Intermittent fasting and keto are two separate dietary practices that are growing in popularity these days. Lots of people use them to rapidly burn fat and feel better.
Some people wonder if you can combine a keto diet with intermittent fasting. It turns out, you can. However, you must be prepared, because it can be very difficult to do both at once.
In this guide we will explain how to combine keto with intermittent fasting, and find out if it’s right for you.
What’s the difference between Keto and Intermittent Fasting?
Keto is about food, and intermittent fasting is about timing.
In a regular keto diet, you cut out all the carbs and sugars, and load up on protein and fat. But you can eat whenever you want.
With intermittent fasting, you can only eat during certain hours. But your diet is not restricted during those hours. Depending on your program, you could theoretically even eat Twinkies!
There are many different kinds of intermittent fasting programs. One common option is called 8/16, where you eat during one 8 hour period and then fast the rest of the day. Another is called One Meal a Day, in which you eat (surprise) exactly one meal every day.
The difference between keto and intermittent fasting lies in the goal.
The goal of keto is to reach ketosis [link to ketosis article on kboshfood.com], a metabolic state where the body burns fat.
The goal of intermittent fasting is to control cravings by eating within a fixed window of time.
Since they have different goals, you can do both at once. It’s not like being Vegan and trying to eat a hamburger!
Intermittent fasting will help you reach Ketosis faster
One of the main reasons why people choose to do both keto and intermittent fasting is to reach ketosis quickly.
Ketosis is a natural state of the body that occurs when the body runs out of carbs. This happens if you are literally starving, or are eating primarily protein and fat, as in a keto diet.
If you are only doing intermittent fasting, you might not reach ketosis at all. That’s because it can take several days to burn through all the carbs in your body, so as long as you are still eating carbs every day, you will not induce ketosis.
Doing both is harder than just doing one
Both diets will probably make you very, very hungry at first, and even a little tired. Many people experience what is called the “keto flu” when they first reach ketosis. The keto flu will be harder to deal with if you also have a restricted eating window.
If you have never tried keto or intermittent fasting, we recommend you do not jump into both at once. Rather, try each separately, to see how they make you feel. If you rush in and try both at once, it will probably shock your body and be very painful.
You should be very careful with any dietary change, and it’s best to consult your doctor before any sudden, large changes. If you try to change too much at once, you may give up and slide back into old habits.
If you are already doing Keto, you can gradually add Intermittent Fasting
Just take it one step at a time. Start by eating breakfast one hour later than usual for a week. Then eat dinner one hour earlier than usual for a week. Then move breakfast an hour later. And move dinner an hour earlier. Keep this up, and you will rapidly find yourself doing a combined keto / intermittent fasting diet!