Keto vs Intermittent Fasting – Which Is the Best Low-Carb Weight Loss Method?


Many ways have proven successful regarding weight loss, whether the caveman diet, intermittent fasting, or keto. 

All these diets work well when done correctly; it just depends on your willpower, personal goals, and current state of health and weight. Both diets can significantly improve health. 

During this guide, we will delve into keto vs. intermittent fasting and discover which is more beneficial for losing weight. 

We will also examine the differences between the two diets, what you can eat, and whether you can do both simultaneously. 

So, before we look at how these two diets work together, let’s look at each individually. 

What is Keto?

The ketogenic (or keto) diet involves eating foods high in fat and low in carbs. Making you enter a metabolic condition known as ketosis as a result of your diet.

Once you reach ketosis, your body uses fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. Typically, the body will naturally burn the sugar found in carbohydrates, called glucose.

However, the body will burn fat if there are no carbohydrates in your system. Additionally, ketosis permits the liver to produce ketones from fat, which give your brain energy.

You can learn more about what you can eat on keto here

If you’re thinking of starting a keto diet, you will want to lower your carb intake to around 20–50g per day; once again, this will depend on your current age, weight, and personal goals.

To get your exact carb needs, use a keto calculator.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting means having longer periods between certain meals. One easy way to do this is by skipping a meal, such as breakfast or dinner. 

The good thing about intermittent fasting is that you can make it work to fit your lifestyle; it doesn’t matter what time of day or night you choose to fast as long as you stick to the set fasting hours.

You can fast for 12, 14, 16, or 18 hours. Once again, this is entirely up to you. 

A popular intermittent fasting diet is called the 16:8. you would fast for 16 hours, then eat for 8 hours. When we say to eat for 8 hours, that doesn’t mean constantly eating or overindulging. You would be expected to try to stick within an acceptable amount of daily calories. 

One easy way to do the 16:8 fasting diet is by skipping breakfast and eating between 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. However, again, you can make this work around hours that suit your routine. 

Benefits of Keto

Keto has many benefits besides weight loss; below is a list of reasons people might choose keto over intermittent fasting. 

Fast Weight Loss

Low-carb diets are one of the easiest and quickest ways to lose weight. It’s even faster than trying to lose weight on a low-fat diet. 

People tend to see such rapid weight loss, especially during the first few weeks of keto, because the lack of carbohydrates quickly gets rid of excess water, lowering blood sugar levels. This means that those early days of weight loss were water weight

Studies have shown that people on keto lose 2-3 times more weight in the first six months than those following a low-fat diet. However, after these six months, the progress for both kinds of diets is equal in weight loss. 

Appetite Reduction

One of the primary reasons people fall off the wagon while dieting is hunger. However, research has shown that people on keto feel much less hungry. This is because of the increased protein intake, which keeps you fuller longer. The higher fat content also plays a part in this. 

Reduced Blood Sugar

People with diabetes frequently choose the keto diet because it reduces blood sugar. 

By cutting down on carbs, you can significantly reduce insulin. However, suppose you’re thinking about starting a keto diet with diabetes. In that case, you must discuss this change with your doctor beforehand to discuss any complications that could occur regarding your personal health record.

Treats Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a condition that can lead to health conditions such as diabetes and heart problems. 

Keto has proven to reduce the symptoms of this, which can include significantly:

  • Weight Gain
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Triglycerides
  • Low HDL (good) Cholesterol
  • High Blood Sugar

A keto diet can completely eliminate all of these symptoms. 

Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

While intermittent fasting shares some of the same benefits as keto. For example, intermittent fasting also significantly reduces the chances of developing conditions such as diabetes by lowering insulin. There are some other significant benefits, too; let’s explore those. 

Improved Physical Performance

Research has shown that people who practice intermittent fasting have an increased and improved physical performance quality. This makes fasting a popular diet choice with some athletes or more physically active people. It’s also a great way to maintain muscle mass while losing fat. 

Heart Health

Intermittent fasting lowers blood pressure, which reduces the chance of heart disease. It also lowers the resting heart rate.

Enhances Focus

Recent studies show that people who fast for long periods of the day have significant development in focus, memory, and productivity. 


Intermittent fasting is an effective way of losing weight and, even more so, preventing obesity. Not only can it help to lose body weight, but it also lowers glucose levels and fasting insulin, decreases leptin levels, and increases adiponectin

What are the Cons of the Keto Diet?

Almost every trending diet has pros and cons, so keto vs. intermittent fasting is no different. The ketogenic lifestyle has several benefits, but it’s wise to acknowledge the potential drawbacks as well.

Keto Flu

When you begin the keto diet, your body needs to adapt to ketosis, which gives rise to symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and waves of nausea. These initial side effects are called “keto flu” which typically lasts a few days or a week.

Digestive Issues

Restrictive diets like keto tend to cause digestive issues due to insufficient fiber intake. The low-carb requirement excludes most whole grains from the keto diet, leading to indigestion and constipation.

Nutrient Deficiencies

It can be challenging to balance micronutrients on keto vs. fasting. You must properly plan meals to ensure you consume adequate vitamins and essential minerals. Otherwise, the restrictive nature of the diet may cause nutrient deficiencies over time.

Limited Choices

It can be difficult to keep up with a strict low-carb diet when you’re out and about or traveling. You might not find any keto-friendly options on the menu, which leads to social challenges. Giving up on your favorite fast foods and desserts is hard and disappointing.


Keto-friendly foods like grass-fed meats, avocados, certain oils, and packaged snacks tend to be more expensive than conventional options. With reference to keto vs intermittent fasting, brands that market keto-friendly products aim to sell a glamorized lifestyle.  

Breath and Taste Changes

Some people develop “keto breath,” which is characterized by a fruity odor; it was often compared to the smell of nail polish remover. Additionally, taste changes may occur and affect your palate. It is said that you lose the desire to eat sweet foods, and they may taste sweeter than usual during ketosis. 

What are the Cons of Intermittent Fasting Plans for Weight Loss?

Is intermittent fasting better than keto? To answer this question, it is imperative to compare the probable downsides of each. Despite being an effective weight loss strategy, intermittent fasting, like any other restrictive diet has its shortcomings.

Starter Sickness

Some people may experience side effects like irritability, fatigue, weakness, and headaches when starting intermittent fasting. It appears such symptoms are common in keto diet vs intermittent fasting while the body adapts to the new diet plan.

Severe Hunger Pangs & Cravings

During periods of fasting, it’s common to experience heightened food cravings, which can be challenging and stressful for beginners. It becomes difficult to stay around food without giving in to the urges.

Urges to Overeat

After fasting, many people fail to suppress the desire to binge or overeat during the eating window. This habit ultimately negates the calorie deficit created during fasting and hinders weight loss. Some people may end up developing an eating disorder.

Loss of Muscle Mass

Extended fasting periods without protein intake may lead to muscle loss, which is undesirable for some individuals, especially those aiming to build or maintain muscle.

Keto vs. Intermittent Fasting: Can You Do Both?

Since both diets have become increasingly popular weight loss solutions, a common question has arisen: can you combine intermittent fasting with keto?

So, can you?

The answer to this question is quite simple: yes, and it has a lot of health benefits. 

If you’re pretty active and want to hold on to your muscle mass while losing fat, as well as improving almost every aspect of your health, then combining keto with intermittent fasting will make a considerably noticeable improvement to your health.

Mixing both of these diets is a surefire way to increase your calorie deficit because you are cutting high-calorie carbs and shrinking your eating window. 

Because focus, energy, and physical performance are increased, you’re bound to burn more calories than before, another reason to combine keto with intermittent fasting. 

All these positives put together mean that your body will be in a constant state of fat-burning, resulting in substantial weight loss. 

Keto vs. Intermittent Fasting – The Bottom Line

So, which diet is right for you, keto or intermittent fasting? Or should you combine the two?

It depends on your current state of mind, physical activity, daily lifestyle, and end goal. All these factors can help determine which diet will work best for you. If you don’t want to be restricted on what you can and can’t eat, like with keto, then intermittent fasting is a lot more flexible as you can eat what you like within the given window, 

The other thing that makes intermittent fasting appealing to most people is that you can make the diet work for your routine, whether that’s the 5:2, the 16:8, or the one day on, one day off. 

However, keto could be the way forward if you want faster weight loss results and have the willpower to cut down carbs to a minimum. 

As we’ve established, both diets have many major health benefits, so if you have the stamina, doing both together will see the best results regarding fat loss, energy levels, performance, and health improvements. 

To compare keto to other popular diets to see what works best, you can read about keto vs. Atkins.