Intermittent fasting and keto diets are the main trending regimes today. They are known for helping people to not only live a healthier life but also lose weight and keep fit. It is not a wonder to find a high profile nutritionist, dietician, or sport star recommending them to anyone. Now, the big question is, are they worth all the hype?
One fact remains that both intermittent fasting and keto diet have helped a lot of people shed weight, stabilize blood sugar, and reduce cholesterol levels, among other benefits. However, the two diets work differently, and here is a guideline to help you understand each and determine the one best fitted for your fitness goals.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent fasting is a dieting trend that rotates between regular food consumption and a fasting period. You are required to eat food during a specific period (eating window) and then fast for the rest of the day, which among other benefits it helps to ramp up the autophagy process.
While there are different routines of intermittent fasting, the most popular one is the 16/8 diet platform. Others include the warrior diet, alternate-day fasting, and 5/2 dieting. However, today we are concentrating on the 16/8 method.
The 16/8 Diet Platform
A 16/8 routine can start with 16-hours fasting from 8 pm after taking dinner to noon the following day. Your next meal is therefore at noon, of which you can eat a huge balanced portion as lunch and then keep on taking small meals until 8 pm again. It means no breakfast for you — coffee or water should be your day-starter. Your dinner also needs to be heavy because you have a long way to go without eating.
The time you begin depends on you as long the time frame for fasting and eating is 16 and 8 hours, respectively.
Now, with intermittent fasting, the main focus is not on what you eat but on when. You are not necessarily required to check your food portions or calorie intake. As long as you stick to your eating window, you are good to go. However, remember that taking too many junks might not be as useful as taking more vegetables and proteins.
Before you embark on intermittent fasting, consult your doctor, especially if you have any pre-existing health problems. For instance, people with low blood sugar should not go for long periods without eating — it may lead to hypoglycemia symptoms.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- It is a fairly flexible dieting regime — doable for a long time
- Weight loss
- Ability to control blood sugar levels
- Reduced age-related illnesses
Keto is a dieting trend that is characterized by very low carb and high proteins and fat intake. You are required to reduce your carb intake to as little as 50 grams every day. And since your body still needs energy, your body is forced to rely on fats and proteins as the main source of energy.
Apart from losing weight, the keto diet comes with numerous health benefits.
Unlike intermittent fasting, keto diet requires you to stickily check your calorie intake. Rather than eating pasta or bread as lunch, you are required to take foods high in fats and proteins. The main source of proteins for keto include lean meat, eggs, seafood, poultry, dairy products, beans, and legumes. As for fats you can get it from nuts, avocado, chia seeds, hemp hearts, olives, and flax seeds, among others.
You can also increase your intake of low-starch vegetables such as tomatoes, broccoli, greens, onions, cauliflower, and pepper. These vegetables come with a high concentration of nutrients such as vitamin C and different minerals. Also, they are very low in carbs and calories, making them a perfect combination in the keto diet.
Someone might be afraid to go the keto way because it sounds boring, strict, and challenging, but there are fantastic keto recipes for grab — some even include desserts. For instance, start your day with a breakfast that comes with bacon, eggs, and broccoli.
Your lunch can be any salad you love and make sure it’s a large portion. Finally, for dinner, you can take some roasted salmon and sautéed spinach. The main idea here is sticking to a low carb and high protein and fats diet.
Just like we warned in intermittent fasting, consult your doctor to ensure that you are ready to undertake this fitness journey with a ketogenic diet. Unlike IF, keto requires discipline and great dedication — it is not a diet for the faint-hearted. You ought to plan your diet correctly to avoid deficiency of essential nutrients in the body
If you feel like you are not getting enough proteins or any other nutrient from the food you take, you can rely on supplements. And for those who aren’t familiar with supplementation, head over to ourfitness.life for information on different types of supplements, including protein supplements. They will help in boosting your energy in the absence of glucose secretion from carbs.
Benefits of Keto Diet
- Weight loss
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Decreases your appetite
- Used to treat epilepsy among other neurological disorders
- Stabilizes blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of contracting heart diseases
Now, Which Is the Best Diet for Your Fitness Goals?
Both keto and intermittent fasting diets are great when it comes to weight loss and reduction of cholesterol levels in our bodies, among other benefits. To get maximum results from any, learn how to plan each diet properly, and sustain the regime for an extended period.
That said, and based on experience, it is more challenging to maintain a keto diet for a long time as compared to intermittent fasting. I would recommend the latter, especially when your main goal is to lose weight and reduce blood sugar levels — it is easy to manage for months. However, a keto diet is also perfect when the main goal is to improve one’s health by cutting down on carbs.
Can You Combine the Two Diet Regimes?
The answer is a huge yes. Combining intermittent fasting and keto diet is safe for anyone who wishes to try. Diet regimes tend to enhance each other’s effectiveness. For instance, when you decide to introduce a keto diet during intermittent fasting, you get to burn more unwanted fats in the body, with reduced appetite and cravings.
The combination makes it more comfortable to go for long hours without eating. Do not be afraid to go all-in — you are bound to enjoy the benefits that come with both diet regimes.
Pregnant women should not try any of these diets. Also, people with pre-existing health conditions must consult their doctors for informed directions on the same.
Interesting related article: “Keto diet good for menopause.“