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From the experts: Keto versus intermittent fasting

With all the emphasis on physical health and fitness these days, all of us are constantly looking for effective diet plans that can do the trick. With all the options and mixed feedback available, it can be overwhelming for one to decide what’s best for them. Depending on factors such as body type, metabolism, health conditions, genes etc, what works for one person will not work for another so it’s best to do careful research and understand your individual requirements before you proceed to try out any diet.

We spoke to certified nutritionist Nezihe Hussain about two of the most popular regimens these days, the Ketogenic (Keto) diet and intermittent fasting, to better understand what each is about.

The KETO diet

What it entails

Ketogenesis is the biochemical process by which organisms produce a group of substances, collectively known as ketone bodies, by the breakdown of fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids. In simpler words- the keto diet relies on a process in the body that kicks in when the body is “starved” of quick glucose making foods i.e. carbohydrates. The body then uses the fat to produce the ATP molecule that our cells need to survive.

Who should do it

Anyone who has tried calorie counting and working out and not achieved the desired weight loss. Typically recommended for those who are obese.

Pros

The results are faster than other diets and this is very encouraging to those who have not seen results with other plans.

Cons

The human body is a complex system of metabolic cycles and processes. With food intake limited to only fats and protein, the Keto diet slows down the natural metabolism which is designed to digest and utilize all the different food groups.

Intermittent Fasting

What it entails

Intermittent fasting, or intermittent calorie restriction, is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting. Intermittent fasting may produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.

Who should do this

Anyone who wants to maintain their weight and detox on a regular basis.

Pros

It allows all food groups and forces one to hydrate more than normal. As we are in the state of 1st-2nd degree of dehydration at all times, this is beneficial. It also helps in decreasing one’s appetite over time and the person will be less prone to binge eat after regular intermittent fasting.

Cons

As mentioned above, the human body is designed to digest different foods at regular intervals. During long periods of fasting, acid production in the stomach can lead to acidity and reflux. It also puts the body in the FLIGHT or FIGHT mode which results in increased adrenaline production, which in turn can lead to adrenal insufficiency.

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