The Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting have become trendy over the last few years, and while they have their place, they are not ideal for weight loss. In this episode, Jen explains how the Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting puts enormous pressure on your body systems through deprivation and is not sustainable for the long-term.

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I’m not a fan of the Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting. To dive into why we first need to look at what they are. 

The Keto Diet

Keto is very low carb, high fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low carb diets. You reduce carbohydrate and replace it with fat. 

This drop in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Ketosis is body producing ketone bodies out of fat and using them for energy instead of carbs.

Keto has become a fad in recent years. But a true ketogenic diet is different. A keto plan centres on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. It has a medical place; the challenge is people are using it for weight loss.

There are lots of studies out there that are showing from a weight loss point of view the Keto Diet is not sustainable. While some people will lose weight on the diet, there is also a rise in mood swings, depression, mental confusion and an absolute lack of energy and motivation.

We need carbs on daily – good carbs that is – as they are essential for our brain and the production of our ‘happy hormone’ serotonin. People on the Keto Diet will often be tired and cranky as it puts enormous stress on body organs, it’s just not sustainable.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting supports overall health and wellness. For example, research has shown that regular intermittent fasting supports metabolic, heart, immune, and brain health.

There are different types of intermittent fasting:

  • Time-Restricted Feeding – This is when food consumption is limited to a few hours per day to reduce the number of calories you consume.  
  • 16:8 Method – The 16:8 method is the most popular form of time-restricted feeding. The eating time frame is restricted to eight hours per day, and fasting is required for the remaining 16 hours. Most people only consume two meals during the shortened eating period, which helps limit the total calories consumed. However, eating even one high-calorie meal a day can quickly negate the benefits of this strategy for weight loss.
  • Whole-Day Fasting – As the name suggests, whole-day fasting is the practice of significantly reducing caloric intake for a full day or more. On this plan, you limit yourself to 300 to 500 calories on fasting days.
  • 5:2 Diet  5:2 diet participants eat as they normally would for five days each week, not restricting calories or following a meal plan. The other two days of the week, calorie consumption is limited to 500 calories. 
  • Every-Other-Day Diet – Those who follow this plan normally eat one day and fast the next. On fasting days, no more than 500 calories are consumed. This strategy is likely to help limit calories, but many people may find fasting every other day restrictive and hard to follow.

The bottom line is that all of the are calorie deprivation methods. These put greater strain on your body systems and result in a rise in cortisol – and binge eating.

So, what is the solution?

I have been doing supported intermittent fasting for over 30 years. Naturopathic principles for supported fasting are:

  • Have a rest day
  • Don’t use calorie deprivation
  • Support the body with herbs 
  • Balance hormones like cortisol
  • Stay in your alkaline corridor

Healthy Life Hacks

So, the healthy life hacks I want to leave you with today are: 

  1. If you are doing Keto or Intermittent Fasting check if it is really working and sustainable. Remember, fads are not sustainable.
  2. Check out intermittent supported fasting. See below for a link to what I do. 

Helpful links

Here are the links to the cleansing programs that Jen uses:

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