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Keto or intermittent fasting? A nutritionist reveals which is better for weight loss

If you’re looking at weight loss diets, you need to know which one is the best to deliver the results you want.
A woman measuring her waist
It's important to hydrate yourself well while following the keto diet. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Nikita Bhardwaj Updated: 13 Oct 2023, 17:06 pm IST
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Keto diet or intermittent fasting–which one to pick for weight loss?

Looks like you are juggling between the most popular weight loss solutions. Well, diet has been one of the most trusted weight loss solutions ever. But, the truth is that you can’t just pick one randomly because everybody is different. The decision needs to be made based on what suits you, rather than what’s trending.

And if you are confused between intermittent fasting and keto, then let Honey Thaker, head nutritionist at Fitness Science & Nutrition,, take you through both of them so that you can make up your mind. 

So, shall we? 

Here’s everything you need to know about intermittent fasting
According to Thaker, intermittent fasting (IF) means limiting your calorie intake for a specific period of time. This diet has its roots way back in history when Greeks and Egyptians used fasting techniques before heading to war. That’s because when you fast, your body releases a hormone called norepinephrine which increases focus, alertness, and energy.

She says:

Intermittent fasting is not exactly a diet but a pattern of eating.

There are different kinds of IFs and the most popular ones are:

  • 16/8, i.e., fasting for 16 hours and eating in the 8-hour window
  • 5:2, i.e., eating normally for 5 days and severely limiting your calories for 2 days
  • Alternate day fasting

So, how does intermittent fasting work?
“This technique works on the formula of when to eat instead of what not to eat”, says Thaker. You have to strictly follow the eating schedule to follow this diet. This helps you manage your calorie intake. Of course, eating nutrient-rich food will help you more than junk if you’re looking at losing weight.

This is what you should eat: Eat more fibre and protein-based food like vegetables, eggs, chicken, fish, tofu, and nuts. Drink a lot of water and have black coffee.

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This is what you should avoid: Junk food and processed food is a complete no-no because they have no nutritional value.

keto diet and intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting needs a lot of discipline. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Who should avoid intermittent fasting?
“If you are in a habit of eating frequent meals, you should not adopt this pattern as limiting calories will be difficult. In fact, you might end up eating junk food which will result in weight gain. Also, people with medical conditions like thyroid and diabetes should avoid intermittent fasting”, suggests Thaker.

Here’s everything you need to know about the keto diet
Keto or ketogenic diet was introduced around the 1920s for treating epilepsy patients. Back then, it didn’t garner much popularity, unlike the situation now. This diet is basically a low or no-carbs diet which is high on fat content. 

This is how keto diet works
Taking this route means no chapati or bread in your diet. A diet low on carbohydrates starts a process called ketosis in your body where your body starts burning fat at a faster pace to keep you energised.

Hence, you tend to lose weight. 

Keto diet and intermittent fasting
Keto diet is equal to high cholesterol. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

This is what you should eat: You have to eat a high fat and low carbohydrate diet which includes cheese, avocado, beef, eggs, fish, coconut oil, nuts, unsweetened coffee or tea.

This is what you should avoid: Rice, pasta, oatmeal, sugary beverages, juices, corn, potato, and alcohol.

Who should avoid it?
“The best thing about a keto diet is that anyone can adopt it because it doesn’t have any major drawbacks. But, if you have liver or kidney issues then you must avoid this diet because in such cases patients are required to eat frequent meals. Just plan this diet well and you are good to go”, she suggests.

The verdict?
Looks like it’s a tie, because our expert says, “Both the diets will lead to weight loss. But, individually, they are both not sustainable. If you give them up, then you’ll gain weight again. Also, with keto, you have to tell your body to eat which is again a negative.”

She continues, “The ideal way is to combine both of them. I would recommend that you start with keto and after a month when your body acclimatizes, make a switch to intermittent fasting. This way, you won’t feel tired which happens a lot in the case of intermittent fasting.” 

So ladies, both the diets are winners when it comes to weight loss. But, it looks like a combination of both will help you lose weight more effectively.

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About the Author

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content. ...Read More

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