Keto vs Intermittent Fasting: Which One Is Right For You?

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What Is Keto Diet | What Is Intermittent Fasting? | Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto | Keto Diet Vs. Intermittent Fasting: Which is Better

If you look for a weight loss diet online, two of the most notable trends that will come up are intermittent fasting and the keto diet. People have seen great results by following both these diets. However, as we know, each individual is different, and there is a chance that one or both of these diets might not suit your needs. 

Many people are stuck between fasting and keto and do not know which one to choose to begin their weight loss journey. In this article, we will be comparing these diets to see which diet is suitable for you.

What Is Keto Diet?

The keto diet or ketogenic diet is a regime designed for weight reduction. It is believed to be beneficial for people suffering from chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension.

A ketogenic diet was initially designed for people with epilepsy. However, now it is being practiced by everyone who wants to achieve weight loss. 

A ketogenic diet involves eating very low carbohydrates, high fats, and moderate proteins. The percentage of each of these macronutrients is divided as 5-10% carbohydrates, 55-60% fats, and 30-36% protein. So, if we consider a person with a 2000 kcal diet, they can eat 20-50 grams of fats per day.  

With the keto diet, the intake of carbohydrates is reduced drastically, which leads to a phenomenon called ketosis. Ketosis means that the levels of ketones are increased in the body, which increases the ability of the body to burn more fat. Since there is no carbohydrate to convert into energy, the body will turn to fat and burn it into ketones, even from the liver. 

The keto diet has shown many benefits in managing insulin levels, weight reduction, management of heart diseases, decrease in symptoms of Alzheimer’s, and has helped in managing epilepsy in children. 

It is important to note that there are many ways to do a keto diet. The most popular keto diet is the standard keto diet, where you eat low carbohydrates, high fats, and moderate proteins. However, there are three more types of the keto diet. 

  • Cyclical keto diet, where the keto diet is followed in cycles where for example, a person eats low carb for five days and then high carbs for the next two days. 
  • Targeted keto diet, where carbs are added only in the meals taken around your workouts. 
  • High protein keto diet, where the carbohydrate content is reduced even more, and the protein content is increased. So, you consume 35% protein, 60% fat, and 5% carbohydrates in all forms. 

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is a way of consuming food where you fast for a certain period and eat during your eating window. There is a fasting period where you can only consume water or sugar-free drinks, and then there is the eating window where you can have your daily recommended calories.

The entire diet revolves around limiting the duration of food intake rather than changing what you eat. Of course, eating a healthy diet devoid of junk food and under your daily budget is essential, but here you are not restricted on what you need to eat and in what ratios. Intermittent fasting is less of a diet but more of a lifestyle change where you only allow your body to eat food for a small-time duration and let it fast for the other.

To know more about intermittent fasting, read – A Complete Guide To Intermittent Fasting + Daily Plan & Schedule

Intermittent Fasting Vs. Keto: Let’s Review the Side-Effects

Since we have already understood the benefits of each diet, let us consider some drawbacks.

Keto Diet Cons

A Keto Diet can be very restrictive for people because most of the foods that we consume these days have some amount of carbohydrates, and finding foods that are low in carb require significant lifestyle changes.

Also, there are some side effects in the beginning when the body adjusts to the keto diet. These include muscle cramps, changes in bowel habits, nausea, irritation, and loss of energy. 

A Keto diet can be harmful to people with kidney and liver disease. In addition to this, low-carb diets can also be unsafe for pregnant and lactating women and women trying to get pregnant. Also, a high intake of fats leads to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels which is also bad cholesterol and can impact heart patients.

Low carb diets mean that people do not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and grains and increase their consumption of fats. This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the longer run. Also, there are not enough studies to prove the keto diet’s effectiveness in the long term.

Intermittent Fasting Cons

There are certain downsides to practicing intermittent fasting too. One of the major ones can be developing eating disorders or overeating and gaining weight. With time restrictions, many people fail to consume enough calories to fulfill their daily energy requirements. This can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Alternatively, since the intermittent fasting diet does not restrict any kind of food items, it may also lead to overeating after starving for long durations, leading to weight gain. 

While the body adapts to fasting for long periods later, you may experience nausea, dizziness, headaches, irritability, and hunger pangs in the initial days. In addition to this, people with chronic conditions or diabetes should consult a doctor before starting an intermittent fasting diet. Anyone who already suffers from mental health issues and has an eating disorder should avoid a fasting diet since it can worsen their condition.  

Read more on potential side effects of intermittent fasting and how to deal with these symptoms here – 8 Intermittent Fasting Side Effects And How To Cure Them

Keto Diet Vs. Intermittent Fasting: Which is Better?

When comparing both of these diets, it is seen that both of them promote weight loss if they are done correctly. There is also a benefit of managing blood glucose levels and other chronic conditions.

Which of these is better can be very subjective. If we see the ease and flexibility of the diet, then intermittent fasting is better than the ketogenic diet. 

The ketogenic diet is also not considered a sustainable approach in the longer run. Since the keto diet restricts carbohydrates, it also limits the intake of vitamins and minerals, which is not the case in intermittent fasting. 

However, for faster weight loss, the ketogenic diet is more effective. Intermittent fasting is more like a lifestyle change than a diet, and hence you may experience benefits at a slow pace.

So, is keto or intermittent fasting better?

Well, both these diets have their benefits. However, practicing a keto diet for a long duration is not advisable. If you are someone who does not have a problem restricting an entire food group from your diet and can easily eat high fat, low carb, and moderate protein foods regularly, then the keto diet is good for you.

However, if you cannot change the way you eat entirely, then intermittent fasting can be your go-to choice.

How about trying intermittent fasting and the keto diet at the same time?

Take up our 21-day intermittent fasting keto challenge that will give you an action plan with a complete guide. Get daily inspiration through messages and emails. You also get access to meal plans and a weekly shopping list. Join our intermittent fasting community and start losing weight today!

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Information on this document and our website is for educational and informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a dietitian, physician or another health-care professional. Consult your physician before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have any medical condition, or are taking any medication. Read more here.