Keto Diet, Meet Intermittent Fasting

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The science behind ketosis (the basis of the keto diet) is rather simple: when we fast, our livers turn fatty acids into ketone bodies. These ketone bodies then replace glucose as the body’s energy source. This process is called ketosis.

What is the keto diet?

Given the process of ketosis, the keto diet, then, revolves around eating high amounts of healthy fats and low amounts of carbohydrates. This proportion increases the production of ketone bodies while decreasing blood sugar levels. Because blood sugar levels are a variable in the keto diet, it’s incredibly important that diabetics consult with their doctor and/or nutritionist before dabbling in ketosis.

Average daily intake breakdown for keto diet

Average daily intake breakdown for keto diet

This ratio strictly limits carb-intake to 20-25 grams; however, other low carb diets allow for up to 70 grams per day.

Why Keto?

The keto diet leads to a variety of health benefits, like:

  • Improved cognitive function
  • Weight loss.
  • Type-2 diabetes management
  • Obesity
  • Hormonal regulation
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Epilepsy

By lowering LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) levels, ketosis can also help prevent cardiovascular disease.

The high-fat-low-carb eating pattern has another excellent side effect: eating lots of fats keeps you full longer, so you’ll be less tempted to snack throughout the day.

Intermittent Fasting

Unlike dieting, which changes what you eat, intermittent fasting changes when you eat. You can read our last article on intermittent fasting for more details. To summarize, the practice of fasting intermittently gives your body time to move from the fed state to the non-fed state – this transition happens about 12 hours after your last meal.

Your insulin levels are lower in the non-fed state, which makes burning fat easier. This does not happen in the fed state.

If you’re looking for examples of what a day/week of intermittent fasting might look like, you can explore HVMN’s in-depth article.

The intersection of fasting and ketosis

Fasting intermittently on the keto diet is the best way to see real, quantifiable change in fat loss and muscle growth. By combing the high-fat-low-carb keto diet with frequent visits to the non-fed state, you further increase your body’s fat-burning potential.

Carb withdrawal

Lifestyle changes aren’t easy, but the results are worth it. As with all addictive substances, your body goes into withdrawal when you stop feeding your carb cravings.

Some temporary side-effects of transitioning to a keto lifestyle include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, muscle cramps, frequent urination, headaches, and brain fog. These symptoms are collectively referred to as “keto-flu,” and they’re no reason to worry. The effects are transient and easily mitigated by staying well hydrated, well rested, and taking plenty of electrolytes.

You can further ease symptoms of transition by adding Himalayan salt to your water to minimize dehydration, taking Magnesium Glycinate supplements to relax muscles, and by adding potassium-rich foods to your diet to balance electrolytes (avocados are the best option, as they fit neatly into keto guidelines).

Disclaimer

Keto imposes a lot of dietary restrictions, not all of which are indisputably healthy. For example, eating practically no carbs and heaps of animal proteins leads to oxidative stress. Antioxidants combat oxidative stress, but Keto excludes many of the fruits that offer antioxidants.

A good starting balance is 4 days in ketosis, 3 days out of ketosis. The way to make this transition is by incorporating fruits and vegetables with a low glycemic index into your diet on the day you switch states.

It’s crucial to remember that nothing is beneficial in extremes – including keto. Before playing with your metabolism, consult with your healthcare practitioner about what ratio fits you and your macronutrient needs.

Practicing keto-friendly living

Buy organic food as often as possible. EWG publishes a yearly list highlighting the dirty dozen and the clean fifteen groceries that ought to be organic. Avoid foods you are allergic too. If needed, take a food sensitivity test.

Before you start, clear out any and all non-keto foods from your fridge and pantry to make room for the good stuff.

Unfriendly Foods

Friendly Foods

Wheat, barley, quinoa, rice,
and oats
Butter
Beets, carrots, and potatoes Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines)
Turnips and parsnips Lamb, goat, chicken, eggs, & grass-fed beef
Sweet alcoholic drinks Fatty nuts (macadamias, brazil nuts, almonds)
Sweetened tea Cheese
Sweetened coffee Water (with lemon or apple cider vinegar)
Vegetable & fruit juices (bottled or fresh) Coconut milk & almond milk
Sodas and soft drinks Unsweetened tea & coffee

I’ve gone ahead and included some keto smoothie and dinner recipes to get you through the first few days of, “I don’t know what to eat!”

If you are seriously considering integrating ketosis and intermittent fasting into your life, remember that consistency is key. You won’t see results from following any routine for a few days – it can take weeks to months for you to feel different, so use these recipes as a starting point.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with these recipes. You can follow them religiously, or you can experiment – as long as the result is healthy, tasty, and not discouragingly cumbersome, you’ll be alright.


Simple smoothies

If you like smoothies, look for a powerful and easy-to-clean blender (like Vitamix)* to ensure that your smoothies are smooth and blending is streamlined.

Keto Strawberry smoothie:

Almond milk and organic vanilla flavour make the basis of this smoothie. Add overnight soaked chia seeds and some collagen powder for extra thickness.

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy. Serves 2

1.5 cups of almond milk 2 scoops of organic collagen powder
  ½ cup of strawberries 1 Tbsp. of Chia seeds soaked in water
Vanilla to taste

Keto Green smoothie:

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy. Serves 2

2/3 cup organic spinach 1 Tbsp. MCT oil
½ avocado Vanilla to taste
½ tsp Matcha green tea powder Unsweetened coconut milk
2/3 cup of filtered water

Keto Chocolate smoothie:

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy. Serves 2

½ avocado 1 Tbsp. organic almond butter
2 scoops of organic collagen + coco to taste 1 Tbsp. of Chia seeds soaked in water
1 ¼ cups of water ¾ cup unsweetened coconut milk

 

Blueberry Lemon smoothie:

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy. Serves 2

2 cups unsweetened coconut milk/ cream ½ tsp organic vanilla extract
½ cup frozen wild blueberries 1 Tbsp. of Chia seeds soaked in water
1 Tbsp. lemon juice  

Lunch and dinner ideas

Beef Tacos with parmesan shells (serves 4)

Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 10 min

120 gr grass fed beef 2 organic red chili peppers, seeded, chopped
Salt, pepper, seasoning as desired Chopped organic parsley + lettuce
Butter/ olive oil for cooking 1 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Season your meat with desired spices, salt and pepper and let marinate for 5 minutes
  2. Heat skillet with oil or butter until hot
  3. Sear meat until medium or medium-rare and rest on a plate for 15 min.
  4. To make parmesan shells, place ¼ cup of grated parmesan on a non-stick skillet and shape into a circle. Melt over medium heat until melted. Flip over and cook for another 15 seconds. Fold over cylinder while still warm to form shells.
  5. Fill shells with sliced beef, top with chilies, lettuce and parsley. Serve warm.

Keto Cashew Chicken (serves 4)

Prep time: 15 min | Cooking time: 10 min

4 chicken thighs cut into bite size pieces 2 Tbsp. diced onion
3 Tsp olive oil Salt and pepper to taste
½ green bell pepper cut into bite size pieces 2 Tbsp. soy sauce or coconut aminos
1/3 cup of cashews 1 Tbsp. chili garlic sauce
3 cloves of garlic minced 1 ½ Tbsp. sesame seeds
  1. Toast raw cashews in a dry skillet over medium heat for 6-7 minutes.
  2. Remove cashews and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in the same skillet and cook chicken until fully done, 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic and chili garlic sauce, and cook for additional 3 minutes.
  5. Drizzle everything with soy sauce or coconut aminos and add the toasted cashews.
  6. Cook until sticky
  7. Serve immediately sprinkled with sesame seeds

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