19-Day Ketogenic Diet Fasting Plan and Menu (IF Keto Guide)

19-Day Ketogenic Diet Fasting Plan and Menu (IF Keto Guide)

Let’s talk about a ketogenic diet, or as you may know it “The Keto Diet”. It can improve a multitude of health problems while also helping you lose weight. It’s becoming increasingly popular and I want to tell you why this is no fad diet.

The ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting are the Atkins and 5/2 of our generation. That’s to say, these two diets have seen extreme popularity and the hype around the pair of them has informed (and misinformed) the way that we diet in the 21st century.

With a huge combined reach and cult status in certain areas of the health and fitness world, they’re hard to ignore.

However, how do they work together? What can we expect from pairing the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting (IF)?

Today we’re going to provide all the answers you’re looking for when it comes to effective dieting in the 21st century, as well as how these two landmark diets play together.

Stick with us if you’re looking to make the most of your ketogenic diet and incorporate intermittent fasting, improve your performance, and follow the scientific approach to dieting – with no marketing spin!

What Is The Keto Diet?

“Keep calm and eat bacon!” It’s my new favorite “Keep Calm” meme.

You’re probably wondering what bacon has to do with the equation, and why the hell it’s being mentioned in a book about diets, fasting and weight loss.

So what’s the story?

Two words – ketogenic diet!

A ketogenic diet, AKA a keto diet, is essentially a really low-carb but high in fat diet, in which your body is forced into producing more ketones in the liver. It’s these ketones that are used for energy.

The chances are you’ve at least heard of the keto diet, or perhaps you’ve heard it mentioned under one of its other guises, for example, a low-carb diet, a low-carb high-fat diet, or simply the latter’s acronym the LCHF diet.

Firstly, before we get into the ins and outs of how the keto diet works, it’s important to understand the reason why most people put on weight in the first place is because of carbs – carbs are evil, protein and fat are not!

When you eat anything with a high carb content, your body immediately reacts and produces glucose and insulin. Because glucose is essentially the easiest molecule that your body can convert into energy, it’s considered to be the primary energy source, but even with its “primary” status, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best source of fuel.

The insulin that’s secreted into your body is produced to help process the glucose in the bloodstream and deliver it to where it needs to go around your body.

When your body uses glucose as the number one source of energy, it also means that your fats aren’t needed. What happens to these fats? It’d be nice to think that they just disappear into nothingness because they’re useless, but unfortunately not.

Instead the fat is stored around your body, and in a nutshell, this is what causes you to gain fat and weight.

On a high-carb diet, which the majority of Americans consume, the body will rely on glucose as its primary fuel. Unfortunately, this type of diet accounts for a huge part of an average American’s diet, which is mostly made up of refined carbs.

The average American adult man consumes around 296 grams of carbs in a day with the average American woman consuming around 224 grams, so it’s no wonder that 39.6% of adults over the age of 20 in the US are considered to be clinically obese (Wang et al, 2008).

But when you reduce your carb intake, something magical happens – your body is induced into a fat-burning state called ketosis, but what is this?

In simple terms, ketosis is a natural bodily process that your body will initiate to help you survive when your food intake is lower than normal. Throughout this state, your body produces ketones, which are created when fats are broken down in your liver.

Getting your body into the metabolic state of ketosis is the end goal when following a well-maintained ketogenic diet. Instead of achieving ketosis through starvation of calories, you’re essentially doing it through a starvation of carbs.

You’ve got to give credit where credit is due – your body is awesome, as it’s incredibly adaptive when it comes to what you put inside it. When you take away those carbs and consume more fat, it then starts to burn those ketones as its main fuel source as opposed to burning glucose (Maalouf and Rho, 2009).

And when your body reaches its optimal ketone levels, you’ll begin to reap a plethora of health benefits, which includes fat loss and other physical and mental performance benefits.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Unlike traditional dieting, fasting is relatively easy and unambiguous. People have always done this. And you’ve probably done it too, albeit unconsciously when you skip either breakfast or dinner when you’re too busy or running late.

If we go back to our caveman ancestors, it’s clear that this way of living has been done for thousands of years, as they would often be in a state of fasting while they hunted their next meal.

After the period of the hunter-gatherers, agriculture came, which was quickly followed by civilization. But even still, there were times in which food was scarce or the seasons abruptly changed, and fasting was still very much present.

During that time all people, from the nobles to the peasants, stored grains and cured meats in preparation for the harsh winters. Then, because of the lack of irrigation systems, there was also famine due to the lack of rain, and as a result, people were forced to fast to make their stored goods last as long as possible.

With civilization came religions, many of which included a period of fasting to show their devotion to whichever God or Gods they believed in. For example, Hindus refer to fasting as “Vaasa”, which they strictly observe throughout special festivals to demonstrate their penance or to honor their Gods.

Islam is very similar with the Ramadan celebrations when it’s forbidden to eat and drink during certain times of the day. Fasting is even evident in Catholicism in the six-week lead up to Easter during Lent.

Many people mistake intermittent fasting as a type of diet, which it isn’t. It’s better explained as a dieting pattern or making that conscious choice to miss certain meals. When you purposefully make the choice to fast then feast with intermittent fasting, you usually consume all your calories during a set window.

There are a few different types of intermittent fasting, and sometimes you’ve got to play around with it to see what works for you because like dieting, it’s not one size fits all!

Types of Intermittent Fasting

1. The 16/8 Protocol

The numbers say it all. You fast for 16 hours and then consume your daily calories within a set 8-hour window. Most people choose simple hours to eat, such as from noon to 8 PM; this way your fasting state is through the night while you sleep and you skip breakfast, which when you think about it, it isn’t that hard, especially since breakfast is typically on the go for most people these days.

Other people, who are slightly stricter with their fasting, may choose to eat during a shorter window of time, say 6 or 4 hours.

2. The 5:2 Diet (The Fast Diet)

This way of fasting involves eating as normal for 5 out of 7 days of the week consecutively. On the other two remaining days, you drastically restrict your calories to around 500 a day if you’re a woman and 600 if you’re a man.

3. The 24-Hour Protocol

With the 24-hour protocol, you simply skip two meals in a day and take a break from eating for 24 hours. For example, if you eat on a normal schedule and finish dinner at around 7.30 PM, you wouldn’t eat again until 7.30 PM the next day.

So basically, you’d eat your regular three meals a day, and then from time to time choose a day that suits you to skip both breakfast and lunch the following day.

If you can’t do an entire day’s fast, that’s fine; try doing it for 18 hours, and build your way up gradually until you can manage a full 24 hours.

How many times you do this in a week is entirely up to you. That’s the awesome thing about it! You pick days that fit in with your life and current situation.

4. Alternate Day Fasting

As the name suggests, alternate day fasting requires you to fast every other day. You can either fast completely on your fast days and only consume water, black tea and coffee or you can severely restrict your calories to around 500.

If you’re a newbie, I think doing a full fast every other day is quite extreme, so start off by slashing your daily calorie intake and work your way towards a full day fast every other day.

Personally, I don’t think this is a sustainable form of fasting, as it will require you going to bed hungry a number of times of week; however, it is an excellent way to kick start that fat-burning process again if you hit a weight-loss plateau.

5. The Warrior Diet – Day Fasting

This diet involves fasting all day and feasting during the night within a 4-hour window.
Popularized by the celebrity fitness coach, Ori Hofmekler, this type of diet also emphasizes eating healthier unprocessed food choices.

Therefore, when following a ketogenic diet and doing the Warrior Diet, you’ll have to be a little stricter and cut out any kind of food that is processed, which sadly includes bacon.

Why Intermittent Fasting? What’s The Fuss?

One of my answers to people who ask “Why do you fast? Are you religious?” is “Because it can work for your goals!”

It’s a no-brainer that restricting your calories plays an integral role in weight loss. But here’s the thing – when you fast, you’re making this caloric restriction a walk in the park, especially if you use your sleeping period as a time to fast.

When done correctly, a healthy person can experience consistent weight loss. Here are some other reasons why intermittent fasting is the way forward!

Why Everyone Needs Intermittent Fasting In Their Lives

We’re all crazy busy. Really, is there anyone out there that has time to prepare X amount of meals to eat every 3 hours? If you are one of these people, I take my hat off to you.

When you fast, you only really need to think about the food that you’re going to consume in your eating window. Let’s face it – we’re all so busy and life often gets in the way, so only having to think about what you’re going to eat in a shorter amount of time is one less decision you’re going to have to make on a daily basis.

Eating fewer meals in a window instead of those birdfeed-like ones throughout the day will also mean you can sit back and enjoy bigger portioned meals. You won’t have to worry about hunger because you’ll have eaten enough and you’ll feel satiated. And, guess what? You’ll still have eaten fewer calories than normal.

At the end of the day, IF doesn’t need that much time to prepare. It’ll also probably cost you less. Instead of having to buy food and prepare six individual meals every day, you only need to make two.

Rather than having to stop whatever it is you’re doing six times throughout the day, you’ll only need to do it twice. And if you’re like me, who hates any type of housework (I’m sure my better half would vouch for this), you’ll only need to wash the dishes twice in a day…you get what I’m saying – IF is more convenient and cheaper!

There are also the health benefits of IF that can’t be overlooked. It promotes growth hormone secretion and insulin sensitivity, two essential things for fat loss and muscle gain. So imagine the results when combining IF with a ketogenic diet?

As well as weight loss, IF can help improve your brain health. I for sure have become way more alert, and I’m able to concentrate much better than before, which is something that I’ve always struggled with while following different ways of eating, mostly because I spent the majority of my time feeling hungry and thinking about food while trying to stifle the sounds of my rumbling gut.

Better focus is one thing, but like a ketogenic diet, IF also helps positively counteract serious cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

Intermittent fasting – a summary:

  • It’s convenient
  • Saves money
  • Promotes growth hormone secretion
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • Speeds up weight loss
  • Improves muscle gain and definition
  • Improves focus and concentration
  • Counteracts cognitive diseases

Intermittent Fasting and Keto

When you eat fat and protein, your body is forced to adapt to operate on fat for its fuel as opposed to carbs. Restricting carbs and glucose will help your body convert its fat into ketones, and use them as its primary source of fuel – this process is known as ‘ketosis’, and there are two ways in which your body can enter this state.

The first way is by eating to induce it (i.e. following a keto diet and eating foods low in carbs and high in natural healthy fats) and fasting. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that when you put the two together, it makes a formidable combination for easier weight loss.

When fasting, your body enters a state what is often referred to as a ‘fast period’. During this time, it doesn’t have any source of glucose energy available, and as a result, your liver starts breaking down its fat into ketones; therefore, fasting alone can trigger ketosis.

A lot of experts in the industry recommend fasting for a short period of time (24-36 hours) before starting a keto diet, as it often speeds up the transition, pushing your body into the highly metabolic state of ketosis. And, when you fast intermittently while your body is in ketosis, you can help maintain this state.

Personally, I love fasting, mostly because it’s so simple. I wake up, skip breakfast and then train while still in a fasted state. If you’ve ever visited my home or shadowed me at work, you’ll soon realize that my life is pretty hectic, even crazy, so doing this is just one less decision I have to make.

Keto and IF work really well together for a few reasons, however, the primary one is that following a strict keto eating plan can be quite challenging to start with, so every time you do eat, there’s a slim chance you might get it wrong and inadvertently consume foods that aren’t deemed keto friendly, and as a result, you’re knocked out of ketosis.

Also, newbies following a keto diet are also often tempted to overeat; one because the food is so damn delicious and two, many people that start a keto eating plan have previously struggled with issues such as portion control, which basically means it’s one less chance that we could screw it all up.

This way of eating isn’t a one-size fits all. At the end of the day, it’s you who has to decide what works and what doesn’t work. Just skipping breakfast alone will most likely not be enough for you to become keto-adapted (when your body runs on ketones) alone because your body will still have enough stored glucose left from your carb-filled previous meals.

If you want to use fasting to enter the state of ketosis, you’ll need to fast for a longer period of time until all your glucose stores have been depleted. If you want to use intermittent fasting to help kickstart ketosis, it will have to be combined with an extremely low-carb ketogenic diet to deplete those stored carbs.

What’s my point?

Trust me, I do have one! The moral of the story here is that it’s important for you to try different strategies to get into ketosis and figure out which one is going to work for you and more importantly fit into your lifestyle.

Stage 1: Week 1 (Days 1-5)

Follow the recipes for each day and feel free to mix-and-match your favorites if you don’t like a certain meal. Add a couple of snacks to each day, depending on how hungry you feel and how many calories you should be consuming.

If you’re unsure about how much food you should be consuming, read our keto calories guide and calculate how many calories you should be consuming each day based on your weight loss goals.

Each recipe has the number of servings as well as the number of calories so you’ll be able to calculate how much you should be eating each day.

Pick your preferred style of fasting and allocate the meals into it so that it works for you.

For example, if you were using 16/8 fasting (8:00 PM to 12:00 PM Fasted)

Example Day

  • 6:00 AM – Wake up, coffee/tea with no sugar or milk.
  • 12:00 PM – Meal 1
  • 2:00 PM – Snack
  • 4:00 PM – Meal 2
  • 6:00 PM – Snack
  • 8:00 PM – Meal 3

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Day 4

Day 5

Stage 2: Week 2 (Days 6-12)

Congratulations! You’ve made it through Stage 1’s first 5 days. You’ll find that the recipes for the next 2 weeks are perhaps a little more balanced in the macros. Have fun with it.

Follow the recipes as is or mix and match, if you like. Make the ones you like again and skip the ones you don’t.

Day 6

Day 7

Day 8

Day 9

Day 10

Day 11

Day 12

Stage 2: Week 3 (Days 13-19)

OK, so now you should be getting a good hang of it and I am sure, if you followed the diet to a ’T’, you would have seen results by now. So, let’s hope this keeps you motivated, and to try the recipes we have for you on week 3.

Day 13

Day 14

Day 15

Day 16

Day 17

Day 18

Day 19

Full Snack List

Final Thoughts

Here’s the thing… a keto diet combined with IF can help you kick your ass into gear. It’s not a diet (I actually hate this word, but for argument’s sake I’ll stick to what it’s referred to out there in the big bad world); instead, it’s more of a lifestyle, a sustainable one that’s easy to stick to.

Adhering to an intermittent fasting ketogenic diet, if followed correctly, can help you achieve your weight loss goals. What’s more, it also comes with extra-added health benefits, such as regulating blood sugar levels and helping to prevent some serious diseases such as certain types of cancers and Alzheimer’s.

It’s certainly not as restrictive as many other diets out there. And if you do your research, you’ll soon discover that it’s been around for years unlike many of these other passing diet trends. What’s more, and luckily for us, it can also include an impressive variety of delicious and nutritious foods that will allow you to remain below your net carb limits.

You may or may not be surprised to learn that since I’ve incorporated intermittent fasting into my daily eating habits I’ve managed to not only drop weight but also increase my muscle mass as well.

I’ve also managed to increase my explosiveness when it comes to training, and a few months back I even set a personal best for running, which given my age and my previous sporting achievements when I was younger is pretty damn amazing if I say so myself! I still work out on a regular basis, mainly because I love it, but I’ve also been able to cut down on my training time and still maintain my results.

In other words, I’m a hell of a lot stronger than I once was, I’m also leaner, and I’m much more explosive despite going to the gym as much and eating less. More importantly, I’ve also been able to rid myself of that pre-diabetic label that was looming over me.

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