A keto diet can help expedite your fasting goals
Many find that eating a keto diet can be a great choice to pair with fasting. Together, keto and fasting make for a great pair for prolonging the benefits of fasting and accelerating weight loss.
What is a Keto diet?
A keto diet is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low to extremely low in carbs. By depriving the body of carbohydrates, it is forced to burn fat instead. After just a few days of a keto diet, your body will begin to enter a state of ketosis, or the burning of fat instead of glucose for fuel.
A keto diet combined with many different types of fasting can significantly enhance weight loss, help prevent and fight Type II Diabetes, heart disease, even certain cancers, and a number of chronic conditions.
A keto diet helps to manage insulin levels because it burns through the sugar within your body and instead of replacing it by eating carbs, your body learns to function without it. This can teach your body to stop relying on glucose for energy.
A keto diet can help you lose the weight and improve your body mass index. Having a healthy ratio of body fat to muscle can help the body take in oxygen better, and can therefore enhance exercise.
Should I try a keto diet?
Even though keto is very common and known for the rapid weight loss it provides, it is important to check with your MD before trying it. There are some medications or situations that require the intake of carbohydrates, so it’s important to double check before you begin.
Assuming you get the green light, it can be a wonderful diet to follow. If you maintain a ketogenic diet for at least several months, your body can become fully fat adapted, which will allow you to switch between glucose and ketones for fuel effortlessly.
You will likely see significant weight loss and be able to extend many of the benefits of fasting like mental clarity, increased insulin sensitivity, and reduced inflammation.
If a keto diet is so effective, why doesn’t everyone eat this way?
From a very early age, we were taught that it is necessary to have large amounts of carbs (grains, fruits, and vegetables), some protein, and a very small amount of fat each day. This is what the typical food pyramid touts and because it has been shared widely in many educational and governmental resource. Naturally, many assumed this was the correct answer. But, sadly it seems, the evidence supports a very different one!
Dr. Mark Hyman did a great job of explaining this mistaken health policy in an interview on keto.
The interesting thing was in the 60s, in the 50s, there was a doctor named Ancel Keys who was a scientist who concluded that fat was evil, that it caused obesity, that it had more calories than carbs, and that it actually also led to heart disease.
And so, the research on that was only cause and effect … I’m sorry, the research on that was only showing correlation, not cause and effect. And so the assumption was made based on relatively weak data that fat was the enemy. And in fact scientists related to him were also in the field at the time, Dr. Hegsted and Dr. Stare at Harvard, were funded by the sugar industry to write a report in The New England Journal of Medicine that said sugar’s fine, fat’s bad.
And then the guy who was the author of that paper was paid by the sugar industry, he ended up being the guy who ran our first dietary guidelines, which told us to eat less fat and eat more carbs. That turned into the food pyramid, which was looking like this. Fat and oils on [inaudible 00:02:46] except fats and oils were only at the top here, wasn’t even that much, it was like a tiny little bit.
So the idea was to eat six to 11 servings of bread, rice, cereal and pasta every day. Now, at this point in our culture we understand that seven or 11 servings of bread or pasta is not a health food, and yet that was what our government told us in the 1992 food pyramid, which correlated exactly with the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes in America and around the world. ‘Cause the whole world took on this dietary guidelines advice.
And that has really led to our current crisis of obesity, and carbs were thought to be helpful and fat was thought to be harmful. And then we now have actually increased the sophistication of our nutritional research. We’ve had more data, many more studies, and it’s really clear that fat is not the enemy. In fact, according the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines, they removed any limit on fat, they used to eat less than 30% of your diet as fat or 35% of your calories as fat and if you were, for example, having heart disease they recommended even greater restrictions. Some people said less than 10% of your diet is fat.
And the US government, based on the advice of experts and the Dietary Guidelines Committee, concluded that the evidence for that was not there, and that the evidence that fat was harmful wasn’t there and that we needed to actually change our guidelines. So the new guidelines have no upper limit on total fat in your diet, none.
And they also say to reduce refined sugars and reduce refined carbohydrates. They also eliminated any restrictions on dietary cholesterol ’cause they found it wasn’t linked to heart disease. So all of our past advice is still haunting us and there is still many low fat products on the market. There’s still low fat yogurt, which basically has more sugar per ounce than a can of soda. And we have this meme where people are stuffing egg white omelets and skim milk, and unfortunately it’s not matching the science.
So, this food pyramid has really led to a crisis in our society and a crisis in our economy because of the burden of chronic disease. One in three Medicare dollars are spent on type 2 diabetes. We are seeing one in two Americans, with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. And 90% of people with prediabetes are not even diagnosed. Maybe up to a quarter of people with type 2 diabetes are also not diagnosed.
So this is a huge problem, and the dietary guidelines have shifted, but I think our beliefs have not. And I think people are still enamored with diets that are low in fat. Now it’s changing and there’s a whole movement around paleo and ketogenic diets which I think is concerning in some ways because it sort of misses the bigger picture, and we’re going to talk about that.
What is the “keto flu”:
The “keto-flu” is a common side effect from the keto diet. This is just your body feeling the carbohydrate withdrawal. It is called the “keto-flu” because it has similar symptoms as the flu.
However, the “keto-flu” usually happens as you’re entering ketosis and typically only lasts a few days. Luckily, you only have to experience this rough right of passage once. Essentially, your body becomes efficient at using fat for fuel and it no longer subjects you to the flu like systems.
Here are a few other fasting resources you may enjoy:
- Whole Foods List – A list of foods full of nutrients and meant for your body. Many ketogenic foods are also whole foods like these. Compare the lists to find what works best for you!
- Some of Dr. Jason Fung and Dr. Megan Ramos’ other books: The Obesity Code, The Diabetes Code, and The Cancer Code
- Dopamine as a Superpower in Your Life–This resource is wildly different than what typically appears here. This interview between Anna Lembke (MD at Stanford Medical school) and serial entrepreneur, Tom Bilyeu centers on the benefits of fasting within Lembke’s new book: Dopamine Nation – Finding Balance in the Age of Indulgence.