Bathroom scale to measure weight loss with keto and intermittent fasting

Keto diet and intermittent fasting: should you use both at the same time to lose weight?

Written on January 27, 2023 by Sendra Yang, PharmD, MBA. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

As the new year begins, many people make resolutions to lose weight. Lately, the keto diet and intermittent fasting are two of the most popular ways to trim down weight.

What is the keto diet, and what are the health benefits?

The keto or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that aims to change how the body uses energy [1,2]. It is achieved by drastically reducing your intake of carbohydrates and increasing your intake of healthy fats. The keto diet calls for reducing foods rich in carbohydrates and increasing the consumption of healthy fats and proteins such as olive oil, avocado, nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, and dairy. This diet can help with weight loss, diabetes management, and other health conditions [1,2].

The ketogenic diet aims to induce a state of ketosis in the body [2]. In ketosis, the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. In addition to eating foods rich in healthy fats and proteins, light exercise or physical activity is sometimes integrated into the daily routine. It’s important to note that the keto diet should not be followed for an extended time without close monitoring by a healthcare professional. A keto diet may not be suitable for everyone; people with certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease, should avoid the diet [3].

The benefits of the keto diet include [1-5]:

  1. Weight loss: The keto diet can lead to significant weight loss as the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates.
  2. Improved blood sugar control: The keto diet can benefit people with type 2 diabetes, improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar levels.
  3. Increased energy levels: The keto diet can improve energy levels as the body becomes more efficient at burning fat for energy.
  4. Better brain health: The keto diet shows improved brain function.
  5. Improved heart health: The keto diet may lower the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

What is intermittent fasting, and what are its health benefits?

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting [6,7]. It’s important to note that intermittent fasting is not a diet, it’s a pattern of eating scheduled meals, and theoretically, it can integrate with any type of diet. The most popular method is the 16/8 routine, where you fast for 16 hours and have an 8-hour eating window. Another popular method is the 5:2 regimen, where you eat for five days and restrict calories for the other two days. During fasting, your food consumption is limited to only drinking water, tea, coffee, or other non-caloric beverages.

Intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and other health benefits [5]. The idea behind intermittent fasting is that it increases insulin sensitivity, promotes fat burning, and may improve overall health markers such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels [6,7]. Intermittent fasting leads to a state of ketosis similar to calorie restriction. It’s also important to listen to your body and stop if you feel unwell or have negative symptoms. You should consult a healthcare professional before starting intermittent fasting, especially if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

The benefits of intermittent fasting include [5-7]:

  1. Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss as it helps reduce overall calorie intake.
  2. Improved insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels.
  3. Improved brain function: Intermittent fasting may improve brain function, including memory and focus.
  4. Reduced inflammation: Intermittent fasting can help reduce inflammation in the body, which is associated with various diseases.

Should you use both the keto diet and intermittent fasting at the same time?

Combining a keto diet with intermittent fasting can benefit weight loss, blood sugar control, and overall health [3,5,7-10]. A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that causes the body to enter a state of ketosis. Restricting the eating window with intermittent fasting can lead to calorie reduction and weight loss. Using the two simultaneously may lead to an increased rate of fat-burning and weight loss. The scientific literature indicates an association between weight loss and other health benefits when practicing scheduled fasting and maintaining a keto diet [7-10].

However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to understand the long-term effects of this combination. If you have health conditions, the combination of restricting the type of foods you eat and fasting for weight loss may not be suitable for you. Limiting carbohydrate intake and instituting eating cycles can lead to nutritional deficiencies [10]. Before starting a keto diet and fasting schedule, you should consult your healthcare professional or dietitian [6-10].

Setting nutrition goals, planning ahead, and eating mindfully

Healthy weight loss results from a lifestyle that includes nutritious eating patterns, regular exercise, and successful stress management [11]. If you are thinking about losing weight with the keto diet and intermittent fasting, consult with a healthcare provider and consider setting nutrition goals, adequate planning, and eating mindfully to reach your goal weight.

Planning a keto diet will depend on your individual needs and preferences. You could start by setting a daily nutritional goal (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) based on your personal needs, weight loss goals, and budget. Plan your meals and snacks ahead of time, ensuring a good balance of healthy fats, protein, and low-carb vegetables [11]. Most importantly, you should be consistent with the timing of your meals. Eating at the same time every day can help regulate your metabolism and keep you on track to your weight loss goal [12]. You should be flexible with your schedule and adjust as needed. Use tools to record your food intake, like a food diary or a nutrition tracking app, to help you stay on track. It’s essential to listen to your body and make changes as needed.

Incorporating mindfulness into your intermittent fasting routine can help you be more successful in your weight loss and overall health goals [12]. Start by setting clear and realistic fasting and eating plans. Eating mindfully is the practice of being fully present and aware while eating, paying attention to the sights, smells, flavors, and textures of your food, and noticing your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Listen to your body and eat when you are truly hungry, not just because it is mealtime. Avoid distractions, such as TV screens and smartphones, and focus on your food’s flavors, textures, and smells. By eating mindfully, you can tune into your body’s natural hunger and fullness signals to help you make healthier food choices and improve your overall relationship with food. Reflect on your progress and adjust your goals as needed.

Weight loss with telehealth and Everlywell

Everlywell offers access to telehealth for weight management online, which can connect you with a qualified healthcare provider. You can discuss your weight loss goals based on your availability from the comfort of your home.

How to maintain weight loss after keto

Can I get a weight loss prescription online?

Help with skin issues online

Online help with changes in hair texture


  1. Hallberg SJ, Gershuni VM, Hazbun TL, Athinarayanan SJ. Reversing type 2 diabetes: a narrative review of the evidence. Nutrients. 2019; 11(4):766. URL.
  2. Dashti HM, Mathew TC, Hussein T, et al. Long-term effects of a ketogenic diet in obese patients. Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004;9(3):200-205. URL.
  3. Buehler LA, Noe D, Knapp S, Isaacs D, Pantalone KM. Ketogenic diets in the management of type 1 diabetes: Safe or safety concern? Cleve Clin J Med. 2021;88(10):547-555. doi:10.3949/ccjm.88a.20121. URL.
  4. Kosinski C, Jornayvaz FR. Effects of ketogenic diets on cardiovascular risk factors: evidence from animal and human studies. Nutrients. 2017;9(5):517. doi: 10.3390/nu9050517. URL.
  5. Zhu S, Surampudi P, Rosharavan B, Chondronikola M. Intermittent fasting as a nutrition approach against obesity and metabolic disease. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2020;23(6):387-394. URL. doi:10.1097/MCO.0000000000000694.
  6. Martin B, Mattson MP, Maudsley S. Caloric restriction and intermittent fasting: two potential diets for successful brain aging. Ageing Res Rev. 2006;5(3):332-353. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2006.04.002. URL.
  7. Moro T, Tinsley G, Bianco A, et al. Effects of eight weeks of time-restricted feeding (16/8) on basal metabolism, maximal strength, body composition, inflammation, and cardiovascular risk factors in resistance-trained males. J Transl Med. URL. 2016;14(1). doi:10.1186/s12967-016-1044-0.
  8. Zaki HA, Iftikhar H, Abdalrubb A, et al. Clinical assessment of intermittent fasting with ketogenic diet in glycemic control and weight reduction in patients with type ii diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cureus. 2022;14(10):e30879. doi: 10.7759/cureus.30879. URL.
  9. Lichtash C, Fung J, Ostoich KC, Ramos M. Therapeutic use of intermittent fasting and ketogenic diet as an alternative treatment for type 2 diabetes in a normal weight woman: a 14-month case study. BMJ Case Rep. 2020;13(7):e234223. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2019-234223. URL.
  10. Sripongpun P, Churuangsuk C, Bunchorntavakul C. Current evidence concerning effects of ketogenic diet and intermittent fasting in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver. J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2022;10(4):730-739. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2021.00494. URL.
  11. Losing weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Published September 19, 2022. Accessed January 22, 2023.
  12. How timing of eating affects metabolism and weight gain. National Institutes of Health. URL. Published November 8, 2022. Accessed January 22, 2023.
Everlywell makes lab testing easy and convenient with at-home collection and digital results in days. Learn More