Why are you not losing weight on intermittent fasting?
You are following all the rules, doing everything right, but the weight just doesn’t want to come off!
In this article, I am going to discuss the most common intermittent fasting mistakes.
To be perfectly honest, I have made a few of them too. And had the same results as you are getting right now.
By correcting some minor things, everything changed, and I was back on track – and so will you.
What is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting or IF is not a diet; it is more accurately described as an eating pattern.
In a day, you are allowed to eat during a specific eating window, usually ranging from 8 to 10 hours. The eating window is followed by a fasting period of 14 to 16 hours.
You should adjust your fasting window to the needs of your body – if not eating for 12 hours seems a long time for you, start there. Those who regularly skip breakfast will not have special problems with a 16-hour fasting period.
No matter what your fasting plan is, you should be seeing some results after a month of fasting.
If your results are very poor or you even gained weight, consider implementing the following suggestions.
Intermittent Fasting Mistakes to Avoid
Intermittent fasting mistakes fall into two categories.
You are either:
- Slowing your metabolism, or
- Not eating right.
Let’s first take a look at mistakes that slow down your metabolism.
Intermittent Fasting Mistakes that Slow Down the Metabolism
1 Fasting Every Day
Although the majority of fasting resources will advise you to fast every day, it may bring you exactly what you do not want: a slower metabolism.
One reason for this is that your body gets used to the fasting routine and adjusts in such a way that the fasting state becomes normal.
Think of times when you go to the gym – if you do the same exercise every day, you will get much worse results after some time than you had at the beginning.
The golden rule is to surprise your body as often as you can – do a 16-hour fast one day, then eat normally the next day. The day when your body is “shocked” should always be followed by a day when everything is as usual.
Another reason is that during your eating window, it is hard to get enough calories, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs if you fast every day. Fasting every other day makes it a lot easier to provide your body with everything it needs for its well-being.
2 Not Eating Enough
During the fasting days, it is very easy to eat too little. Maybe you are not hungry before your 8-hour window finishes and think you will be fine without an additional meal.
Then, a few hours pass, and your stomach starts to rumble. Alas, it is too late.
Such days, especially if you fast every day, can quickly push your body into starvation mode. The body becomes alarmed when it sees how little food it gets and switches on the saving mode. In this mode, you feel tired, hungry; you are cold and your weight does not want to come off no matter what.
The best method to avoid eating too little is to write everything you eat in a day. If you notice that you are not getting enough calories, correct it.
If you do longer fasts occasionally or do intermittent fasting in such a way that keeps your body happy, your metabolism will become faster.
Research shows that fasting accelerates the metabolism – the longer you fast, the faster your metabolism becomes.
However, if you push yourself too much with frequent fasts and your body thinks it is starving, your metabolism will slow down.
3 No Exercise
People often wonder if they should have any exercise during their fasting window or not.
The answer is yes.
When you work out, your body will use fat cells to get the energy needed, especially if it has already used up its sugar reserves. As a result, workouts for fat loss are much more effective during the fasting period.
Another reason is protein loss. During fasting, the body breaks up cells to get energy. It would be ideal if the body used up only fat cells for energy – but the body is not picky, so it likes to pick on protein as well.
However, if you do some kind of weight training, the body will recognize that it needs protein so it will only break up fat cells.
Do not forget to work out during fasting, because you will be burning fat much faster.
For this reason, weight training is very important if you want to have a lean body – it prevents you from losing muscles and targets fat loss.
Since a higher lean mass raises your metabolic rate (that is the amount of energy your body uses only to maintain all the bodily functions), it is one additional reason why you should consider lifting some weights.
Intermittent Fasting Mistakes of Not Eating Right
4 Wrong Way to Break the Fast
What do you usually eat as your first meal after fasting?
If you are anything like I used to be, you will have a feast the moment you are allowed to eat.
Break your fast with some protein.
After a fasting period, your body is extremely insulin-sensitive and your insulin will spike unlike anything you have seen. That is, if you are not careful.
Plus, your food will be absorbed not to a mere 100, but more likely to 150 percent.
For this reason, it is of utmost importance what you eat after a fasting period.
The best way to break your fast is to have a small protein meal first. After an hour, you can have your big meal and it will not harm your figure.
Whatever you do, never combine carbs and fat in your first meal.
Don’t have cornbread with butter, as I used to, for a late breakfast. It will do nothing for your weight loss.
Carbs spike the insulin response and if you have them with fat, the fat will get stored right in your fat reserves.
Right where you don’t want it to go.
5 Coffee with Milk
There are some drinks you can have during your fasting period, and they won’t break your fast.
These are, for example, tea, coffee, and mineral water.
No sugar, no milk, just coffee!
While it makes sense to people that their coffee shouldn’t contain any sugar, they are somewhat confused when it comes to coffee with milk, cream or bulletproof coffee.
Let me remind you that the ketogenic diet is not the same as intermittent fasting. The same rules do not apply to both.
While keto and intermittent fasting make a good combination, your fasting period is very calorie-sensitive.
If you consume any calories during a fast, you will break it.
Therefore, your bulletproof coffee will not only break the fast, but it will also make you gain weight since it has a lot of calories.
Apart from that, as long as you drink plain coffee, you will promote autophagy (the process where good cells eat the bad cells to get energy).
6 Fasting for a Minimum of 16 Hours
This one is really important if you want to see some tangible results.
By definition, fasting starts at 12 hours. At the beginning of your fasting journey, it is a good idea to progress slowly to longer fasts because it will be easier for you. Practice makes perfect, and to get really good at it, start at the beginning.
However, the real benefits of fasting only start at 16 hours and continue up to 34 or 40 hours.
That is why it is a much better idea to fast a few times a week for 16 hours or more than to fast every day for 14 hours.
Intermittent Fasting Mistakes No More
After reading the most common intermittent fasting mistakes, have you spotted yours?
I have certainly noticed mine.
I used to think intermittent fasting only came down to one rule: that there is a time to eat and a time to abstain from eating.
But if you want to understand it fully and see great results, you need to dive deeper.
In order to fully understand intermittent fasting, I recommend that you read Intermittent Fasting Deciphered, a comprehensive guide that will help you discover all the In’s and Out’s of Intermittent Fasting.
You can find a link to it below.