Intermittent fasting (IF) is a great way to improve your health once you’re used to following the Keto lifestyle and your body is fat adapted. IF lessens the frequency of insulin spikes, which occur every time you eat, which keeps you in that precious fat-burning mode. Other great benefits to eating less often throughout the day is that you spend less time and money preparing food.
You don’t want to start IF too early when beginning your Keto journey. Your body is going through changes at first, and of course, you are mentally changing how you think about food and beginning to recognize the signals of your body, ie: when you’re hungry versus when you’re bored.
It’s up to you to choose when to begin IF, and if you implement IF at all. But you will most likely see great benefit from IF while following the Keto Lifestyle. Below are some helpful tidbits to help you add IF:
Eating during a 4-hour window and fasting for a 20-hour window (20:4 IF). For instance, you still take your supplements and liquids per usual, but you only consume food between 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M. If you love having dinner with your spouse at 6:30 P.M. but want to keep that 20:4 IF, just move your window to start at 3:00 P.M. and enjoy dinner until 7:00 P.M. Make sure you consume enough of your macros during this window to sustain you, especially fat!
It’s crazy to think you can just wake up and begin a 20:4 IF. I recommend working up to this goal by starting slow, paying attention to your body and making adjustments as needed.
You should now be fat adapted, meaning your body is using fat for energy. This likely takes 2-3 weeks, if you’ve been following a strict Keto lifestyle. You want to make sure you feel that you understand and can listen to the needs of your body. Do you need more or less protein? Do you need more fat? Are you feeling good with 20 grams or less of net carbohydrates per day? Do you know when you’re actually hungry and need food?
Step 1: Stop eating food (or liquid) that totals more than 50 calories by 8:00 P.M. If you struggle with this, you need to add more fat to your last meal. Once you feel comfortable here, you are ready for Step 2.
Step 2: Instead of breakfast, have some Magic Morning Coffee or Bulletproof Coffee. You will be adding a lot of fat still, but we will ween off shortly. So for now, add your heavy whipping cream (HWC), your sweetener, MCT oil and butter. Pay attention to your body and eat your first meal when you’re hungry. If you’re hungry at 10:00 A.M., eat a meal at 10:00 A.M. As you continue, you will see that you will get hungry later and later in the day. In this scenario, your goal is to eat between 1:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M., so when you are able to push back your first daily meal until 1:00 P.M. you are ready for Step 3. This might take 2 days or it might take 2 weeks. Don’t rush it!
Step 3: Now that you’re fasting until 1:00 P.M., you are ready to begin lowering your last meal down from ending at 8:00 P.M. to head towards that 5:00 P.M. goal. Begin lowering from 8:00 to 7:00 P.M.. If that goes well, lower your eating window from 7:00 to 6:00, then to 5:00 P.M. It’s very important to listen to your body. If you’re hungry, eat. Be sure to get as many of your macros in as possible to sustain you for when you aren’t eating. Remember that eating fat will help make you feel more full longer, so you need to bump up the fat during your eating window. This may take a while, 1 week to maybe 3-4 weeks. Each body is different. Listen to your’s and move to Step 4 when you have successfully implemented a 4 hour eating window using the 20:4 IF method.
Step 4: Fine tuning. You are likely still consuming quite a bit of calories in your morning coffee, which will definitely have more than 50 calories. 50 calories is generally considered to take your body our of fast mode…which means it will not be using stored fat for energy. This is when it is time to modify your morning coffee (or tea) to have fewer calories. You can have black coffee or add a 0 calorie Keto-friendly sweetener. You can lower the fat you are adding, less MCT oil and choose either butter or HWC. You can also use unsweetened coconut or almond milk (or even half-and-half) to replace and lower the calories from the HWC. Once you’ve implemented the change to your consumption before your eating window begins, you are now following the 20:4 IF.
As a woman, some days of the month I require more food and more frequent eating that others. I listen to my body and just eat when I’m hungry.
As a human being, I like food and I love my food dates with my husband, especially breakfast dates. So we usually follow a 20:4 IF or 18:6 IF during the work week and enjoy 2-3 meals on the weekends.
What is important above all, pay attention and listen to your body. If you are hungry, please eat something. Instead of having a snack, just eat a meal and follow your macros.
Every body is different. We all have different ailments, diseases and issues. We all have different lengths of abuse that we need to recover from. Listening to your body is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, just know the end goal and slowly transition.
If you find the 20:4 IF is too restricting or just not working for you, then please adjust this to a 18:6 IF or even a 16:8 IF. You can make the adjustments and still make this work for you.
Be patient and love yourself. We’ve spent a lot of time abusing our bodies (even if we didn’t mean to) and it will take some time to get our health back on track.
**I am not a doctor. I am just a regular person sharing my experiences
and what I have learned from my own research.
Consulting your doctor is a good idea and is highly recommended.**