Here’s the top 10 reasons I believe intermittent fasting with a low-carbohydrate/modified ketogenic diet works and may be the best solution for you.
It Started with a Skeptic…
My husband, Brian, and I started our intermittent fasting with low-carbohydrate diet a bit skeptical. One of my closest friends had been doing it for about a year and raved about it. She looks amazing because of it by the way. So many of my Doctor mom friends were doing it. Some of my partners at work were doing it. Medicine was jumping behind it but I was not.
So, why would I be skeptical? Frankly, I did NOT like the idea of fasting. I just didn’t really want to do it. I thought starting it would be torture physically. And I REALLY like food. Giving up food, one of my favorite things in life, for a whole day. Yuck. Who really wants to do that anyway?
Add to that the words “low-carb”. Um, no. I am not, and will never be, the girl who can waltz by a cookie and choose the strawberries instead. A few years ago, my office had a chocolate chip cookie extravaganza to celebrate my birthday after all. Low-carb was not sounding like something I could look forward to.
I Did It Anyway…
As part of my trial through multiple diets to find the best one for patients and my family, I knew I had to start here. I read The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung TWICE before I even started. And, after that, I knew I had to give it a try. And I did not regret that decision. Here’s my top 10 reasons for loving intermittent fasting with low-carbohydrate diet.
Reason #10: The Hormonal Theory of Obesity Makes A Lot of Sense
It is different, that’s for sure. Especially for those of us in medicine. BUT it makes a lot of sense in the end. Looking at obesity as a hormonal issue through increased insulin production and resistance makes way more sense than calories in and calories out.
After all, if it was just about calories, you should be able to calculate your exact weight based off how much you eat each day and your exercise levels. We all know that never works. Our bodies are way more complicated than that. When you start to consider that it is equally when you eat to what you eat, that makes way more sense to explain weight loss.
Reason #9: The Weight Loss is Fast with Great Results
The weight loss is FAST and the results are STELLAR . We did a 3 week trial of am intermittent fasting with low-carb diet. My husband lost 20 lbs and I lost 12 lbs in that short time. And the statistics are accurate. According to Dr. Fung in The Obesity Code, he predicts that you will lose 1.9 lbs daily for the first few days. I lost 1.9 lbs the first day. My husband’s blood pressure dropped from elevated to normal. He also lost 2 1/2 inches of that stubborn abdominal fat. That’s a win.
Reason #8: Intermittent Fasting is Easier than You Think
We chose the 24 hour fasting schedule and I would recommend that for most people. 24 Hours of fasting means you go from dinner one day to dinner the next, not a 24 hour calendar day. That way you know you will have dinner at your normal time each day – and that makes it much easier at first. The first day stinks – especially when your fabulous patient brings you chocolates and your staff has cupcakes in the back. But, it truly gets easier.
With time, the fasting days have actually been easier than non-fasting days for me. I don’t have to negotiate with myself all day long. I just know that I won’t eat until dinner. Make sure to have lots of water, coffee, and tea to avoid dizziness on these days.
Reason #7: You Eat Natural Products
It really just takes you back to eating natural products. You won’t be buying anything too crazy with this diet. No shakes, replacements, or products that you don’t know or understand anyway. My pantry stock dwindled and my fridge exploded with fun colors and tastes. The most out there products we bought were almond flour and chia seeds. We replaced Coke with LaCroix and cookies with fresh strawberries. Yes, I did replace the cookies. And after a few days, it really did fulfill the same urge. Foiled.
Reason #6: It Is Easy to Adjust to Your Needs
It is VERY adjustable to your medications and diagnoses with the help of your Doctor. The biggest concern I typically hear from patients is if they can do this with their specific medical history or medications. Very few people would not be able to do an intermittent fasting with low-carbohydrate diet. If your medication requires food, you typically can take it every day with your evening meal. That’s where the 24 hour fast is ideal. If you are fasting, please check with your Doctor first to come up with a plan for your medications BUT don’t think it is off the table.
Reason #5: You Can Use Your Own Recipes
You can really use many of the recipes you already have. With an intermittent fasting with low-carb diet, there are so many dietary options. In general, you are just going low-carb without snacking and with 3 meals a day on non-fasting days. PLEASE don’t fall into the diet trap where you eat 3 foods and then hate them the rest of your life. Make this work with your life.
My husband is the king of switching to only his diet foods. I will never eat McAlisters salad again because of a diet we did years ago. I ate it nearly every day and now can’t even stomach it. Get out your favorite recipes and figure out a way to make them work. I made omelets, my Mom’s beef stroganoff, kebabs, steaks, etc. It doesn’t have to be the same salad over and over. And you will be more successful if you find ways to work this into your life.
Reason #4: Eating Out Is Pretty Easy
You can eat out relatively easily – this is another of my husband’s favorites. We find one restaurant and, every night, that’s what he wants. We got cheeseburgers lettuce wraps at Freddy’s Frozen Custard, Qdoba and Chipotle bowls without rice, Starbucks bacon and gruyere egg bites, Zoe’s kitchen kebabs and cauliflower bowls, and Chik-fil-A grilled nuggets (though I am definitely going regular next time – the slight carb difference is not worth it).
If you are not a cook, you don’t have to become one now. Ask for “Keto friendly” options. That will look like eggs for most breakfasts, not bagels. Salads or burgers lettuce-wrapped for most lunches. And simply skip the carbs with dinner – leave out the noodles, buns, potatoes, pastas, and bread.
Reason #3: You Don’t Have to Be Perfect to Lose Weight
Many diets, like the traditional ketogenic diet, require consistency to lose weight. Consistency is always good with healthy eating but sometimes can become overwhelming or just not feasible. Then people just quit out of frustration. They figure they can’t be perfect so it’s not worth it. That is not the case with an intermittent fasting with low-carb diet.
You can adjust your fasting days up and down based off your schedule for the week. Your diet is not extremely limited. I did check for ketosis just for personal knowledge. I was in large ketosis the whole time and never focused on drastically increasing fat intake. My husband, on the other hand, showed only trace ketosis and lost A LOT of weight.
This diet is not reliant on one aspect and, with that, gives you wiggle room. You want to lose quicker? Fast more through adding an extra day or going to 30 hours. A week with a holiday? Drop the fasting day. It will still work.
Reason #2: No More Calculating
Yes, you read that right. NO MORE calorie calculations. Use your judgement. My husband, Brian, asked me 3 days in a row, “Are you sure this doesn’t have too many calories?” You are not calculating calories here. You are eating 3 low carb meals a day. That’s it. So easy.
Reason #1: Your Tastes WILL Change
When we started our intermittent fasting with low-carb diet, I knew when my big break would be. The last night was my brother’s wedding shower and my sister was bringing my favorite cookies. And I LOVE cookies. Intermittent fasting with a low-carb diet does one interesting thing, though. Because I cut out added sugar altogether, my tastes really did change. Fruits tasted sweeter and tomatoes so strong. And the cookies, sadly, almost made me sick. I guess that’s a good thing.
Simple Solution: The BEST diet for you is the one you can stick with. An intermittent fasting with low-carb diet makes a lot of sense due to the ease, reasonable cost, and flexibility of schedule. Give it a try.
For More Blog Posts on Intermittent Fasting and Low-Carb Diet, check out: https://doctormome.com/post/should-you-go-low-carb-or-keto/
For More on The Obesity Code, check out: https://www.dietdoctor.com/