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By: Maggie Young

The keto diet and intermittent fasting are terms thrown around in the health industry. Before jumping in with a dietary change, it’s important to know the ins and outs about these diets in question. Keep reading to get the rundown on these trendy eating methods.

The Basic Breakdown: The Keto Diet vs. Intermittent Fasting

The main difference between the keto diet and intermittent fasting is that keto is a type of diet and intermittent fasting is a method of scheduling caloric intake. According to Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, a keto diet is generally comprised of 75-90% fat, 5% carbohydrates and the remaining percent is protein. High fat, low carb and moderate protein is the magic ratio behind the keto diet. Inversely, intermittent fasting is taken into consideration when one consumes said fuel.

Matthew Taylor, RD, Ph.D, notes that intermittent fasting is a broad term used to define a period of time in which caloric consumption is restricted to a small intake or no intake at all. There are many ways to divide up the schedule but fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window is one example. In addition, Taylor says that the two may go hand-in-hand and that a keto diet can be followed while fasting.

Potential Effects on Your Workout Sessions

If you’re looking to try keto or intermittent fasting, the consensus is to hold off on high intensity workouts. According to Taylor, studies suggest that alternate-day and partial-day fasting require an adaptation phase of several weeks. After that, people may return to their usual fitness routine. That being said, following a keto diet is not an opportune time to start a rigorous exercise program. As with starting any diet and exercise regimen, it’s important to check in with your body’s response to these changes.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of These Methods

The keto diet is said to host a variety of benefits, like weight loss, but continued research is needed to confirm these claims. Unfortunately, there is the potential for “keto flu,” which occurs as bodies begin to adapt to this low-carb diet. Sass says this can include symptoms such as irritability, brain fog and trouble sleeping. Following a quality diet while fasting intermittently may promote healthy aging.

Overall, there are many benefits to a keto diet and intermittent fasting. But as always please refer to your trusted healthcare provider on which option is safest for you.