The challenge of choosing the right weight loss regimen requires patience and the ability to understand what works.
This is where the keto diet and intermittent fasting have popped up as legitimate solutions.
To better recognize what each method has to offer, here’s a look at what they’re all about and how they compare to each other.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The keto diet (learn more) is a low-carb diet designed to regulate one’s intake of food using set parameters. In general, the human body produces ketones (liver) and uses them as a source of energy, which is why this diet has earned its name as “keto diet.”
The premise of this diet is to avoid glucose and insulin production by reducing the consumption of carbohydrates.
It’s common for the human body to rely on glucose production in a bid to burn energy and it often gives preference to this source due to its accessibility. It’s simply the easiest molecule to burn and thus remains the first priority for your body.
However, when this happens, the fats in your body end up getting stored since there’s no use for them from an energy perspective.
In most cases, the average person eats enough carbs for this to occur and as a result, end up dealing with an increased amount of fat. By reducing the intake of carbs, a person is able to get into a state of ketosis where the fats are targeted as an energy source instead of glucose.
As soon as the body starts to realize what’s happening, it begins to produce ketones (fats in the liver) and starts using them as a source of energy.
When monitored and managed correctly, the keto diet is able to put the body in a greater metabolic state.
It’s simply a method used to dictate when meals are supposed to be eaten without mentioning what types of foods are necessary.
It’s a concept derived from the concept of controlling how meals are consumed while maximizing the digestive system’s biological timing.
In general, intermittent fasting can be split across a day, week, or month. As long as the eating and fasting periods are correctly separated, the method’s benefits will start to appear.
A good example of this would be fasting between 12 AM and 4 PM (16 hours) and eating between 4 PM and 12 AM (8 hours). This refers to the “16/8” method, which is often a good beginners option for those looking to get their feet wet.
It’s important to note the body does get used to this scheduling and that’s when the rewards starting popping up in terms of fat loss.
With Intermittent fasting, a person can only consume water/coffee/tea/zero-calorie beverages during the fasting phase. In some cases, a person can also include important supplements into their fasting periods as long as they don’t have calories in them.
Key Differences Between Keto and Intermittent Fasting
1.Types of Food
With the keto diet, you are going to be asked to restrict carbs by including keto-friendly foods. The diet is reliant on the implementation of a proper meal plan to ensure you are getting the right amount of carbs/fats/proteins.
In comparison, intermittent fasting is all about timing and it doesn’t matter whether you are following a specific meal plan or not.
It’s important to remember, intermittent fast is nothing more than an eating pattern and can revolve around almost any diet including the keto diet as long as it’s used wisely.
2. Implementation of Fasting
Intermitted fasting is all about “fasting” and not eating over long periods of the day. With the keto diet, you are not going to be asked to fast and the meals can be spread throughout the 24-hour cycle as deemed appropriate for your scheduling needs.
With a proper meal plan, individuals are able to split up their meals into different hours of the day and continue to eat at any time.
With intermittent fasting, you have to make sure there is enough time to fast and that all of your meals are only consumed during that small period where food is permitted.
3. Reliance on Fats and Proteins
The use of specific nutrients is a consistent requirement with the keto diet.
For example, you are not permitted to eat a high amount of carbs and most of your nutritional intake has to come in the form of fats and/or proteins.
However, with intermittent fasting, you are allowed to eat as many carbs as you prefer.
It’s all about creating a set pattern and making sure you are following a personalized diet plan that works best for you whether it includes carbs, fats, or proteins.
Of course, this also means with intermittent fasting, the person has to be careful about what is going into their body. Too many calories during the eating period may take away from the overall health benefits.
4. Psychological Impact
There is a psychological impact associated with both the keto diet and intermittent fasting. With the keto diet, you are restricting carbs and will notice a shift in how the body sources energy. It will take time to get used to.
The same applies to intermittent fasting where a person isn’t allowed to eat for more than half the day.
5. Importance of Timing
Timing is essential with intermittent fasting because you have to follow an established pattern. With the keto diet, you are able to spread the meals evenly.
Both concepts are legitimate and have value as long as they’re followed properly. In many cases, an individual will end up incorporating both into their overall routine by eating keto-friendly foods and maintaining periods of intermittent fasting.
It’s important to recognize what works best for your body and only implement something that’s safe for your well-being.
By doing this, you will be well on your way to a healthier body and a healthier sense of self.
Ben Corbin brings more than 20 years of experience as a health and wellness author and writer. He holds a master’s degree, has a passion for health and fitness, and is driven to provide readers with accurate and honest information. Learn more about Ben and the DadQuarters mission at our About page.