & The Keto Diet
Combining these methods is considered safe, but neither Intermittent Fasting nor the Ketogenic Diet is for everyone! You should always consult a medical professional before starting any new diet or lifestyle modification!
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- History of Eating Disorders
- Health Conditions: If you are under a physician’s care for diabetes heart disease, or thyroid issues talk to your doctor first!
- Blood Pressure Medication: Check with your doctor
- Insulin or Diabetes Medication: Check with your doctor
What to Eat & How Much
The Keto diet and Intermittent Fasting is NOT about counting calories. I am including this info due to the number of questions I’ve received from readers! First, make sure you don’t under eat and that you are getting proper nutrients from your meals. Most dieticians agree that you need at least 1,200 calories per day. If you feel that you absolutely must track your calories, this calculator will help you determine the number of calories to eat per day!
Instead of counting calories, I recommend you focus on eating nutrient-packed, low carb Keto-friendly foods like lean meats, eggs, and vegetables.
Tips to Get Started
- Don’t start with both methods at once! It takes a few weeks to adjust to a low carb, Ketogenic lifestyle. Start by getting adapted to the keto diet, then try Intermittent Fasting after you’ve reached ketosis. If you try both at the same time, you may be setting yourself up for disaster.
- Eat Enough: During your eating windows be sure you are eating enough calories. Intermittent Fasting is not about starvation!
- Exercise Keep it light for the first two weeks until you know how your body reacts to Intermittent Fasting.
- Stay Hydrated Make sure you are drinking enough fluids (water and electrolytes) to avoid dehydration!
- Stop If You Are Miserable: Intermittent Fasting isn’t for everyone!
A Low Carb, Ketogenic 7-Day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
Here’s a typical week for me combining Keto & Intermittent Fasting. Full disclosure: I am not a doctor. (I am a Health Coach and I’m a woman who lost over 90 pounds on the Keto diet, and kept it off – this is what works for me:)
Feel free to mix things up on different days. This keto meal plan is very low carb – under 20 net carbs per day. If you’ve calculated your macros (You Can Do That Here) & you need more carbs, or you don’t care for some of the selections, please refer to my keto meal plans and recipes index.
There are over 500 keto recipes for meal planning, crockpot, snacks, keto smoothies, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert – that are 100% free:) And once again, please speak with your physician before you start this or any other diet!
Breakfast: Bulletproof Coffee (1.4 Net Carbs)
Lunch: Keto Salmon Burgers with Avocado Garlic Sauce (4 Net Carbs)
Dinner: Smothered Pork Chops (5.2 Net Carbs) with Garlic Parmesan Green Beans (3 Net Carbs)
Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs (1 Net Carb)
Lunch: Keto Italian Sub Roll Ups (1 Net Carb)
Dinner: Italian Style Keto Meatballs (1 Net Carb)
Breakfast: Keto Chorizo Omelet (2.5 Net Carbs)
Lunch: Chicken Taco Lettuce Wraps (7 Net Carbs)
Dinner: Keto Lasagna (4 Net Carbs) or Keto Crockpot Chicken Chili (5.5 Net Carbs)
Breakfast: Meat Bagels (4 Net Carbs)
Lunch: Avocado Tuna Salad (6 Net Carbs)
Dinner: Cheesy Ranch Chicken & Broccoli (2 Net Carbs)
Breakfast: Cream Cheese Pancakes with Almond Flour (5.1 Net Carbs)
Lunch: Keto Sushi (4.23 Net Carbs)
Dinner: Keto Pepperoni Pizza (3.2 Net Carbs)
Breakfast: Low Carb Caprese Omelet (3.8 Net Carbs)
Lunch: Spinach Artichoke Smothered Chicken (2 Net Carbs)
Dinner: Keto Bacon Cheeseburger Soup (3 Net Carbs)
Breakfast: Bacon & Eggs (1 Net Carb)
Lunch: Keto Blackened Steak Salad (11 Carbs)
Dinner: Keto Baked Salmon with Lemon & Butter (1 Net Carb)
With Cauliflower Rice (1.6 Net Carbs-Recipe Below)
Keto Cheesy Cauliflower Rice Recipe
- 2 12 ounce bags Riced Cauliflower-Steamed
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Cups Shredded Cheddar (Full-Fat)
- 1 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese (Full-Fat)
- 1/4 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
Steam Cauliflower over stove or in the microwave, then return to low on stove & stir in ingredients! Salt & Pepper to taste!
- String Cheese: 0 Carbs
- Walnuts – 1/4 Cup – 4 Grams Carbs
- Almond Butter: 2 Tablespoons-4 Grams Carbs
- Avocado – 1/2 0f Medium Avocado – 6 Grams Carbs
- Beef Jerky – 2.5 Grams Carbs
- Cookie Dough Fat Bombs – 3.3 Net Carbs
Related: 40 Keto Snacks for Weight Loss
More Keto Recipes, Tips & Resources:
If you’re still learning about the ketogenic diet or you need easy low carb recipes that are family and budget-friendly, please take a look at these articles.
Total Keto For Beginners – A detailed deep dive into the keto diet for beginners. This will help you decide if the keto diet is right for you – and a few meal plan options perfect for beginners.
The Ultimate Keto Shopping List That Makes Life Easy [Keto Grocery List + Printable PDF] – Here’s a keto guide to the grocery store with links to foods you can buy online and a printable shopping list.
Ultimate Guide To Low Carb Alcohol + Drinking On The Keto Diet – Here’s the one where I share 34+ keto-friendly cocktails and pretty much everything you need to know about drinking + ketosis + keto-friendly alcohol + what to avoid
Keto On A Budget: 21 Ways To Lose Weight & Save Money On The Ketogenic Diet – How to meal plan and save money on the keto diet.
500+ Keto Meal Ideas & Recipes – Here’s the link to my keto recipes index. As I mentioned earlier, you’ll find everything from breakfast to dinner – plus holiday meals – It’s a handy resource to bookmark!
Save this 7 Day Keto + Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
For more low carb recipes & Keto Diet tips, please follow my board on Pinterest or Subscribe for Updates Below! (No Spam:)
Since You’re Still Here…
First, thanks for sticking with me – I started this blog to help women like you achieve your fitness goals – lose weight – take control of your health and gain the confidence you need to go out and do what you were meant to do. If you need help, please reach out. In addition to blogging full-time, I’m also a mom of three. (Wife of one:) I’m continually seeking balance to do all of the things – and I’d love to help you do the same.
Here are the people that inspire me – AKA – The Fam. Who inspires you?