On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, Jessica and I answer a viewer question who asked, is the keto diet good for fat loss when combined with intermittent fasting?
We also explain the keto diet and discuss if combining keto and intermittent fasting is also good for muscle gain.
This was a question from #AskLiveLeanTV Ep. 010.
@RGGF84 on Twitter asks: Would you go on a keto diet while doing intermittent fasting for fat loss and/or muscle gain (not like a bodybuilder)?
A lot of people think intermittent fasting is a diet, but it is not.
Intermittent fasting is just a way of eating at a scheduled cadence.
Therefore you can combine the keto diet and intermittent fasting.
It doesn’t have to be one or the other.
I’ve covered intermittent fasting a lot, so check out this post on Intermittent Fasting to learn more about it.
When it comes to the keto diet, most people know the keto diet follows a really low carbohydrate approach to eating.
But a lot of you may not know exactly what the keto diet is, its health benefits, and how it works, since I have never fully talked about it in detail.
So before sharing my thoughts on combining the keto diet and intermittent fasting for fat loss and/or muscle gain, let me first provide a little more context on what the keto diet is.
The keto diet, officially known as the ketogenic diet, is best known as a low carbohydrate diet designed for weight loss.
Here’s how the keto diet works.
When following a a typical high carbohydrate, Standard American Diet, the body receives energy from a steady supply of carbohydrates.
These carbohydrates are then digested into glucose.
By following a higher carbohydrate diet, the body primarily burns carbohydrates as fuel for energy.
Since the keto diet drastically restricts the daily consumption of carbohydrates, it causes your blood glucose levels to remain low.
By maintaining lower levels of blood glucose, this creates an increase in the production of an enzyme called hormone sensitive lipase, often referred to as HSL.
The production of this HSL enzyme is important as it helps release stored fat, known as triglycerides.
These triglycerides are then broken down into fatty acids, which are then turned into ketones, by the liver.
The body then uses these ketones for energy.
Today’s general keto diet macronutrient ratios are as follows:
These macro ratios can be slightly modified to fit your needs as some athletes may want to increase their protein macro ratio to 30% of total calories.
However, you have to be careful not to consume too much protein on the keto diet.
When you eat more protein than your body requires, the amino acids from can be turned into glucose.
This is a process called gluconeogensis.
Keto friendly foods high in fat include:
By following these keto diet macronutrient ratios, it will allow your body to use stored body fat as the primary fuel source, while maintaining muscle tissue.
By following a low carbohydrate keto diet, the body becomes more efficient at burning stored body fat for energy, not carbohydrates.
This makes the keto diet a very effective way to lose weight by increasing fat burning and reducing fat storage, while maintaining muscle tissue.
The keto diet helps maintain muscle as it provides the body with just enough amino acids to maintain lean muscle tissue.
Remember, the maintenance of muscle is key for sustainable weight loss.
This keto diet is great for fat loss because it helps:
In addition to the weight loss benefits, the keto diet may also help improve brain health and help lower the risk of cancer and disease via lowering triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Even though the keto diet works for fat loss, it is a really extreme approach to healthy eating.
In order to get to a ketosis state, you have to be following a really low carbohydrate diet, for an extended period of time.
It’s not that we don’t recommend the keto diet. It just may not be the most sustainable solution for most people over the long-term.
Especially if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like restricting your food choices.
Try the keto diet as a short-term goal, and if you can sustain it, definitely continue if your goal is fat loss.
Combining the keto diet and intermittent fasting is an option as it definitely works for fat loss.
As you can see, the viewer added “not like a bodybuilder” in brackets.
Although I’m not 100% sure what that means, if I had to make a guess, I assume he means his goal is to not bulk on a lot of mass.
Rather his goal is to just make lean gains, like I have.
Based on this, I would say no, combining the keto diet and intermittent fasting is not optimal for muscle building.
As mentioned in this post on does intermittent fasting work for muscle building, as well as the section above on the benefits of the keto diet, this combination is definitely better for fat loss.
You know what approach we really prefer for fat loss?
A consistent, slow and steady calorie deficit.
Yes, it will take longer and you won’t see results in one day, but you will see sustainable results over time.
Plus, when you’re doing it right, you can lose weight without extreme constrictions on what you can eat.
Start by taking our FREE Live Lean Body Quiz to get access to the best program specific to your goals, current fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Brad Gouthro is the founder of Live Lean TV, a media company focused on helping men and women “Live Lean” 365 days a year. Brad’s programs and content have helped millions of people all over the world learn how to get in shape, and more importantly, sustain it for life.