The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. When coupled with various wellness strategies can go a long way to help you reach your overall wellness goals.
What are the basics of the keto diet?
The ketogenic diet focuses on what to eat. It aims for a very low carbohydrate intake with high fat and moderate protein. The goal of the ketogenic diet is to switch the body’s main fuel source from carbohydrates to fat.
Sounds simple, however switching fuel systems is not that easy as the body prefers to use carbohydrates as the main fuel source. When the body uses fat as the predominant fuel source this is known as ketosis.
Unfortunately reaching ketosis isn’t a quick process and will vary from person-to-person. It may actually take several weeks or so to adapt.
Ketosis may occur as a result of a very low carbohydrate diet, which the body may recognize as a partial state of fasting. It can also occur as the body’s response to a complete state of fasting.
In short: The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones.
Unlike the ketogenic diet – intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat and not necessarily what to eat. Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach which includes cycling between periods of eating and fasting.
The most common form of intermittent fasting is known as time-restricted fasting. This is a form of daily fasting where there are designated times of the day for fasting.
Those who practice time-restricted fasting typically eat during an eight to twelve hour window and fast during the remaining twelve to sixteen hours of the day.
During the fasting periods food is restricted. During the eating period there are zero restrictions. The overall idea focuses on time to limit when an individual may eat.
Ketogenic Diet + Intermittent Fasting
Remember the goal of the ketogenic diet is to induce ketosis, but ketosis can take the body several weeks to adapt. Ketosis can result over time from both a very low carbohydrate diet as well as fasting.
Fortunately, intermittent fasting focuses on when to eat and the ketogenic diet focuses on what to eat. Therefore, some may select to practice the ketogenic diet in combination with intermittent fasting in hopes to enter ketosis faster or improve overall results.
However, the rate at which one reaches ketosis ultimately depends on the individual, their body weight, metabolism, and more. Not everyone is going to have the same results or enter ketosis at the same rate.
Which Diet Is Right for You?
Diets are not a one size fits all. Diets may come in many variations or we may choose to alter or combine some dietary approaches to help meet our own personal needs including factors such as food preferences and schedules.
You may select one diet or a hybrid of the diets. Regardless of which approach you choose – note that diets are meant to be practiced as short-term tools for healthy adults.
It’s important to find what works best for you and maintain a calorie deficit.
If you feel that you are too restricted or a diet is too regimented for your needs, then dial back and/or try something new. Always check with your healthcare provider before implementing a new dietary approach.