Just call them smart carbs.
Putting your body in a state of ketosis—the goal of the ketogenic diet—takes some willpower.
Just in case you need a refresher, a ketogenic diet is a diet based on a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat eating plan. This approach to eating forces your body to break down fat stores into “ketones” (hence the name) for energy.
Scientists are still researching the short- and long-term effects of a ketogenic diet, but some studies are emerging to show a benefit.
In a recent study reported in the journal Nutrition Research, obese men who followed a ketogenic diet for 12 weeks experienced decreased appetite, an average weight loss of 39 pounds, improved physical performance, better brain function, and lower insulin levels.
What’s more, additional research is pointing toward the health benefits of intermittent fasting, including the more extreme ketogenic diet. But can you do both at once?
“To move your body into ketosis, you have to limit carbohydrates to between 5 and 10 percent of total calories or about 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day,” says nutritionist Carolyn Williams, PhD, RD, author of the cookbook Meals That Heal and a contributor to The Men’s Health Guide to Intermittent Fasting. “While that’s a very low carb diet, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the healthy nutrients you need from vegetables.”