On your ketogenic journey, it’s important to know that your success is not only dictated by eating enough fat and protein and restricting carbs. When you eat, how often you eat, and how much you eat have an impact on your health and function as well.
I have been saving this topic until now, because it is not a requirement for those starting out on their keto journey. Also, the idea of not eating, to someone who has just changed their eating habits by starting a keto diet, may be very overwhelming.
Fasting isn’t required to lose weight on a ketogenic diet. If it doesn’t work for you, then do not force yourself to fast. Restricting yourself is not worth it if it makes you unhappy.
There are a few approaches when it comes to intermittent fasting.
Skipped Meals. This is when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting.
Eating Windows. Usually this condenses your entire food intake between a certain time window, usually four to seven hours. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state.
24/48 Hour Cleanse. This is where you go into extended fasting periods without eating for 1-2 days.
It’s usually not recommended that you go straight for a 1-2 day fast, it is much easier to begin by gradually restricting yourself to certain eating windows. Typically, people restrict their eating windows to the nighttime hours so that they are sleeping through the bulk of their fasting time. People often refer to their fasting windows by numbers: 19/5 or 21/3 for example, means 19 hours of fasting and 5 hours eating or 21 hours fasting and 3 hours eating, respectively.
Once you have mastered the art of eating windows, you can try to go for short periods of 18-24 hour fasting if you feel like it would benefit you.
In a fasting state, our bodies break down extra fat stores for the energy it needs. When we’re in ketosis, our body already mimics a fasting state, because we have little to no glucose in our bloodstream. In both cases our bodies are using the fats we are eating and the fats that are stored for energy.
While there are some weight loss advantages to fasting, there are other benefits also, do not fast solely for the weight loss if you do not enjoy doing it.
One of the most noticeable benefits is mental clarity. Once your body is in ketosis, your brain can effectively run on ketones, which are made from fat breakdown in the liver. Fat is considered one of the most energy-efficient fuels for your body to run on, and your brain is a huge consumer of energy.
Another noticeable benefit is increased energy and performance. The rumor, “if you don’t utilize pre and post workout meals, you are going to be losing muscle when exercising”, isn’t necessarily true when you are in ketosis. There have been numerous studies on fasting while training, including one on Muslim athletes during Ramadan. It concluded that there were no negative effects on performance while fasting. And, since those were high performing athletes, using massive amounts of energy, you shouldn’t have a need to worry.
Now that you know there is nothing to fear when it comes to intermittent fasting, how about giving it a try? Although you will feel a little hungry at first, your body will adjust by activating a process called autophagy and burning more fat and ketones for fuel. These processes will curb the cravings and allow you to be triumphant in your fasting attempts and in your overall fat loss.
Stay tuned to our webpage, ketocouplesjourney.com, our Instagram @ketocouplesjourneyatl and our YouTube and FaceBook pages @ketocouplesjourney. Also, you can check out our Facebook Group, Ketogenic Journey for more information and real-life transformations.
Good luck on your journey!