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Intermittent Fasting on the Keto Diet - the Most Effective Way for Weight Loss

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  • Intermittent Fasting on the Keto Diet - the Most Effective Way for Weight Loss

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    Today, there are many different diets - and each seems to be exceptional. In fact, many of them are built on a simple fundamental principle - calorie restriction. And there is a scientific basis for this.

    Intermittent fasting in combination with a ketogenic (low-carb) diet is one of the most effective diets for weight loss and health benefits. Keep reading and find out why.






    Facts about intermittent fasting. Fasting and love for sweets

    Intermittent low-carb fasting is one of the most effective diets for weight loss and a powerful tool in the fight against chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

    Its health benefits, which will be discussed below, are the result of numerous internal changes in the body's functioning, one of which is the body's switch from using carbohydrates to fats as the primary source of energy.

    This diet is extremely popular today, widely discussed in scientific circles and at the media level. And there are reasons.

    There are many options for intermittent fasting and as you have already understood, we are not talking about the usual complete refusal of food for a whole day (...thousands of breaths of relief behind the scenes ​).

    The average person today is characterized by a very large consumption of carbohydrates and sugars, which is the main cause of obesity.


    According to statistics in the USA, 85% of the population has impaired sensitivity to insulin - a consequence of very large amounts of sugar in the diet.


    Therefore, some scientists recommend that you practice intermittent fasting every day, and not just twice a week or several times a year. Such a diet can rebuild the body and wean it from the love for sweets.

    It is about daily intermittent fasting as a lifestyle that will be discussed in this article.

    In general, if you have good health (no diabetes, blood pressure is fine, normal cholesterol levels in the blood), you can continue to live as you live. However, doctors like to joke "there are no healthy people.. there are some unexamined ones."

    Following certain principles is the key to success in various areas of life, from morality to ... health. One of the principles concerning nutrition will be discussed later.

    If you learn it and stick to it constantly, it will significantly increase the chances of long-term normalization of weight, as well as health in general.






    The essence of intermittent fasting

    To understand how you can simultaneously fast and eat every day, you need to slightly dive into the basic principles of metabolism.

    There are two main energy stores in our body that store excess calories consumed during the day: fat and glycogen.

    Whatever we do, physical movements of any kind require energy expenditure; even a state of rest when we are motionless is an apparent rest because while the body is alive, processes are constantly taking place inside that require energy recharge - internal metabolism: each cell requires a constant flow of energy to live.


    So, the mechanism for covering energy requests from various organs and systems is as follows: first, glucose (your buns and natural ones) is used, which is in the blood after a meal, after it ends, glycogen is used, then fat.


    On average, it takes about 8-12 hours to burn all the carbohydrates eaten during the day and stored as glycogen. What does this mean?

    The fact that almost none of us ever empty our glycogen stores during the day to start burning fat for energy, since we constantly eat and snack from the moment we get up to sleep. That's why we don't lose weight.

    With this rhythm, the body itself seems to get used to burning sugar first, and not fat. Therefore, after a portion of sweet very quickly again there is a feeling of hunger.


    Important: if you limit the meal time to 8 hours a day, and keep the body in a state of hunger for the remaining 16 hours, this will be enough to use up glycogen and start burning fat. This is the essence of intermittent fasting.


    For those who like to eat, this is not easy, but you will agree that it is much easier than fasting for 24 hours.

    For example, you can select a window from 11 am to 7 pm for a meal: your usual breakfast shifts for a couple of hours, and in the evening the well-known rule “no later than 7 pm” works.

    As a result, we get 16 hours “without food”, which is equivalent to two time intervals needed to empty the stores of glycogen and start using fat = weight loss.

    Does this mean that from 11 am to 7 pm, you can eat anything and in any quantities? Of course not.

    It is important to understand that intermittent fasting is not a diet in the strict sense, but a type of nutrition that uses the features of the functioning of our body to lose weight.


    What we eat as part of this regime determines our health and the effectiveness of weight loss.


    This is primarily about carbohydrates. Their restriction is a central principle of all the most effective diets for weight loss. This is a working principle confirmed by scientific research.

    That is why we consider intermittent fasting in combination with the keto diet as the most effective approach to weight loss.

    The essence of periodic fasting is to limit the time of food intake to 8 hours a day to allow the body to use up all the glycogen and switch to using fat






    Why intermittent low-carb fasting is so effective: mechanism of action



    1. Improves insulin sensitivity


    Periodic fasting has a positive effect on the body's sensitivity to insulin.

    Sugar is a fast source of energy. When there is a lot of it in the diet, it has a bad effect on the sensitivity to insulin, the main function of which is to neutralize blood sugar.

    Impaired insulin sensitivity is the main cause of some chronic killer diseases today: cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer.


    Important: Scientific research suggests that when the body learns to primarily use fat rather than sugar (glucose) for energy, which occurs with intermittent low-carb fasting, the risk of these chronic diseases is significantly reduced.


    Moreover, such a diet can even prevent the development of cancer and be used for its treatment, since cancer cells can not use fat for energy: they feed on sugar!



    2. Reduction of oxidative processes


    Fasting reduces the amount of dangerous free radicals in the cell, which damage proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids inside the cell and are known factors of aging and the development of chronic diseases.



    3. Increasing the ability to resist emotional stress, aging, and disease


    Fasting increases the ability of cells to resist stress (in a similar way to exercise). This is due to changes at the genetic level that enhance the ability to resist stress, disease, and aging.



    4. Increasing the level of growth hormone


    In addition to the fact that intermittent fasting eliminates the desire to eat sweets and fast food, teaching the body to effectively burn fat, modern science confirms many other health benefits.

    For example, in one of the studies presented in 2011 at a scientific conference at the American College of Cardiology, it was shown that fasting stimulates a huge increase in growth hormone: 1300% in women and 2000% in men!


    Growth hormone is sometimes referred to as a fitness hormone, as it plays an important role in muscle growth and weight loss. To enhance these effects, bodybuilders often inject it.


    This fact shows that even athletes can benefit from intermittent fasting (only if proper and full nutrition is provided).

    Recall that a significant increase in the natural level of growth hormone is also promoted by high-intensity interval training, which is considered one of the best exercises for weight loss, much more effective than traditional running, swimming, cycling.



    5. Normalization of insulin and leptin sensitivity

    Leptin is the hormone responsible for feeling full. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates (especially sugar and fructose) may affect sensitivity to its action. The result is uncontrolled hunger - > overeating -> obesity.

    That is why we so often see overweight people chewing a lot.



    6. Normalizing the level of the hormone ghrelin

    The hormone ghrelin is the opposite of leptin: when its level rises, there is a feeling of hunger.

    Obviously, the result is a violation of this mechanism of appetite control (ghrelin levels are high in a full state), as well as overeating and an increase in fat mass.



    7. Reduction of inflammatory processes and the degree of damage from free radicals



    8. Reducing blood triglycerides (cholesterol)



    9. Improving memory function and learning ability



    10. Periodic fasting is also useful for maintaining a healthy intestinal microflora, which is known to determine the health of the body as a whole: immunity is 80% dependent on its condition.






    Intermittent fasting is one of the most effective diets for weight loss.


    Important: at the beginning, it may seem difficult to perform. But as the body switches to using fat (rather than carbohydrates) in the first place, the acute urge to eat characteristic of a carbohydrate diet will disappear.

    Look at the scientists' findings from the experiment, which examined the effectiveness of intermittent fasting for weight loss compared to calorie restriction on overweight women.


    In general, intermittent fasting was found to be more effective in losing weight and increasing insulin sensitivity than regular calorie restriction:

    The experiment was conducted for 3 months; all participants were divided into three groups, in each group the caloric content of the diet was limited to 25% of the usual.

    The first group ate only low-carb food two days in a row a week, the second group ate low-carb and low-calorie food also two days a week; the third - just limited calories.


    Participants in the first two groups who were on an intermittent diet lost twice as much weight as participants in the third group who simply limited calories.


    Besides, a larger percentage of participants in the first two groups lost weight: 65% versus 40% in the third group.”

    When switching to intermittent fasting, it may take from several weeks to months to train the body to launch fat-burning enzymes for active use of fat as energy.






    How long should periodic fasting last?

    Intermittent fasting can be stopped when the weight is normalized. If, of course, there are no problems with blood pressure, cholesterol and you do not have diabetes; if they are present, it is better not to stop.

    In general, intermittent fasting is a great principle for life, if you want to avoid the constant swing " lose weight-get fat” and lose weight forever and without harm to health.






    Intermittent fasting is good for brain health

    Intermittent fasting is effective in preventing brain diseases, particularly Alzheimer's. Dr. Mattson, a researcher at the US National Institute on Aging.

    He is researching the health benefits of intermittent fasting and calorie restriction diets.

    According to Dr. Mattson, fasting for short time periods from 16 to 24 hours provokes a state of mild stress in the body, in which the brain secretes a certain protein (neurotrophic protein) that stimulates the growth and strengthening of neurons and other cells, improving their activity.


    Just as exercise makes the muscles stronger and promotes their growth, fasting makes the brain stronger and also contributes to its growth. Chemicals that are released in the body during fasting can also improve mood.


    One of Dr. Mattson's findings is that fasting stimulates the release of the brain activator protein mentioned above by 50-400% 6, depending on the brain region.

    This protein stimulates the creation of new nerve cells and the release of other chemicals that ensure brain health. It also protects brain cells from changes that are characteristic of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

    Interestingly, the neurotrophic protein also plays an important role in maintaining the functioning of muscle neurotransmitters that provide muscle cell contraction. Without them, muscles are like an engine without fuel.

    Thus, the brain activator protein is involved in both brain and muscle function. This explains why exercise is good for brain health and why the combination of intermittent fasting with high-intensity exercise is very good for health.






    Periodic low-carb fasting: how to get started, a guide


    1. Meal plan


    to start, plan your meal plan so that you only eat food in the 8-hour time window. To do this, you can move breakfast to 11 pm, and dinner to 6 pm or 7 pm. It is forbidden to eat outside of this window.



    2. What you can / can't eat


    Almost completely remove carbohydrates from the diet (pasta, bread, potatoes, sweets, rolls, and all that, you know what we are talking about here​).

    Instead, increase the amount of healthy fats (eggs, meat, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts, butter).

    This diet, combined with periodic fasting, will train your body to burn primarily fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates.


    On average, it takes about two weeks for the body to switch to fat-burning mode. When this happens, you can safely go without food for 18 hours without feeling hungry.


    The hunger that most people experience is just a desire for sweets; it disappears when you switch to using fats for energy in the first place, and not carbohydrates.

    If you are diabetic, pregnant, or a breast-feeding mother, then you should avoid any fasting plan.





    Let's sum up
    • Intermittent fasting is the most effective diet for weight loss and reducing the risk of popular chronic diseases (diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, cancer).
    • The main cause of obesity today is the consumption of too many carbohydrates and sugar. Intermittent fasting can "wean" from cravings for sweets
    • The essence of periodic fasting is to limit the time of food intake to 8 hours a day to allow the body to use up all the glycogen and switch to using fat
    • Intermittent fasting improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, a violation of which occurs when there is an excess of sugar in the diet and is one of the important factors in the development of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases
    • Intermittent fasting is the most effective diet for weight loss (even in comparison with simple calorie restriction); if you take it as a principle of life, you can lose weight forever and without harm to your health
    • Intermittent fasting causes a huge increase in the natural level of growth hormone (by 1300% in women and 2000% in men!), reduces inflammation and harm from free radicals
    • It is very easy to start fasting intermittently: skip breakfast, take the first meal at 11 am, and the last one-no later than 7 pm. The main principle is to eat healthy food in an 8-hour window

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