What is Intermittent Fasting | What is the Keto Diet | What Happens During Week 1 | 1 Week Keto and Intermittent Fasting Results
Some call them the dynamic duo of weight loss. Both are effective weight loss strategies on their own, but if they are used in combination the results can be faster than many other weight loss methods. And, the good news is that you have likely heard of them both: intermittent fasting and the keto diet.
Intermittent fasting has been popular for years both as a weight loss strategy and as a way to achieve a host of other health benefits.
With intermittent fasting, there is no calorie counting or food restrictions. It’s simply a schedule of when you are eating, with an eating window and a fasting window. From celebrities to your next door neighbor, you have probably seen the impressive results that can happen.
Similarly, the ketogenic diet has been widely popular due to its dramatic weight loss effects. The ketogenic diet (or keto diet) is a low-carb diet that restricts carbs to the point that your body enters ketosis.
This is a process where the body uses ketones (a form of stored fat) for energy instead of carbohydrates. Again, when your body is using up body fat for energy, you are going to see big changes when it comes to weight loss.
But, what makes intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet so special? Unlike many other diets, intermittent fasting is one of the few eating patterns that can be combined with other diets. Since many find success on both keto and intermittent fasting, it’s no wonder that there has been more interest in combining these two popular diets.
Since keto and intermittent fasting essentially have the same goal, the benefits (and results!) can happen even faster. It’s not uncommon for someone to see results in just one week of keto intermittent fasting.
While each individual can experience varying results with any new diet plan, intermittent fasting and keto are definitely “hard hitters’ ‘ when it comes to fat loss.
In this article, we will review what intermittent fasting and keto is, what happens during the first week of keto intermittent fasting, how much weight you can expect to lose, as well as the science behind why keto and intermittent fasting works.
What is Intermittent Fasting?
Let’s start by defining exactly what intermittent fasting is. It’s probably something you have heard of at one point or another since it’s often a “buzz word” in the health and weight loss world.
Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years, but in the last several years the strategy of intermittent fasting has become widely practiced as a way to lose weight and evoke health benefits such as improved insulin resistance, lowering the risk of heart disease, and improved high blood pressure. It’s been known to improve health conditions such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol too.
Intermittent fasting isn’t a list of do’s and don’ts in terms of what you can eat. But, rather it is a form of time-restricted eating where you choose an optimal window of time to consume all or most of your calories.
Typically any foods or drinks that contain a significant amount of calories would break your fast, so drinks such as water, black coffee, and green tea are good choices while in a fasted state.
Periods of fasting can range anywhere from 12 hours to 36 hours at a time depending on what type of intermittent fasting schedule you choose. Below are a few popular types of intermittent fasting:
An intermittent fasting diet still ideally consists of healthy, unprocessed foods for the most part. Many enjoy the food freedom that intermittent fasting can bring since there are technically no “off limit” foods. If you are interested in learning more about what you should eat while intermittent fasting click here.
What is the Keto Diet?
Now that we know what intermittent fasting is, we’ll go over the basics of the ketogenic diet. The keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that works to burn your body’s stored fat as a form of energy. In order for this to happen the body has to enter a state of ketosis from the restriction of carbs (which is 50g or less per day).
The body typically uses carbs or glucose for energy so by limiting carb intake, the body is forced to use up glycogen stores, eventually switching over to using ketones for energy. This metabolic switching can also happen during a fasted state, especially over longer fasts.
Some use keto in combination with a low-calorie diet, but others will replace calories with high fat and moderate protein containing foods.
Sources of healthy fats like avocado, coconut oil, and nuts are encouraged. However, in order to reach the calorie intake that the average person needs, foods such as bacon, butter, and cream cheese may need to be included in a keto meal plan.
Since macros need to be closely monitored in order to stay under the 50g net carbohydrates, it can be challenging at first to know what to eat. For more on what to eat while on keto, check out our 21-Day Keto Meal Plan.
Many of the health benefits of the keto diet are similar to those of intermittent fasting such as improved insulin sensitivity (including lower blood sugar levels), increased mental sharpness, and may even be helpful in the management of a medical condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Some studies suggest its use as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease.
What Happens During Week 1?
Since we now have an understanding of the basics of both intermittent fasting and keto, we’ll walk through what the first week could look like while following keto intermittent fasting.
Day one could be relatively easy or hard, depending on how big of a lifestyle change this is for you. If you have been following either keto or intermittent fasting, the adjustment on the first day may not be a big deal. If this is your first time on keto, you may be enjoying some of the richer foods like bacon, butter, and cream during the first day.
By day two, you could start to feel the effects of your body going into ketosis more acutely. Symptoms such as tiredness, mental fog, headache, irritability, and even nausea can occur with what is known as the “keto flu”.
If you do experience these symptoms, it may be a good time to take it easy from strenuous exercise and focus on rest. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water during this time. These symptoms can last anywhere from day 2 to day 7 depending on how your body reacts.
It can be easy to stop your new diet plan during this time, but it’s important to remember why you wanted to go on this diet in the first place. If symptoms are severe however, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider. By the end of the week, you should be feeling more energized and have noticed some weight loss.
Since both intermittent fasting and the keto diet causes the body to burn stored fat instead of glucose, you may reach ketosis even faster than trying one of the diets alone. Additionally, intermittent fasting can reduce cravings and improve appetite control, making it easier to stick with your plan.
1 Week Keto and Intermittent Fasting Results
Let’s take a look at what results can look like with real-life results after 1 week of keto intermittent fasting.
Sylvie tried keto along with intermittent fasting for the first time as an experiment. While weight loss was not her primary focus, she states she “effortlessly” lost weight.
Within the first few days she lost 4lbs which she attributed to water weight and then lost 2 more lbs over the course of the week. For her, the first two days were easy as she felt high energy levels most of the time.
Days 3-6 were the hardest for her as she experienced what some refer to as “keto flu”. Overall, she had lower energy levels, felt dizzy at times, and could not finish her workouts. By Day 7, she started to feel normal again. You can read more about Sylvie’s journey here.
There are many more anecdotal stories just like Sylvie’s where people have found results with intermittent fasting and keto, even in as little as one week.
But, is there any research to back up these claims? Some studies have found the combination of keto intermittent fasting to be effective with faster weight loss. In one study, participants with obesity followed a very low calorie ketogenic diet for four months and lost 44 pounds, which would average out to about 3 pounds per week.
In another study of adults following a ketogenic diet, faster weight loss, decreased appetite and overall greater body image satisfaction occurred within the first two weeks. Additionally, insulin levels decreased during the study.
There’s no denying that combining intermittent fasting with keto enhances weight loss as it quickly moves your body into a fat-burning metabolic state. Not everyone’s body will react the same way, which is important to keep in mind with some of these results.
If we are looking at the bigger picture of your health and long term health benefits, one week to see results is a very limited amount of time. Your body may need more time to adjust to being in ketosis before actual results can be seen.
While much of the weight lost during the first week can be attributed to water weight, the keto diet is known for preserving muscle mass while dropping pounds.
Also, depending on what your diet consisted of before starting intermittent fasting and keto, a significant decrease in calorie consumption (especially if your calorie intake consisted mostly of carbohydrates) could lead to even more weight loss. Results can also vary based on starting weight, metabolism, and how well you stick with the diet.
Keto intermittent fasting can be a great way to accelerate weight loss and other health benefits for some people. Particularly, if you feel you have plateaued while following one of the diets alone.
While the first week of keto intermittent fasting can bring a noticeable change in your weight, it can also be a very challenging diet to stick with for beginners. As with any diet that limits a major food group (like carbohydrates), it’s important to closely monitor for any nutrient deficiencies and to ensure adequate protein and healthy fat intake.
Each individual may experience different keto intermittent fasting results and it often takes longer than one week to really see if any diet is going to work for your lifestyle long term. Always consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new diet.