Keto Intermittent Fasting for Beginners

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This beginner’s guide for Keto Intermittent Fasting may just get you started on a new journey to food freedom!

keto intermittent fasting beginners guide

Keto Intermittent Fasting: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’ve been living a Keto lifestyle and are looking to break a stall in weight loss, you may want to take a look at intermittent fasting. After all, we’ve all heard of people who had impressive results when combining Keto and IF. But there’s much more to it than weight loss!

Studies are showing improvement in brain function through intermittent fasting and cell repair and muscle gain. It’s super popular right now in fitness circles, and the results are pretty convincing.

But first – “What IS intermittent fasting?”

For a long time, we’ve been taught to graze throughout the day, eat every two hours, or have healthy snacks in between each meal. When we eat like this, we’re continually spiking our insulin levels. But if we wait long enough between meals to let our insulin levels go down, our bodies can burn off our existing fat. I suggest waiting until you are fat-adapted to begin intermittent fasting; otherwise, you might feel too hungry and become discouraged and quit. Once fat-adapted, you’ll stay full much longer, and intermittent fasting becomes a natural extension.

Simply put, eating often is bad for burning fat; eating less frequently is good for burning fat.

Intermittent Fasting: Diet or Pattern?

First of all – intermittent fasting isn’t a diet exactly. It doesn’t tell you what you should eat, like Keto. Instead, it tells you WHEN you should eat. It’s a schedule that helps your body go for longer stretches of not eating to burn through the stores of fat and calories already on hand.

What Can You Eat and Drink While Intermittent Fasting?

There are different opinions regarding precisely what you can eat or drink while intermittent fasting when following the keto diet. Generally, most agree that drinks such as water, black coffee, and unsweetened tea are acceptable. To put it simply, if it contains calories, it’s best to skip during your fasting window.

Can I Use Artificial Sweeteners While Intermittent Fasting?

Some say that you can add no-carb sweeteners without breaking a fast, but most experts disagree because it can cause spike insulin. You’ll have to decide for yourself on that one! Make sure to check out the links at the bottom of this post for more information from experts in Intermittent Fasting. While I can share my opinion with you, research is essential to be your best health advocate.

Keto Intermittent Fasting Schedules

Just like I don’t track keto macros, I also don’t have time for strict schedules. But I do find it freeing when I wake up and am not hungry for hours. At those times, I just don’t eat – and that fits in perfectly with intermittent fasting. It’s best to choose a window before or after you go to bed since you already naturally fast while you sleep.

Below are typical intermittent fasting schedules, but it is best to choose what is right for you. Intermittent fasting, even 8-10 hours, is beneficial too. In the beginning, start slowly by adding an extra hour of fasting either before bed or when you first wake up in the morning, then gradually adding more time as your body adapts.

Beginner 12/12 Fast:

After you have adjusted to a 9 or 10 hour fast, a 12-hour fast can be the next step. Simply note the time you stop eating before bed and hold off eating for 12 hours from that time.

  • Example: Stop eating at 7 pm, then eat your first meal at 7 am the next day.

Keep in mind that you can drink calories too! So if you’re one of those people that needs coffee the moment you wake up, have it black.

Moderate 16/8 Fast:

One of the most common patterns of intermittent fasting is a 16/8 fast. Some people do this daily, and others do it just a few times a week.

  • Example: Stop eating at 6 pm, then eat your first meal at 10 am the next day.

One Meal a Day Fast:

Some people can hold out all day and just have one meal. If you’re not often hungry throughout the day, this could be an excellent option to try for you! You’ll want to make sure this meal is loaded with healthy fats so that you’re able to stay fuller longer.

  • Example: Eat a filling meal at 3 pm each day

clock, empty plate, and a keto intermittent fasting notepad

Keto Intermittent Fasting Benefits:

I mentioned at the beginning of this guide that there are some surprising benefits of intermittent fasting. If you are just in it for the weight loss, you’re going to be excited to hear about the other good things that will happen to your body while fasting!

Fat Loss

Since your body needs to turn to its own fat stores for energy, it adjusts your hormone levels to make the stored fat easier to access. This can get rid of fat that’s much harder to burn through traditional diets.

Lower Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels

Many people with type 2 diabetes can get off their insulin with the help of keto and intermittent fasting combined!

Mental Focus

One great benefit of intermittent fasting is autophagy – a cell renewal process wherein the body recycles and renews damaged molecules and cells. This helps the brain as well as other organs in the body to perform at a higher level! There are also indications that this can lead to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (WOW!)

And there’s more!

  • Anti-Aging
  • Reduced Inflammation
  • Increased Energy
  • Blood Cholesterol Health
  • Lowered Risk of Heart Disease 

Keto Intermittent Fasting Results

Without being intentional, after I became fat adapted (which was after 2 or so months of following a keto lifestyle), I realized I just wasn’t hungry in the morning. Intermittent fasting was a natural fit for me. I also found that it helped keep my carbs and calories down for the day since I only eat two meals a day instead of 3.

Food freedom was also a goal for me. I didn’t want to eat just because it was breakfast or lunch. When I naturally listened to my normal hunger signals, I quickly realized that my body was not calling for fuel in the mornings. Waiting to eat until my body signaled that it needed fuel has helped transform my mindset regarding food.

Takeaway:

In conclusion, intermittent fasting can be a great way to take your Keto lifestyle to the next level. It has benefits of weight loss, fat burning, mental clarity, anti-aging, and much more. If you want to add fasting to your lifestyle just once a week or make it a daily pattern, it’s up to you. Listen to your body!

Above all, make sure to talk with your doctor before making any significant changes, especially if you’re diabetic, pregnant, underweight, under 18, or have an eating disorder.

fork with a measuring tape wrapped around it

Keto Intermittent Fasting Resources:

This post is a simple beginner’s guide. If you’d like to explore and research IF further, many experts in this field are brilliant.

 

Other Helpful Keto Resources :

image for keto intermittent fasting

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10 Comments

  1. Ive been fasting 20/4 almost everday for a few weeks. Im doing weight lifting and cardio. Not losing any weight though. Whats your thoughts on calorie consumption? I eat until im full but its not close to 1200.

    1. This is such a personal journey that I am not sure how to help. Since you are working out and doing cardio, it could have an effect on your weight loss. Our calorie consumption is different too. I wish I could help and knew what the key would be for your weight loss! I hope you have success moving forward!!

  2. I did a type of intermittent fasting (“a type of” according to my ND) for 3 days where I just had my BP coffee and ate in a 6 hour window (about 3 or 4pm till about 9 or so) in the late afternoon/early evening. It went really very well for 3 days and then I had a day where I ate an early breakfast because it was going to be a crazy busy day running all over the place and I just thought I should eat something… and ever since, I am just OFF! Hungry like I wasn’t before and intermittent fasting is not even on my radar… what happened that I became so ravenously hungry on day 4 and after? Is that normal? I think I’m better now but wow that was a little nuts being so crazy hungry like that.

    1. There really isn’t a “normal” as it varies for each person and there are so many variables. If you aren’t fat adapted, which can take several months, I wouldn’t fast if you are hungry. Fasting happens naturally as hunger levels decrease the longer you follow a ketogenic lifestyle. If you are hungry, eat fat as that is what will satisfy your hunger. Also, hunger is’t a terrible thing as long as you aren’t starving. Sometimes we are dehydrated and need water and sometimes we just want to eat but our bodies aren’t truly calling for food.

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