Intermittent fasting vs keto is a controversial topic that has stirred up quite the debate. One side says that intermittent fasting is better than keto, while the other side argues in favor of keto. Who’s right? The answer to this question depends on what your goals are and what you’re looking for out of your diet. We will explore both sides of the argument so you can decide which one suits you best!
What you'll read:
- 1 Intermittent Fasting – Overview
- 2 Keto – Overview
- 3 Similarities between intermittent fasting and keto
- 4 Differences between intermittent fasting and keto
- 5 Intermittent fasting vs keto for weight loss
- 6 Intermittent fasting vs keto: which one should I choose?
- 7 Conclusion
Intermittent Fasting – Overview
Intermittent fasting is restricting the hours and/or days you eat food. There are many different forms of intermittent fasting, but we will focus on two: time-restricted eating (eTRF) and alternate day fasting (ADF). In eTRF, you limit your calories to a specific window throughout the day.
For example, you might eat all your calories between 12pm and 12am. In ADF, you alternate eating days with fasting days. For example, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday are the only days where you can eat food. On Tuesday through Thursday are fasted days (no caloric intake).
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
– Increased insulin sensitivity
– Potentially burn more fat
– Increased HGH production (hormone that helps build muscle)
– Decreased blood pressure
– Improved cholesterol levels
Intermittent fasting can also lead to a significant amount of weight loss. In fact, research shows that intermittent fasting can be just as effective at weight loss than regular calorie restriction.
Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting
– It can be difficult to sustain long term
– If you’re restricting your calories for a longer period of time, it may lead to decreased muscle mass and increased fatigue
– If you’re trying to gain muscle, it may be difficult because intermittent fasting can decrease your testosterone levels
– You may experience feelings of extreme hunger
Keto – Overview
Keto dieting, also known simply as keto or low carb high fat (LCHF), involves eating an extremely limited number of carbohydrates while increasing your intake of food rich in protein and fat. On a standard carbohydrate-rich Western diet, most people eat about 55% of their total calories from carbs, 25 percent from protein and 20% from fats. A ketogenic diet would have you reduce your carbohydrate intake to just 50 grams per day—or less than one third of all Americans’ daily needs—and get around 80 percent of the rest from fats.
Benefits of Keto
– Highly effective for weight loss
– Promotes more fat burning than carbohydrates or protein alone
– More satiating and filling because it contains high amounts of dietary fiber, which can decrease feelings of hunger. Compared to other diets, keto is especially effective at decreasing appetite in the short term (greater reduction in calorie intake)
– Can improve health markers such as lower triglycerides and increased HDL (good cholesterol)
– Many people report having more energy while following a ketogenic diet. This may be due to the fact that it can reduce hunger, causing less fatigue; but also because of its high fat content which is burned for fuel by cells in the body—including the brain.
Disadvantages of Keto
– Many people struggle with the low amount of carbs. This may lead to frequent cravings, headaches and even constipation
– Difficulty concentrating on tasks or remembering things
– May be too difficult for some people to maintain long term due to its restrictive nature
– Side effects of the “keto flu” such as headaches, fatigue and cravings may discourage people from sticking with it
– Losses of electrolytes, especially sodium
Similarities between intermittent fasting and keto
– Both keto and intermittent fasting encourage fat loss
– You can eat an unlimited amount of foods high in healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado oil, butter, eggs etc.
– The main idea is to reduce carb intake significantly which will make your body switch from using carbohydrates as the primary source of energy (glucose) to burning stored fat for fuel (ketones). Keto diets are also much lower in calories than other types of dieting because they eliminate all sugary snacks/foods that contain carbs.
– Both types of diets have been shown to be highly effective for weight loss.
– Intermittent fasting may help improve insulin sensitivity which can decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes.
– Both keto and intermittent fasting can lead to increased energy levels through the burning of fats (ketones) as opposed to carbohydrates.
– Intermittent fasting may also help decrease the risk of cancer as it has been shown to induce a cellular stress response similar to the ketogenic diet which has been shown to decrease tumor growth.
Differences between intermittent fasting and keto
– Intermittent fasting may be easier to follow than a strict ketogenic diet because you get to eat all day long and can still enjoy your favorite foods.
– Intermittent fasting is much easier to follow than keto because you don’t have to strictly watch your carb intake or restrict yourself from eating all day long.
– Keto diets often contain foods high in protein (meat) which may be bad for the kidneys over time if they are not properly hydrated and monitored by a doctor.
– Intermittent fasting is not as restrictive and may provide more flexibility for people who still want to eat out with friends or enjoy a big meal on the weekends without worrying too much about counting calories. Keto diets are very strict and it’s important that you follow them exactly in order to get results.
– Intermittent fasting may have a better effect on weight loss in the long term because it doesn’t require you to cut out certain foods or restrict your eating times. Keto diets are very restrictive, which is why many people struggle with following them for extended periods of time.
– Intermittent fasting requires that you fast from food and calories for a period of time every day, typically around 16 hours. Keto diets require you to reduce your carb intake significantly and eliminate all foods that contain carbs or sugar (including fruit).
– Intermittent fasting may be easier for people who work out during the fasted state because they can take advantage of their elevated fat utilization while keto suggests not to work out during the fasted state because you will be burning up all your glucose stores.
Intermittent fasting vs keto for weight loss
Both keto and intermittent fasting can be highly effective for weight loss if they are followed correctly.
It depends on what your goals are – If you want to lose weight quickly (more than 20 lbs) then the best diet may be a strict ketogenic diet because it is designed to get results in many different ways, not just weight loss. On the other hand, if you are looking for a diet that is easier to follow and won’t make you feel restricted or hungry all day long then intermittent fasting may be right for you.
Intermittent fasting vs keto: which one should I choose?
It depends on your lifestyle – If you have an easy time sticking to diets and don’t like to eat all day long or you work out during the fasted state then intermittent fasting may be a better option. If you struggle with following strict diets for extended periods of time, want quick results (more than 20 lbs lost), and/or feel that keto is too restrictive then a ketogenic diet may be right for you.
Both diets can be highly effective if they are followed correctly and both have been shown to result in weight loss results. Keto may lead to more quick initial weight loss because it restricts your food choices but intermittent fasting is easier for many people who work out or doesn’t want to feel restricted on their eating schedule throughout the day. Choose the diet that best suits your lifestyle and you are most likely to stick with long term.
Keto and intermittent fasting can both be highly effective in helping you lose weight quickly but they may not be right for everyone. It all depends on what type of diet best fits your lifestyle and goals, so choose the one that sounds like it would work best for you!