16/8 Intermittent fasting on keto.
When I first found Keto, I didn’t know anything about fasting, I didn’t know that it was known as a perfect marriage with the Ketogenic diet. The further I got into researching Keto, the more I would read how calorie restriction was used. I would blank it out and think to myself “well that is never going to happen, l love my food too much!” As I got further into this Keto way of life Intermittent fasting just came naturally to me.
Because Ketogenic eating keeps us full, we can go longer and longer periods without eating, we keep our insulin levels low. Insulin, it turns out, in addition to all its other metabolic functions, also operates as an “off” switch for autophagy. When insulin response is triggered, autophagy stops. This is because autophagy is tied to glucagon, which is the hormone that keeps your blood glucose steady when you are fasting or when you’re not feeding your body stuff that raises blood sugar. The glucagon levels in your system trigger autophagy. Insulin, which lowers blood glucose levels by shoving excesses into your cells to be stored as fat, is the biological opposite of glucagon and its release triggers drops in glucagon.
The longer you go without eating (in other words, you are in a fasted state), the longer you have gone without an insulin response, the more glucagon gets floating around your system. Glucagon simultaneously tells the body to begin the process of autophagy and to produce the growth hormones needed to regenerate cells and cell parts that are in need of replacement. As soon as you stimulate insulin release, all of that stops cold.
Intermittent fasting is eating within a certain window of time and then not eating for the rest of the time.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting however, 16/8 is considered the most popular time frame. This is the time frame I choose when I fast.
The windows can vary based on the individual. Someone might only eat within a six-hour window (18/6) or four-hour window (20/4).
- Fasting and Ketosis utilize Ketone Bodies.
- Fasting turns body fat into ketones.
- Ketosis mimics the effects of fasting.
- Fasting has benefits such as ” (as mentioned above). This is the process in the body that deals with the destruction of old, dead and impaired cells. Autophagy seems to peak between the 16 and 24 hour marks during fasting. If you can keep your meals in a 6-8 hour window every day, you’re going to help your body along while it’s performing this necessary maintenance
- Fasting after being in ketosis causes fat to be burned faster.
- Once you are fat adapted and your body is primed to be in ketosis then you fast, your body will go looking for fats to burn. Your body fat is burned in place of dietary fat since there is no food coming in to burn.
Some of the biggest mistakes people make while fasting
- Not getting enough quality, high fat dense foods in. There are also many people that do 16/8 fasting, however, they choose to eat whatever they want, including sugars and foods that are very high in carbohydrates like pastas, rice, bread, biscuits – whatever they want to eat. But I’m all about, anti-aging along with longevity so I am talking about eating a quality, high fat Ketogenic diet.
- At the end of a fast people will most likely make poor decisions on what to eat.
- Any food or drink with a caloric value will cause a spike in insulin because insulin is the hormone that regulates whether you store fat or release it. When you are fasting your metabolism draws energy from stored fat. Misunderstanding the additives added to coffees like cream, almond milk etc. that makes it a food. It will illicit a metabolic response. (Half a tablespoon of low calorie Almond Milk accounts to about 12 calories) – you will be breaking your fast. Your metabolism will stop utilising body fat until the calories are used up.
- Not drinking enough water. A thing called Apoptosis occurs when you fast where your body starts getting rid of dead cells, it starts getting rid of these cells, basically your body does some cleaning up, therefore excreting these dead and unwanted broken down cells, it’s also busy breaking down fat stores while your fasting. Fat stores most toxins your body encounters so when your body is busy trying to release this fat and the damaged cells, it also releases these toxins from the fat storage. Without enough water, your body cannot efficiently transport and excrete what it needs to.
- You need to take in minerals moreso when you are fasting such as salt, magnesium, potassium. Minerals are so critical, especially while your drinking extra water while fasting. You can add salt to your water that you will be drinking throughout the day, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon would be useful.
The Powerful couple
Fasting comes with many benefits
- Higher levels of HGH (human growth hormone) increases by 2000% in men and 1300% in woman
- Reduced free-radical damage
- Lowered risk of cancer when fasting and keto are paired due to the reduction in glucose which is fuel for cancer cells
- Reduced inflammation
- Lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides
- Loss of body fat
- Stable blood sugar
- weight loss without the slower metabolism which is what you get on a calorie reduction diet
Women and Intermittent Fasting
Below is an article from Dr. Josh Axe on Females and Intermittent fasting…
Intermittent fasting can cause hormonal imbalance in women if it’s not done correctly. (5) Women are extremely sensitive to signals of starvation, and if the body senses that it is being starved, it will ramp up production of the hunger hormones leptin and ghrelin.
So when women experience insatiable hunger after under-eating, they are actually experiencing the increased production of these hormones. It’s the female body’s way of protecting a potential fetus — even when a woman is not pregnant.
Of course, though, many women ignore these hunger cues causing the signals to get even louder. Or, worse, we try to ignore them, then fail and binge later, then follow that up with under-eating and starvation again. And guess what? That vicious cycle can throw your hormones out of whack and even halt ovulation.
In animal studies, after two weeks of intermittent fasting, female rats stopped having menstrual cycles and their ovaries shrunk while experiencing more insomnia than their male counterparts (though the male rats did experience lower testosterone production). (6) Unfortunately, there are very few human studies looking at the differences between intermittent fasting for men and women, but the animal studies confirm our suspicion: Intermittent fasting for long periods of time can sometimes throw off a woman’s hormonal balance, cause fertility problems and exacerbate eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder.
But there is a solution …
Crescendo Fasting for Women
Intermittent fasting for women can be hard on your body if you are new to it or if you jump in too quickly. So if you are a woman or trying fasting for the first time, you might benefit from modified — or crescendo — intermittent fasting.
Crescendo fasting only requires you to fast a few days a week instead of every day. My experience is that women get a lot more benefit from doing it this way without accidentally throwing their hormones into frenzy. This is a more gentle approach that helps the body more easily adapt to fasting. And if women do it right, it can be an amazing way to shave off body fat, improve inflammatory markers and gain energy. (7)
Not all women need crescendo fasting, but it will ensure success in most.
Rules of Crescendo Fasting:
- Fast on 2–3 nonconsecutive days per week (e.g. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday)
- On fasting days, do yoga or light cardio.
- Ideally, fast for 12–16 hours.
- Eat normally on your strength training/HIIT workouts intense exercise days.
- Drink plenty of water. (Tea and coffee are okay, too, as long as there is no added milk or sweetener)
- After two weeks, feel free to add one more day of fasting.
- Optional: Consider taking 5–8 grams of BCAAs during your fast. A branched chain amino acid supplement has few calories but provides fuel to muscles. This can take the edge off hunger and fatigue.