Intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet are popular diets for maintaining a healthy lifestyle in today’s world, but which one is better for you? Here’s a quick rundown of each one.
Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular ways to lose weight and stay in good health. Similar to how you’d maintain your home through a routine or how professionals repair asphalt cracks from time to time to ensure smooth roads — it’s done by maintaining a cycle of fasting and eating. There are no restrictions on eating in this type of diet or eating plan, but you’ll have limited time to eat.
Here are three types of intermittent fasting plans:
- The 16/8 Method – This is where you eat within eight hours and fast for the rest of the day.
- The 5:2 Method – This one lets you only consume 500 to 600 calories for two days a week and eat as you would typically do for the rest.
- The Eat Stop Eat Method – This includes 24 hours of fasting. For instance, you begin your fasting from one dinner and continue it until your next one.
Intermittent Fasting Is Beneficial for Losing Weight
Intermittent fasting is generally done to lose weight since fasting helps people eat fewer calories while improving their hormone levels, thus significantly contributing to weight loss. Notably, intermittent fasting can increase the release of the hormone norepinephrine, which is known to burn the fat in our body. Here are the other benefits of intermittent fasting:
- It’s excellent in regulating blood sugar levels as it reduces insulin resistance.
- It can help improve heart health.
- It can reduce the risk of developing cancer.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It helps improve brain health.
- It has anti-aging properties.
The Downside of Intermittent Fasting
There are no significant disadvantages of intermittent fasting — just that it still needs more extensive and long-term studies to truly back up its benefits.
Overall, intermittent fasting can be a relatively safe diet or eating plan to follow. However, there’s currently not enough research to support or “debunk” it. It’s a great course of action for those trying to lose weight, but it’s not ideal for athletes since it can be challenging to fuel and refuel yourself with a set period for eating.
This diet plan can help reduce one’s carb intake and replace it with fats, bringing the body in a “metabolic state,” known as ketosis, hence the name. During this state, the body will become more highly efficient in burning fats and produce energy, turning the fats into ketones, which supply more power to the brain and body.
Here are the four different types of the ketogenic diet:
- Standard Ketogenic Diet – This consists of foods low in carbohydrates, have moderate protein, and are high in fat.
- Cyclical Ketogenic Diet – This requires you to maintain five “ketogenic” days plus two high carbohydrate days.
- Targeted Ketogenic Diet – In this version, you can add more carbohydrates but only around workout sessions.
- High Protein Ketogenic Diet – This is similar to the standard version but with more protein intake. The ratio of food consumption is 60% fats, 35% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.
Losing Weight with the Ketogenic Diet
This diet plan can be beneficial for weight loss, as it aids in lowering the risks of several chronic medical conditions and provides you with the feeling of satiety longer. The ketogenic diet can also help lower blood sugar levels while improving one’s insulin sensitivity, thus making it a helpful diet plan for people with type 2 diabetes. Besides that, here are more benefits of the ketogenic diet:
- It helps reduce the risk of heart disease.
- It can reduce the risk of cancer.
- It’s super effective for polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
- It helps relieve symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.
- It can significantly reduce the chances of getting epileptic episodes among children.
- It aids in recovery from brain injury.
- It’s helpful for acne issues.
The Downsides of the Ketogenic Diet
Although the research around the ketogenic diet is exciting, there’s minimal evidence to show that this kind of diet is effective or safe when done over the long term for anything other than easing epilepsy symptoms. Low carbohydrate diets like this one tend to have more side effects than other diet plans, such as constipation, bad breath, and headaches. Plus, meeting the ketogenic diet’s requirements means you need to cut out several healthy foods, making it challenging to meet your basic micronutrient needs.
While following the ketogenic diet is recommended for specific individuals who have uncontrolled epilepsy, the high-fat content that comes with it combined with its limits on nutrient-rich produce and fruits can be a concern for long-term heart health.
Overall, intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet are generally beneficial for one’s health, especially when it comes to weight loss. However, each one’s effectiveness depends on the person’s body state. That’s why people are always recommended to consult with a professional before starting any diet routine.