This post is sponsored by Kettle & Fire Bone Broth. All opinions are my own.
Please consult a physician before beginning any diet or exercise regimen. Intermittent fasting is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.
Let’s talk about Intermittent Fasting! Maybe you knew what it meant before you embarked on a ketogenic lifestyle or maybe this is a brand new concept for you. Either way, I’m going to break it down in real girl talk for you!
First, let’s define the term (and yes, intermittent fasting is a scientific term not a pop culture buzzword). Essentially, intermittent fasting (otherwise known as IF) is the time your body is NOT being fed. When you’re asleep, you are IF. When you’re working at your desk for four straight hours without so much as a piece of celery, you’re IF. So, IF is literally ANY window of time that you are not ingesting food.
That’s easy enough, right? I thought so too.
But like with anything in the realm of science, there’s more to it. Since I’m not a scientist, I’m going to leave the super science-y stuff to the pros (i.e. I’ll put links to references at the bottom of the post) but I will break down what happens in your body when you IF and why IF is one of the best things you can incorporate into your ketogenic lifestyle.
BEHIND THE SCENES
When we eat, our insulin levels increase. Now wait, you want to tell me that you’re not diabetic and insulin doesn’t matter. Well, it does. That insulin (which is made in the pancreas) gets stored in the liver as sugar and produces fat. There’s a long fancy term for this process that you can read more about here.
When you fast, the opposite happens. When you’re not taking in food, insulin levels decrease, and that stored sugar and fat is burned up. During windows of fasting, your body is using up that stored glucose and fat in your body.
FASTING + KETO
Does all of that sound familiar? If you know anything about the ketogenic diet, you’re probably nodding your head right now. When you’re in ketosis, your body takes on similar behaviors as it does in a fasted state even when you’re not fasting. This is one reason people are able to lose weight following a ketogenic diet. (spoiler alert: IF and ketosis are besties)
So, why would you want to fast if ketosis is basically the same thing and you get to eat? That’s like asking if you really need the purse to go with the shoes you found at the Nordstrom anniversary sale. The answer is simple…you need them both.
Intermittent Fasting and Ketosis are kind of like Beyonce and Jay-Z or bacon and eggs. They’re great by themselves but together, they’re a dynamic duo.
When you IF and maintain a ketogenic diet, you become a mega fat burning machine. We already know the benefits of keto (you can read about those here) but there are some added benefits when you incorporate IF:
Control hunger pains
Increased weight loss (IF is one of the oldest “diets” in history)
Deeper state of ketosis (higher ketone levels)
Leaner physique (if you exercise)
Get back into ketosis quicker after being knocked out
It sounds counterintuitive that you can control hunger by not eating but I promise it’s true. Have you ever had a day where you didn’t have a chance to stop and eat? At one point you were probably SO hungry that it hurt, right? But after a little time, because you still couldn’t stop to eat, what happened? The hunger pains went away and before you knew it, several hours had passed. That’s how intermittent fasting works!
Now that you have a basic understanding of intermittent fasting, let’s figure out how to apply it to your lifestyle. There isn’t a steadfast rule on how long you have to fast but the most popular fasting windows are 16:8, 18:6, 20:4, and 23:1.
Oh no, I used ratios. Before you close this page, let me explain! The number on the left represents the amount of hours you fast (don’t eat) and the number on the right represents the amount of hours you eat.
You don’t even have to fast every day. Some people do, but again, it’s not a requirement. However, when you IF regularly (multiple days in a row), your body adjusts to the feeding windows much better. This is when you’ll see the best results from your IF schedule.
Now, there are a few rules you need to follow when fasting. No one likes rules but hey, don’t shoot the messenger.
Don’t eat, duh. Stick to clear liquids until it’s time to break your fast.
Keep up your electrolytes. This will help avoid cramping and headaches.
Break your fast gently. Don’t gorge yourself the minute your fast is over. Start with something small and work in your macros over your entire eating window.
HOW I FAST
On my fasting days, I aim for 18:6 windows. It comes most naturally for me and seems to be what works best. The majority of that time fasting, I’m asleep and not eating anyway, so it works out well.
When I’m fasting, I can’t just drink water all day. Let’s be honest, I’m a foodie. I like to taste things and I like flavor. Water is good for you, sure, but it’s boring too. And don’t get me started on bean water (a.k.a black coffee). That’s just a travesty.
Some people will still put a little cream in their coffee but sweeteners are a no-no.
I prefer to sip on bone broth when I fast. Bone broth is a superfood! It is packed full of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids and collagen! You can’t get that combination of nutrients from any other food.
The best bone broth on the market is made by Kettle & Fire Bone Broth. They source the highest quality ingredients without adding preservatives and fillers. The flavors of their broths are better than anything you’ll find at a grocery store bar none. Plus, they are the ONLY shelf stable (i.e. non-perishable) broth on the market today!
If you’ve never heard of Kettle & Fire Bone Broth, watch this short video and I’ll tell you all about it!
ARE YOU READY?
Now that you have a basic understanding of IF, you’re ready for your first fast! When you want to start a fast, start with a small window (16:8 is a great place to start).
- Commit to a fasting window
- Stop eating at a specified time
- Check your ketones at the beginning and end of your fast to see how fasting effects you
- Drink only liquids during your fast
- Power through hunger pains with Kettle & Fire Bone Broth
- Slowly break your fast when you’re eating window begins
Find what works for you. Push yourself. You do you, boo.
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