Fasting is a stress on your body. The keto diet is also a stress on your body. So is exercise. Stressing your body is a good thing as your body overcomes these stresses to gain some incredible benefits. However, too much stress at once can be harmful, and too much cortisol can cause you to gain weight and affect your mood. Women are particularly vulnerable to hormonal imbalances when trying to do too much at once. That’s why I tend to recommend that women get started with intermittent fasting without the keto diet.
How to Practice Intermittent Fasting Without the Keto Diet in 5 Simple Steps
Many women feel amazing doing both intermittent fasting and the keto diet. The most important part is to learn to listen to your body and understand the signals it’s sending you. To be able to do that, it’s a good idea to introduce one piece of the puzzle at the time. Watch and wait, you will see how your body reacts each time.
1. Start With the Keto Diet
In a post about how to practice intermittent fasting without the keto diet, it might seem odd to suggest the keto diet as a first step. Don’t worry! It’s only temporary! In fact, you only have to go keto for one week! The reason I want you to go keto first is it will help you switch to ketones faster when you practice intermittent fasting. You hate counting carbs and trying to figure out your macros? No problem! Try my free 7-day meal plan. However, when you use my meal plan, don’t skip breakfast. Eat two eggs or something else for breakfast. We are not intermittent fasting yet.
If you don’t want to do the keto diet, you can do a modified fast instead. A modified fast is a 5-day low-calorie fast that follows a specific macronutrient ratio as well. It’s based on the work of Dr. Valter Longo and his Fasting Mimicking Diet. Check out my DIY Fasting Mimicking Diet Meal Plan for more help and info.
As you implement your 7-day keto diet or your 5-day modified fast, make sure you go at least 12 hours without food overnight.
2. Fast Four Days This Week
The next step I would recommend is to fast for 20 hours at least (possibility 22, depending on how you feel) four days this week. You can keep up the keto diet if you are happy with it for the time being or reintroduce a moderate amount of carbs. When you practice intermittent fasting without the keto diet, the quality of your carbs matters. Don’t overindulge in carbs and don’t pick the wrong types of carbs.
Types of Carbs to Eat
My favorite sources of carbs are fruits, all veggies, and potatoes hand down. I like to break my fast with the Power Shake, which I often mix with frozen fruit. It is delicious ad has been a game-changer to increase my energy and decrease inflammation (I no longer suffer from headaches and allergies!).
Carbs to Avoid
I would recommend you stay away from gluten-containing grains, dairy, and white sugar at least for a few weeks. After years of being gluten-free and dairy-free, I have found my body can handle some dairy. However, I still have it in moderation only. I have to be careful. Many of us are sensitive to these foods and may not realize it. Avoiding them for a while before reintroducing them is a good idea. It will help you determine if you feel better without them.
4. Evaluate Your Progress
It’s been two weeks now. Have you lost any weight? How are you feeling? Some women do better when they repeat the same thing every single day. You may find that you lose more weight and find it easier to stay consistent when you fast during the same hours every single day. Other women thrive when they have days to enjoy more freedom. When you practice intermittent fasting without the keto diet, the most important factor in your success is not how often you fast, but how long you fast. You need to fast longer. I would recommend a 20-hour fasting window at least on your fasting days.
Fasting Every Single Day
Fasting every single day will allow you to get in fat-burning mode (ketosis) every day. I find that when I am consistent with fasting, I wake up in ketosis (ketones measuring 0.5 mmol/L or more) every morning. That can really help keep up with fasting by decreasing your cravings and your appetite. You might even be able to get away with ingesting some calories in the form of healthy fats. Read How Dirty Fasting Can Help or Hinder Your Progress to decide how strict you need to be with your fasting. Moreover, doing the same thing every day may help you be more consistent and lose more weight.
Fasting Every Other Day
You may have more success with fasting if you know you don’t have to do it every day. We are all different. I am somewhere in between. For a while, I would fast every day except for the weekend. That’s another helpful option.
5- Create a Sustainable Lifestyle
You have to realize that intermittent fasting without the keto diet is a lifestyle. Don’t expect to resume “normal life” once you lose all the weight you set out to lose. After achieving your weight loss goal, you will have to make sure you keep practicing intermittent fasting at least two days a week. Now that I am no longer trying to lose weight, I find that I allow myself to eat before lunch more frequently. However, I have noticed that I feel my best when I keep some longer fasting days (at least 20 hours one day and 16 hours two or three days). If I don’t do that, my cravings return and I start feeling less energetic. That’s why it’s important to listen to your body as you try different approaches.
Intermittent Fasting Without the Keto Diet As a Lifestyle
Once you reach your goal weight and keep practicing intermittent fasting without the keto diet, two main factors will remain important:
- Longer but less frequent fasts: To make sure you achieve ketosis for health and autophagy, longer fasts are essential when you are not keto.
- Moderate amount of high-quality carbs: Don’t waste your carbs on junk food! Choose your fuel wisely.
You can achieve weight loss through intermittent fasting without the keto diet. It’s freeing the have food freedom during your eating window. I wouldn’t do it any other way! Just realize that it may take longer and you will also need to ensure that your fasting window is longer. I found that combining intermittent fasting with keto allowed me to lose weight much faster even though I was breaking my fast earlier during the day. It’s a matter of personal preference and watching how your body reacts to different approaches. Find what works for you. I am cheering you on!