An adults. “Research indicates that being overweight,

An Efficient to Weight Loss: Intermittent
Fasting vs. Ketogenic Diet

            In America, obesity is rising, and
it seems unstoppable. It looks as if people would instead do minimal work to
achieve the desired weight goal by changing their diet rather than exercising.
“Overall, 70.7 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, meaning
that an unhealthy weight has become the norm, with normal weight Americans — a
BMI of less than 25 — now in the minority.” (Gunnars). Obesity has been a
rising problem for years, and it continues to grow as obesity is in children
and adults. “Research indicates that being overweight, or carrying excess body
fat, is harmful to long-term health” (Johnstone). The reason that obesity is
rising is due to the available resources that Americans have access too,
“there’s still a huge amount of cheap, accessible, highly processed food
available everywhere almost any time” (qtd. in Gunnars). Many programs target
weight loss, and there are products in the market to guarantee weight loss but
losing weight doesn’t cost a thing. There are different methods to lose weight
that can be done with commitment and will assure better results. There are many
methods to weight loss, some ridiculously unsafe such as the tapeworm diet, and
others are proven to benefit the body. Two of the many techniques determined to
have actual health benefits are intermittent fasting and the ketogenic diet. Therefore,
on the topic of weight loss and obesity, which method (intermittent fasting or
the ketogenic diet) is the better and efficient way to a healthy weight loss?

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“Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern
where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. It does not say anything
about which foods to eat, but rather when you should eat them. There are
several different intermittent fasting methods, all of which split the day or
week into eating periods and fasting periods. Most people already “fast”
every day, while they sleep. Intermittent fasting can be as simple as extending
that fast a little longer” (Gunnars). Recent methods of intermittent fasting include,
16:8 (eating for 8 hours and fasting for 16 hours), 5:2 diet (eating normal for
5 days and restricting two days of the week to eating 500-600 calories),
alternate-day fasting (alternating to eating every other day), the warrior diet
(restricting to eating during the day, 4 hour eating window at night), and meal
skipping. “When you fast, several things happen in your body on the cellular
and molecular level. For example, your body changes hormone levels to make
stored body fat more accessible.” (Gunnars). During the times of fasting, only
beverages such as water, coffee (preferably black), and tea are allowed because
they contain little to no calories. Within the eating window, it is recommended
that the body must be nourished with healthy food rather than processed and
junk food to attain results. Intermittent fasting is seen as a method to weight
loss because it is an eating pattern that helps restrict calories and controls
the portions of food intake.

the other hand, a “ketogenic diet (often termed keto) is a very low-carb,
high-fat diet that…involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and
replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic
state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient
at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which
can supply energy for the brain” (Mawer). “Ketosis is the process where the
body burns ketone bodies for energy. With a regular type, the body’s primary
source of energy is glucose, which comes from eating carbohydrates like bread,
sugars, grains, fruit, or beans and legumes.

carbohydrates from these foods are either used as glucose by the body
immediately or stored as glycogen to be used later. However, if the body has a
low supply of glucose, it must turn into something else for fuel. In the case
of ketosis, that’s fat.” (“Perfect Keto”).

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting
is a useful weight loss tool, most people try intermittent fasting to get the
desired weight goal. Along with losing weight, there are health benefits that
come with fasting. Fasting can result in a reduced of insulin resistance which
may protect against type 2 diabetes. It “may reduce LDL cholesterol, blood
triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood sugar and insulin resistance. These
are all risk factors for heart disease” (Gunnars). “The findings in animals
suggest that ADF alternate day fasting may effectively modulate several risk
factors, thereby preventing chronic diseases” (Johnstone). More benefits
include brain health such as intermittent fasting can help protect from Alzheimer’s
disease and anti-aging. “ADF may be easier to follow and potentially has
greater positive metabolic effects.” (Johnstone).

With benefits come side effects of
intermittent fasting. In order to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle, the
diet should be safe. Many studies showed that hunger is a major side effect
when fasting. Starvation is a huge problem when obtaining weight loss because
of the routine changes. In intermittent fasting, hunger strikes when on the
diet because there is a window of eating and another window of fasting. There
is a starvation mode, in any given case, the consumer does not consume enough
to fuel the body, therefore, affecting the metabolism process. Entering the
starvation mode or experiencing hunger will somewhat lead into mental health
problems and behaviors, “the problem of elevated hunger during food
restriction…may provide too great a challenge to a ‘faster’…a high protein
meal would reduce hunger and promote satiety during energy deficit” (Johnstone
732). A study conducted by “Klempel et al. studied sixteen obese subjects” (Johnstone
731), the results were that the measure of hunger was not prominent that the
“subjects became more satisfied with ADMF after ~4 weeks of diet” (Johnstone
731). In contrary, “the subjects never felt full” (Johnstone 731). Mice are the
closest species to humankind; therefore, they serve a relevancy in conducting
experiments. There are more concerns about intermittent fasting, “studies show
that it causes amenorrhea (a condition where the menstrual cycle ceased) in
women” (Lopez). During the fasting window, fasters depend on water, coffee, and
tea to fulfill the body, “Because intermittent fasting dieters would heavily
rely on coffee to keep hunger pangs at bay, some may develop caffeine
dependence.” (Lopez). When adapting to an eating habit of skipping specific
meals such as breakfast, intermittent fasting may cause an eating disorder.  Fasting can somehow lead to mental illness,
however, there are no studies to support this claim.

“A ketogenic diet is an effective way to lose
weight and lower risk factors for disease. In fact, research shows that the
ketogenic diet is far superior to the recommended low-fat diet. What’s more,
the diet is so filling that you can lose weight without counting calories or
tracking your food.” (Mawer). In ketosis dieting, “ketogenic diet suppress
hunger… and reduced hunger was seen in human subjects on KLC ketogenic
low-carbohydrate diets” (Sumithran 7). Unlike intermittent fasting, “In one
study, reported hunger between groups was significantly lower than at baseline,
and the author raised the possibility that the ketosis experienced by all
groups exceeded a threshold level necessary for hunger reduction” (Sumithran
7). The keto diet was “initially prescribed to epileptic patients for reduction
of seizures in the 1940’s.” (Lopez). “Apart from their use in the treatment of
refractory paediatric epilepsy…case reports and pilot studies have reported
on the beneficial effect of keto diet in several conditions including type 2
diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease,
gastroesophageal reflux, and narcolepsy. In addition, it has been hypothesised
that milk ketosis may be beneficial in certain cancers and neurodegenerative
conditions including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and because of its
effect on glucose, lipids, and obesity, a KLC diet may be an ideal tool in the
treatment of the metabolic syndrome.” (Sumithran 7).  A ketogenic diet may help with acne as “lower
insulin levels and eating less sugar or processed foods may help improve acne”

The ketogenic diet is a safe and efficient
diet, but with benefits comes side effects. Trying to adapt to a new diet will
result in changes physically and mentally; therefore, an individual might
encounter the keto flu. “Keto flu includes poor energy and mental function,
increased hunger, sleep issues, nausea, digestive discomfort and decreased
exercise performance.” (Mawer). These are the side effects of transitioning to
the keto diet. Dehydration can be a problem because of the keto flu, and there
is discomfort in the digestive system which “may lead to constipation and indigestion”
(Lopez). “A ketogenic diet can also change the water and mineral balance of
your body” (Mawer), “If not supplemented with vitamins and minerals, cramps can
happen due to lack of magnesium.” (Lopez). Although there are side effects, it
can quickly be eliminated by taking supplements, which can be beneficial to the
diet itself.

Intermittent isn’t just a ‘fad diet’
portrayed by the mass media; it is a valid strategy for weight loss. In the
article, “Intermittent Moderate Energy Restriction Improves Weight Loss
Efficiency in Diet-Induced Obese Mice,” by Seimon RV et al., illustrates that
intermittent weight loss is an effective in losing weight. In a study conducted
using mice, there were two groups of mice – intermittent diet mice and continuous
diet mice.  The results of the study “show
that moderate energy restriction applied in intermittent bursts of 5-6
consecutive days per week and separated by 1-3 consecutive days of energy
intake resulted in more efficient weight loss than the continuous moderate
energy restriction in diet-induced obese mice.” (Seimon 14). In conclusion,
“intermittent moderate energy restriction may offer an advantage over
continuous moderate energy restriction because it induces significantly greater
weight loss relative to the energy deficit in mice” (Seimon 2).

Intermittent, although effective, “fasting is
a relative ‘quick fix’ to achieve a substantial WL weight loss over a period
of a few week.” (Johnstone 731). “Though some studies do show that intermittent
fasting results in short-term benefits like weight loss, there are few
long-term studies. It’s still unclear what this type of periodic eating does to
eating behaviors, body composition, metabolic rate, and overall health in the
long run. It also hasn’t been confirmed that intermittent fasting has any
advantages over regular daily calorie restriction.” (Butler). Intermittent
fasting does seem to promote weight loss, but hunger is a huge factor. Little
evidence supports the claim that intermediate fasting may be beneficial in
preventing diseases, although some studies have proved that this is the
preferred way for most dieting.

 Ketogenic dieting is more beneficial in
preventing diseases compared to intermittent fasting. According to the article
“Beyond Weight Loss: A Review of the Therapeutic Uses of Very-Low-Carbohydrate
(Ketogenic) Diets” by A. Pauli et al., they state that ketogenic dieting is
used as a therapy that eliminates the need for medication since the 1920s
(789). It has been known to be the best method for obesity treatments over the
years and continues to show evidence in helping potential diseases, such as the
neurological diseases, syndromes, and diabetes. This way of dieting uses the
method of low carbohydrate consumption, reducing the amount of intake of carbs
to lose weight. By integrating this technique for reducing weight, ketogenic
can prolong weight loss for longer. Not only will an individual achieve a
substantial weight loss, but his/her health is also more likely enhanced. For
instance, an individual who has a neurological disorder like the Parkinson’s
disease may find that ketogenic dieting may help improve the brain. Since
Parkinson’s disease affects the motor systems of an individual’s brain, it will
need a higher metabolism rate for the brain to utilize energy for functioning.
Ketogenic diet provides high metabolism rate for the brain to function by
cutting down on carbs. In comparison to intermittent fasting, metabolism rate
is also high but had not been shown to be as beneficial as ketogenic dieting.

After looking through the significant amount
of information on the topic of weight loss, ketogenic dieting is a better
choice for weight loss. In fact, ketogenic is beneficial when it comes to
preventing diseases. As the article, “Beyond Weight Loss: A Review of the
Therapeutic Uses of Very-Low-Carbohydrate (Ketogenic) Diets” by A. Pauli et
al., stated, since the 1920s, ketogenic dieting has been used as a therapy to
eliminates the need for medication (789). Additionally, it has shown to be
beneficial for obesity treatment. Basically, ketogenic dieting is more
beneficial when looking at one’s health because it can help prevent diseases or
decreases the risks of getting diseases and shows excellent results in weight