What is Intermittent Fasting? (And how it can help you lose weight)
There’s a lot of talk in the world of keto about something called intermittent fasting.
It is exactly what it sounds like - fasting, for shorter periods of time between your meals. Though it can be any length of time, for most people with keto it is usually somewhere in the realm of 12-20 hours of fasting.
Now while this may seem somewhat of a steep requirement to abstain from food during what seems to be a very long period, your body is more than equipped to handle being without food for twenty hours, easily.
YOU’RE ALREADY DOING INTERMITTENT FASTING
For instance, when we sleep every night, our body technically enters into a fasting state for a good eight hours - but usually more, since you don’t usually eat right before or after your sleep period.
Have you ever been so busy with work that you didn’t get to eat lunch? And ever had that feeling where you were really really hungry working through lunch but got to the point where you were no longer hungry? That’s intermittent fasting.
HOW DOES INTERMITTENT FASTING HAPPEN?
Now the cool thing is that when you are doing intermittent fasting, your body isn’t getting any new food or nutrients. Therefore it has to subsist on what has already been eaten - breaking down the stores in the body.
After the body goes through the carbohydrates in the blood, muscles and liver, it turns its attention to the other macronutrient - fat.
Fat is then used as the energy source, both the fat freely circulating in your body as well as the fat that has been stored away for later use.
The reason why you’re able to fast for a long period of time is because your body is able to use the carbs, then the freely circulating fat, and then the fat that is stored away.
So you see how this works? If you fast for a long enough period of time, your body will start finally tapping into the fat that is stored up - helping to burn away the fat that you’re wanting to lose.
This is why people are so excited about intermittent fasting. It’s quite literally the way people can lose fat - by using their own stored fat for energy
HOW TO START INTERMITTENT FASTING
While there are some people who might say that you can just start off fasting, I would say that they’re wrong - just because while it’s theoretically possible, it can be difficult to do if you’re not used to fasting!
Unless you’ve been doing the keto diet for quite a while, your body isn’t quite used to burning fat as it’s primary source of fuel yet.
So if you just start fasting without training your body to burn fat as it’s primary source of fuel, your body isn’t going to know what it’s supposed to do without getting food - and you’ll feel it in the form of feeling sick, super emotional, or a combination of both.
You may also experience what we calls the dreaded keto flu. When your body hasn’t been used to using fat as a source of fuel, it’s just going to think you’re starving it and start shutting down.
Instead, I would recommend spending at least a month on the ketogenic diet prior to starting intermittent fasting. This will allow your body time to get used to using fat as a fuel, and will cause less issues when you start intermittent fasting.