What to expect when you are fasting on a Ketogenic diet?
We often hear that the ketogenic diet mimics the metabolic workings of fasting. It is true! And it is for this reason that it is very effective and easy to fast when you are keto-adapted. But your body’s reactions will be different for you if you are a fat burner (i.e. keto-friendly) or if you are a sugar burner!
During fasting, your blood sugar will tend to be lower, which is a very common drop. As long as it is stable, and accompanied by sufficient ketonemia, it is not problematic at all. It is a normal reaction of the metabolism, because as you eat, you consume the little sugar present in the blood.
What to expect?
In fasting as in intermittent fasting, one often observes glycemia around 3.3-3.9 mmol / L. It may even be lower in some cases.
Be careful, however: It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels throughout the fast. Because for some people, after a few days, blood sugar can get out of control, and start to rise again. Fasting levels that are too high indicate that the body is becoming catabolic again. This means it burns less fat, and engages in gluconeogenesis (it breaks down amino acids in your muscles). It is then best to stop fasting and resume it later, when your blood sugar has stabilized.
To make sure your fat loss, as well as your health, is optimal during the fast, you should measure your levels. You can use a blood glucose and ketonemia meter such as the GK Dual, one of the most reliable in its readings, and the easiest to use.
For ketonemia, it is very common to see it increase during the fast. After a few days, it can rise above the 1.7-3.2 mmol / L range, and stabilize between 4 and 5 mmol / L.
The reason for this is very simple: when you fast, you tend to eat less. Your body senses this change of pace. Also, preventively, it breaks down more fatty acids, and produces more ketone, just in case your metabolism needs it. Rest assured, it’s normal, it’s healthy, and it’s a preventive mechanism in your body! If you’re still of young age, consider refilling blood sugar or ketonemia strips so you don’t break down along the way!
The sensation of hunger
During the fast, and especially during a classic fast, your feelings of hunger may disappear. If blood sugar is stable, and ketone production is sufficient, your body can draw on its stored fat stores to provide fuel for your body. You do not then have to urgently take food!
If you still feel hungry in the last hours of your fast, but are unable to eat at the time, it will be very helpful to use MCT oil. Of course, you break the fast, but you then consume a fuel that is converted very quickly into energy and that your body does not (or little) store. MCT oil, and especially the Ketosene formula of Go-Keto brings you energy, stimulates the metabolism, without generating fatty acid storage. This allows you to extend your fast by several hours while having energy and continuing to burn fat.
All metabolisms are different, and it is not possible to predict the extent to which your metabolism is capable to burn fat with fasting or intermittent fasting.
However, to ensure optimal fat burning, you need to keep an eye on your blood levels and your perceptions. To ensure that your body burns fat properly:
- Be sure that your blood sugar is low and above all stable: carefully monitor your blood sugar and ketonemia during the fast using a blood glucose meter
- If your fasting blood sugar tends to rise above 4.4-4.7 mmol/L, it is likely that your body is engaging in gluconeogenesis, that is, breaking down amino acids to make sugar. This means you are burning less fat, and more muscle. When this happens, there are two solutions:
1) either stop fasting temporarily
2) or continue, but consume more fat to stabilize blood sugar and prevent catabolism. In these cases, MCT oil can be a good solution to burn more fat without too much storage.
- Listen to your feelings of hunger. If you can fast with ease, that’s a good sign. Conversely, if the fast generates strong feelings of hunger or strong cravings for sugar, it is better to stop the fast and resume it at a more convenient time!
Either way, fasting and intermittent fasting are possible and easy on the ketogenic diet, but by no means mandatory! You can completely lose fat and achieve your goals with a well-constructed ketogenic diet, the optimal amount of fat. Don’t hesitate to contact one of our coaches if you need support on this topic!