It’s been a while since I’ve done a meal post, so I decided to do a write up of my latest way of eating – intermittent fasting combined with the keto diet. Up until the beginning of this month, I’ve been following what I call a keto-ish diet, meaning that I followed a moderate keto diet where I allowed myself up to 50 grams of carbs per day.
Doing a moderate keto diet was definitely working to help me lose inches, but the scale was barely budging. You can imagine how disheartening it is when you strictly follow a diet for very little weight loss seen on the scale. My weight loss journey is ongoing, so I decided to once again tweak my way of eating to boost weight loss beyond losing just inches.
Enter Intermittent Fasting or IF. It turns out that when coupled with the keto diet intermittent fasting (IF) is even more effective for fat loss than keto alone. Since I’ve started doing both, I’ve noticed a steady weight loss of between 1 to 1.5 pounds every week. This may not seem to be a lot to some, but to me, it was a giant leap forward.
For this post, I will show an example of a Keto IF meal plan for a typical day. I’ll first discuss a brief primer of the various schedule a person can following while doing IF then move on to some of the foods I enjoy on a Keto-IF diet.
Intermittent Fasting Schedule
My post on Intermittent Fasting and Keto takes a more in-depth look at combining IF with keto so I won’t get into too much detail here. I’ll just give a brief overview of the types of IF fasting schedules that you can follow. The main idea is to choose a fasting time slot that works best with your lifestyle.
When doing IF you can choose to eat during a four, six or eight-hour window and fast for the rest of the time. The window you choose depends on your own personal daily schedule and goals. I do IF on an 8-hour eating window, meaning that I have my first meal at noon and my last meal by 8 pm. The rest of the 16 hours of my day are spent fasting.
I find this schedule very easy to manage because much of my fast time is spent asleep. I wake up at around 7:00 a.m. so I only spend 5 hours awake during my fast. You would think that I’d experience a bit of discomfort, but that is rare, and if I do feel a hunger pang or two, I just have a glass of seltzer water and I’m good to go.
The main point is, if you decide to try IF, you get to choose the eating window that works best for you. Next up, I focus on describing examples of keto-friendly meals that I have within my 8-hour eating window including breakfast, snacks, and dinner.
I am a creature of habit so I can basically eat the same thing every day without getting bored. I know that others may like to change things up so feel free to check out my recipe page for some ideas. Following are some of the foods and beverages I use for my noon breakfast:
- Coffee with Ripple creamer
- Fresh berries (strawberries being my main choice)
- 2 slices turkey bacon
- 1 fried egg
- Keto Mug Bread or Low Carb Tortilla (made with either Carbalose, Carbquik or THM baking blend mix)
This breakfast usually totals between 500 and 600 calories depending on the low carb flour I use for my low carb bread or tortilla. This is perfect because it sets me up for successfully eating enough calories during my 8-hour eating window.
Lunch or Snack
Since I started IF this month, one of the side-effects I noticed is that I rarely, if ever, feel hungry. This means that by my three o’clock lunchtime, I often forget to eat. This causes me a bit of anxiety because I know I need to get my calories in before the close of my eating window.
Eating when you’re not very hungry is no fun, so I’ve devised a few snack ideas and small lunches to keep me on track. A typical day’s IF lunch or snack may include:
- Snack bowl containing lightly salted mixed nuts, mixed berries, cubed cheese and a handful of olives.
- Salmon or tuna salad with avocado slices
- Mesclun salad with olives, walnuts, berries and a light protein (chicken breast, flaked fish or cheese)
These light snack lunches are just enough to keep me sated without that uncomfortable feeling of being too full. Of course, the sky is the limit with great fresh ingredients anyone can put together for a light meal. Just use your favorite healthy foods to make a satisfying meal that will hold you until dinner.
I have dinner between 6:30 and 7:30 pm and it usually consists of a protein with a side of vegetables. This keeps life very simple for me and dinner is definitely the easiest meal for me to prepare. I make liberal use of frozen vegetables that are quick and easy to prepare after a long day of work. Here are some examples of a typical Keto-IF dinner:
- Air-fried or baked jerk wings with jicama fries and slices of avocado
- Pan-seared lamb chops with a side of garlic-broccoli rabe and tomato slices
- Air-fried or baked king salmon with garlic-roasted asparagus
- Garam-masala spiced ground beef with fresh cilantro with a side of cauliflower fried rice
You get the main idea. I pair my favorite proteins with healthy vegetable sides. There are literally thousands of recipes available on the internet that anyone can use to create their own Keto-IF dinner combinations.
After having dinner, I usually still have between 100 to 300 calories and about 20 grams of carbs remaining for my daily requirement. I use these calories to give myself occasional treats that remain with the confines of being Keto and low carb. I use these calories in the form of simple snacks like:
- Lightly salted mixed nuts with organic dark chocolate chunks
- Pimento-stuffed olives with cheese cubes
- Health bars (only brands with organic and keto-friendly ingredients)
- Keto chocolate mug cake
- Keto ice cream
- Chocolate Keto Fat Bomb
Again, the sky’s the limit when it comes to delicious and satisfying keto snacks. Use your imagination to come up with your own combinations, just make sure that all snacks are within your daily caloric and/or carb range.
Final Thoughts On Intermittent Fasting Meal Plan
Just when I think I’ve found the perfect weight loss plan, up comes another one to tempt me away from my current plan. This would normally hold true to my past pattern, however, I truly believe that my advancement form Keto to Keto-IF is an evolution rather than a switch to the latest fad.
The more I learn about IF, the more I am convinced that autophagy is the ideal way to safely lose excess fat. Autophagy is not concerned with weight loss, it’s concerned with using the time off from digestion to repair the body and “clean up” cellular debris. When we IF we naturally create a deficit of calories that forces our bodies to rely on stored fat for energy.
It never ceases to amaze me just how wonderful our bodies are. When we start feeding ourselves well and when we IF, we form the perfect environment for several health benefits including but not limited to:
- Fat loss
- Reduced inflammation
- Mental clarity
The best part for me is that I find IF to be the easiest weight-loss plan by far! I love and need structure and IF provides that structure by telling me when to eat and when to fast. Add in knowing how much of a calorie deficit I need to lose weight and I eat accordingly. Viola! Automatic weight loss!
I’ll continue this experiment for the rest of the month to see how much I can lose compared to when I was only doing the Keto diet. I have a sneaking feeling though that this will be one lifestyle change I’ll keep. The results are too great to do otherwise.
Do you want to try or have you tried IF and or Keto? Let’s discuss in the comments. Until next time: Happy Eating!