keto nutrition wellness modalities Jun 18, 2020

People often shy away from the idea of IF, when they hear the word “fasting.”  


 I get it.  I did too, at first.  


I  was viewing everyone’s IG and FB posts that seemed to be boasting about how long they had gone without eating.  It seemed unnatural and scary to me.  I realize now, that  the reality was , they were probably just holding themselves accountable!


Intermittent means that it doesn’t last indefinitely.  


And, the truth is, we have all done it.  We actually do it every night, while we sleep (unless you’re a sleep eater – you’re not eating for however long you sleep).


 Intermittent Fasting is usually considered anything between 12-36 hours between the last bite of food to the first.  (Or the last calories taken in –coffee with creamer or BPC are often used during fasts – but they are not true fasts).


The easiest way for most of us to implement a fasting routine into our day is by skipping breakfast.  There is no hard and fast rule on this – so if you really love breakfast – perhaps consider skipping dinner. 



There are a lot of benefits that have been associated with a regular intermittent fasting.   While it will be different for every person, here are a few of the common reported benefits:

  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Mood
  • Stable Blood Sugar
  • Improved Digestion
  • Improved Sleep
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved Insulin Sensitivity
  • And…of course, fat loss.



I do not recommend that clients push IF right away, when they are transitioning into keto. 


When I first started, I ate 3 meals a day and life was good, I ate when I was hungry. 


Some people may never need to consciously add a fasting schedule into their routine, in order to see the results that they desire.


 But, even if you find that you are losing weight at the rate you would like, IF is still a good idea for the other potential benefits.  It can be very helpful for fat loss and it is actually good to give your body a break from constantly processing food. 


There is more good news – as you become more fat-adapted (full adaption usual takes 4-6 weeks), you will likely develop a natural IF schedule. 


That doesn’t mean that certain days you may not have to push it (or maybe you choose not to), but it’s important to listen to your body.


When you do not actually feel hungry, simply do not eat.   This makes it easy to adapt to perhaps a schedule of eating that looks like lunch at noon and dinner at 5. 



A lot of people assume that the reason that IF works for weight loss is simply that you are reducing the number of calories you are taking in on any given day.  While this might be slightly true, it’s not the real superpower of IF.


Whenever you eat food your insulin level is going to rise.   It rises the highest when you eat carbohydrates, then protein and just a tiny bit when you eat fat.  But, regardless, insulin is our storage hormone.

So, when we eat and the pancreas is told to release some insulin, it stops our body from continuing to burn our own fat stores for energy.


You see, the reason we are able to survive without eating overnight (for example) is that our body feeds on our “storage” whenever it needs fuel that we aren’t getting from food. 


So, by pushing the fast to at least 16 hours, you are allowing your body to fuel itself by burning your excess body fat. 


The process of breaking down fat cells for fuel is called lipolysis and it stops immediately when insulin is triggered.


So, while you are fasting, your body is literally feeding itself from your own stored body fat.  How cool is that?



There are a lot of options here.  Most people will refer to the time that you are eating as your “eating window.” 


This does not mean that you should eat during the whole window!  It just means that however many meals you plan to eat, should be finished by the time your eating window closes.


Common eating windows are 16:8 (which means 16 hours fasted and eating with an 8-hour period), 8:16, 20:4 and 23:1. 


You are welcome to vary your fasting schedule through out the week.  For example: maybe four days a week, you practice an 18:6 in which you eat two meals in that window.   And maybe the other 3 days you choose to eat only one large meal.  This is often referred to as “OMAD” (one meal a day.).


A common concern is, what if I can’t eat all of my macros in one meal?  This is usually not a problem, because the truth is that if you are trying to lose weight, you don’t require a ton of food in one day. 


I always recommend to clients to focus their plates around a high-quality protein.  It is most important to hit your protein goal consistently.  If you focus around a nice chunk of meat, usually that meat comes with a decent amount of fat, but you are welcome to add a bit if needed.  


Animal proteins tend to be the real superfoods, because they are nutrient-packed, and our body can process the nutrients better than those from plants. 


So, you can add your plant foods to the plate, but I recommend eating the protein first, if you are worried you won’t be able to eat the whole meal.



As mentioned previously, the more fat-adapted a person becomes, the more likely IF becomes a natural part of their day.


I think the best thing you can do is let things happen naturally.  Once you start skipping one meal per day, or just moving your entire eating window, you can start to experiment with shortening your window or reducing number of meals.


Take note of what feels best in your body and go with that.



While there are many health benefits to extended fasts, I do not recommend them.  


If you are interested in longer fasts, it should be for other healing benefits and not for the goal of fat loss.  Please consult with your doctor before trying an extended fast. 


Some people report that fasting for 36 or more hours really helps with weight loss.  This might be true, but my concern with this practice is that it is likely that you will lose some lean body mass.  Protein is what spares your muscles. 



Pretty much any adult can practice intermittent fasting.  Women who are pregnant or nursing should pause their IF but can resume after they have given birth or finished breast feeding. 


Those who have a history of low blood sugar, may want to hold up on trying IF until they are fat adapted.


Anyone who takes medications that require food or those who take fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) should plan their fasting around their medication times.


Children and teenagers should not fast, but they are okay to eat three substantial meals per day. 


Those who are underweight or have Type 1 Diabetes are also not advised to fast.



There are a lot of differing opinions about what will break your fast. 


Some people say that fat will not break your fast, others will say that as long as you take in under 100 calories you will not break your fast.


Technically you will break your fast if you have anything other than water.  Coffee, bone broth and tea are usually okay.  But, do not add sweeteners or creamer to the coffee and tea. 

Contrary to popular belief, BPC will break your fast.  Most BPC comes in at a whooping 400 calories!


Add some high-quality salt to your water or just eat a pinch, if you are feeling a little dizzy.



Dry fasting means that you do not have any liquids during your fast. 


I do not recommend this as it is ultra important to stay hydrated.  Dehydrating your body is not going to help you lose meaningful weight.  And, you probably won’t feel great either.


I respect that some cultures and religions practice dry fasting, so it is 100% based on your own beliefs. 


But, in terms of being successful in your weight loss journey, this is not required, nor will it help.



I covered a little bit of this before.  But there is no hard and fast rule about how many times you can or should eat in your eating window. 


If you are used to snacking, the first goal will be to increase the amount of food you take in per meal and reduce it to three meals a day. 



Intermittent fasting is an intentional break from eating, that should never be used as a punishment for poor food choices.


Disordered eating would be when you are either afraid to eat food or you are punishing your body by withholding food.    If you are are experiencing a need to restrict food because you fear weight gain or some other outcome, please talk to someone before continuing an IF plan.



Yes, and you actually should.


Weight training, while fasted (especially in the morning), is the best way to accelerate fat loss. 


You will want to lift heavy, not light with lots of reps.  Heavy enough that you really feel the difficulty. 


For example: if you are planning on doing ten bicep curls, choose a weight that you are likely to only be able to do ten with. 


The reason it is okay to exercise fasted is that this actually amps up the “feeding on yourself,” by powering your workouts with stored body fat, not macros taken in from your last meal.



I’ve discussed a lot of the most common questions I get asked about IF here.  Hopefully this information helps you get started on an IF protocol.


Remember that this does not have to happen right when you begin to start keto and that it is often easier to allow your body to do the talking.  Once your body because more fat-adapted and adjust to eating real food, it will start speaking a lot more clearly to you.


Stay hydrated.  


And, do not push your fasts too hard or use them as a form of punishment for bad eating.  This is a reward for your body, for how hard it works to keep you going day-in and day-out. 

Happy fasting!



Emmerich, C., & Emmerich, M. (2018). Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Keto Diet. . Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Victory Belt Publishing, Inc. 

Purchase Craig and Maira's Book Here.

Fung, MD, J., & Eenfeldt, MD , A. (2020, April 30). Intermittent Fasting Q and A. Retrieved from
Pilon, B. (2017). My Philosophy on Intermittent Fasting. Retrieved from 







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