This post about keto vs. intermittent fasting for weight loss will provide the info you need to decide which method is best for YOU. The keto diet and intermittent fasting are the two most effective ways to lose weight because they rely on the same mechanism. A mechanism that helps you overcome food cravings and naturally eat fewer calories. First, I will explain how this works and then, we will look at the pros and cons of both the keto diet and intermittent fasting. Lastly, we will discuss whether you should combine intermittent fasting and the keto diet for weight loss.
How The Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting Work for Weight Loss
Weight loss will always happen when you consume fewer calories than your body needs. However, sustaining a calorie deficit that is significant enough to reach your weight loss goals is hard. It requires measuring food, counting calories, and, worst of all, feeling hungry most of the time. Many will give up before seeing any weight loss at all.
Fortunately, there is another way. A way that helps you feel naturally less hungry over time and that doesn’t require tracking your calories. A way that doesn’t rely on willpower. It all has to do with the magic of switching from glucose to ketones for energy.
Ketosis for Weight Loss
Yep, you may have guessed it, we are talking about ketosis. When wondering if keto or intermittent fasting is better for weight loss, it is important to realize that they work the same way. They cause your body to run out of glycogen and use your fat cells to make ketones. That’s what happens you fast completely (with intermittent fasting) or simply avoid most carbs (with keto). Many of us will start running out of glycogen after not eating for 10-16 hours. However, optimal ketosis for weight loss requires higher levels of ketones.
Life on Ketones
Optimal weight loss ketosis will make you feel less hungry, more energetic, and more focused. If you use a ketone monitor to track your ketones, you will notice that this switch happens at 1.0 mmol/L or above. Most experts recommend between 1.5 and 3.0 mmol/L. During my own weight loss journey, I felt the switch at 1.0 mmol/L and that’s why, ultimately, how you feel should be the determining factor. Life on ketones is how you will naturally start wanting to eat less. That is how both the keto diet and intermittent fasting work for weight loss.
If you would like to check your ketones using a ketone monitor, I recommend the Keto Mojo. Receive 15 percent off with my affiliate link.
Comparing Keto Vs. Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
Now that you understand that, ultimately, the keto diet and intermittent fasting work the same way, you simply need to figure out which option suits your lifestyle best.
The Keto Diet for Weight Loss
The main advantage of the keto diet is clearly never having to go hungry. You get to eat three meals a day and pick whatever portion size makes you satisfied. Over time, you will naturally feel less hungry and find yourself eating less.
How to Eat Keto
On the keto diet, you will need to count your macros. Your macro ratio will be 70% fat, 5% carbohydrates, and 25% protein. You will consume plenty of:
- healthy fats like coconut oil and butter
- low carb fruits and veggies
- nuts and seeds
I created a PDF low carb food list, get it here.
On the other hand, you will need to avoid the following foods:
- most fruits
The main issue with the keto diet is having to track your macros. To overcome this, the simpler the better. Consider eating the same thing every day or creating a 7-day menu that you can repeat continually. As you create your menu, you will notice that most recipes labeled as keto online are not truly keto. They may contain only 8 grams of carbs but they also provide only 300 calories! Please don’t eat only 300 calories for your meals! If you are going to be eating three meals a day, they should provide at least 600 calories.
I created a 7-Day Keto Meal Plan that you can check out. Keep in my that my meal plan is also an intermittent fasting meal plan. Keep reading to discover if you should combine the keto diet and intermittent fasting.
The main drawback of the keto diet is tracking. Moreover, it will require some planning as you attend social events, etc. You may find it difficult to sustain long term. If you do pick the keto diet for weight loss, make sure your first week allows for some rest time because you will likely experience the keto flu. When you do, try a teaspoon of Hymalian salt in the water to alleviate your symptoms.
Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss
The main advantage of intermittent fasting for weight loss is the freedom to enjoy any foods during your eating window. No tracking, no bringing your own foods at parties. For most of us, that represents a more sustainable option long-term.
However, the main drawback of intermittent fasting is that you will find it extremely difficult at first. If you are not restricting carbs, you need to fast long enough to experience the metabolic switchover from glucose to ketones. This usually means you will need to fast for at least 18-20 hours. As a newbie, this may feel like a daunting task. You may feel hungry, stressed, or unhappy for a few hours each day. That is until you get used to it. You will be surprised at how adaptable our bodies are. It usually takes a couple of weeks and suddenly, something that seemed unmanageable becomes natural and achievable.
The good news is: you don’t need to fast every day. In fact, I usually recommend women take 2-3 days off intermittent fasting each week.
Should You Combine the Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting?
I often mention how stressing your body has to be done wisely. Most stresses are helpful to improve your overall health and reduce inflammation. For example:
- Calorie restriction
- Carb restriction
The problem is combining too many stresses all at once. Women, in particular, are sensitive to dietary changes. Consequently, I recommend a slow and steady weight loss to decrease your calorie intake gradually. I recommend gentle workouts like yoga and bodyweight exercises. As far as fasting goes, that’s why we take some days off.
If you want to combine the keto diet (the stress, in that case, is carb restriction) with intermittent fasting, I would advise that you avoid fasting for more than 16 hours a day. Moreover, as you may have seen in my 7-Day Intermittent Fasting Keto Meal Plan, your breakfast coffee is filled with calories (to avoid a more significant calorie restriction).
Lastly, I would advise you to pay attention to the signs your body is sending you. First, stick with your chosen approach for 2-3 weeks to overcome the first bout of change fatigue (the time before your body adjusts). If you don’t notice any improvements and feel more tired, your cycles are being disrupted, and you are losing hair, for example, it’s time to troubleshoot. Those are clear signs that your body is under too much stress.
Combining the Keto Diet and intermittent fasting may be helpful short term to help boost your ketone production, but it is not a long-term solution I would recommend for the average woman.
If you would like a step-by-step plan to lose weight with intermittent fasting while using temporary keto cycles or modified fasting to boost your results, check out my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation Program.
Keto Vs. Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Video
As you consider whether you should rely on the keto diet or intermittent fasting to lose weight, remember that they both work using the same mechanism. Whatever decision you make doesn’t have to be permanent but you should stick with one or the other forever to maintain your weight loss. For example, if you start with the keto diet, but decide that you cannot sustain it long term, you can always use intermittent fasting to get the same results. The important thing is that you don’t give up both completely and that you don’t do both at once too intensely. It is a balancing act that will teach you a lot about your body. Remember, your weight loss is your journey!