Intermittent fasting is a weight loss method that has been highly popularized in recent years. The diet involves alternating periods of eating and not eating or consuming a restricted number of calories. There are several different ways to decide the length of time between eating and fasting:
- The 16:8 Method
- The 5:2 Method
- Alternate Day Fasting
- 12-hour fasting
- Choose a day fasting
Some methods are easier than others and are better for beginners such as the 24-hour fast, one day a week or the 12-hour method where most of the fasting time happens overnight. Whereas the alternate day method can be difficult without any transition.
The idea behind intermittent fasting is that the body’s physiology adjusts after 12 hours of not eating and uses stored fat as energy. The diet has proven to be an effective weight loss method and improves metabolic health, which ultimately lowers the chance of early death due to health problems.
What is Ketosis
Ketosis is a state of the body where the liver produces higher ketone levels that provide energy to the brain. The body also has lower insulin levels and breaks down more fat.
Many people combine the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting to increase their weight loss. The keto diet is a low calorie, high fat diet. Combining the two methods provides more body fat to be transformed into energy to compensate the lower calorie intake.
Signs of Ketosis
It can be difficult to tell when your body is in ketosis or not. Although ketosis helps with weight loss, there are other symptoms that are less favorable but harmless:
- Bad Breath
Raised ketone levels lead to increased acetone that is released through your breath and urine. It’s not the best part of ketosis, but increasing the frequency of brushing your teeth and using mints or gum can help offset the unwelcome smell.
- Reduced Appetite
The changes to your hormones from ketosis lead to being less hungry and therefore lowers eating frequency.
- Energy and Focus Increase
After getting through the “keto flu,” a short period of brain fog, fatigue, and feeling sick, people in long-term ketosis have reported more energy and focus from improved function – allowing them to do things more efficiently.
- Digestive Changes
Any adjustment to your diet is an adjustment to your digestion, which can be uncomfortable during the transition. During the start of ketosis, you may experience constipation or diarrhea, but these will subside eventually. Then the fiber from eating more vegetables and less carbs will help improve and regulate your digestion.
Drastic calorie reduction can lead to sleeping problems when starting the keto diet. Insomnia and waking up in the middle of the night happens less often over time then stops during long-term ketosis.
Most signs and symptoms of ketosis are beneficial such as improved weight loss and brain function, whereas others such as bad breath or digestive changes can be maintained or will eventually go away. The hardest part is just the adjustment period and then it’s all about maintaining your diet!