Last Updated on July 4, 2023
Intermittent fasting is becoming a popular trend in the health and wellness community, and for good reason. It involves alternating periods of eating and fasting to help regulate weight, improve metabolism, and even promote longevity. While it may sound like a simple concept, there are many mistakes that people make when trying intermittent fasting.
In this article, we’ll explore the 8 most common intermittent fasting mistakes and provide tips on how to avoid them to support you on your weight loss and health journey.
Skipping meals during non-fasting periods
One of the most common intermittent fasting mistakes is skipping meals during non-fasting periods. This can lead to overeating during the next meal, which can result in weight gain.
To avoid this mistake, eat regular meals during non-fasting periods. You will usually have 2-3 meals that are in line with your fasting plan. Of course, this does not apply to intermittent fasting plans such as the OMAD diet, which only have a 1-2 hour eating window.
Overeating during eating periods
Another intermittent fasting mistake that can lead to weight gain is overeating during eating periods, especially while you’re breaking your fast. This defeats the purpose of fasting and can lead to consuming more calories than you would if you weren’t fasting, as well as causing digestive problems.
Breaking the fast unintentionally
There are several secret breakers of intermittent fasting that can unknowingly disrupt the fasted state:
- Artificial sweeteners: Some artificial sweeteners, like the caloric sweeteners sorbitol, maltitol, and xylitol, despite being low in calories, can still trigger an insulin response and break your fast. Even zero-calorie sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose (Splenda) can stimulate your gut and negatively affect your fasting period.
- Creamers in coffee: Adding creamers or milk to coffee can both introduce calories and activate your digestion and therefore interrupt the fasting period.
- Certain medications and supplements: Certain medications and supplements like protein powder may contain additives or fillers that contain calories or affect insulin levels, unintentionally breaking the fast.
- Flavored water and beverages: Consuming flavored water or diet soda will most likely break your fast, despite being labeled “low or zero calories” as they still contain additives and/or flavorings that can disrupt the fasting state.
Eating too many processed foods
Just because you’re practicing intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want during your eating windows. Whether you’re trying to lose a good amount of weight or to boost your health, unhealthy and processed foods should not be on your plate. Eating junk food can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Processed foods can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, making it more difficult to stick to your fasting schedule. Instead, focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods that are filled with vitamins and minerals, which will provide your body with the energy it needs during your eating periods.
Our “Healthy Eating Habits” article will guide you on your healthy grocery shopping and which macros to choose when preparing your meals.
Following the wrong plan
There are many different types of intermittent fasting, including the popular 16/8 plan, alternate-day fasting, and the 5:2 diet. With so many different options such as the 12/12, 14/10, 18/6, and warrior diet (20/4), there’s an intermittent fasting plan for almost everybody and every need.
It’s important to choose a method that works for you and your lifestyle. If you choose a fasting plan that’s too demanding and difficult to stick to, you’re more likely to make mistakes and give up altogether.
It is also essential to be mindful, well-informed, and diligent in order to avoid unknowingly breaking intermittent fasting. Have a look at our article on Intermittent Fasting Schedules for Weight Loss and get all the help you need from Fasting Kompanion, which guides you to the plan for you and provides you with all the tools you need on your fasting journey.
Not drinking enough water
Not getting enough sleep
You may be thinking, “What does sleep have to do with intermittent fasting?” But sleep is essential for overall health and can affect weight loss efforts. Not getting enough sleep can lead to being stressed and tired during the daytime, which often results in overeating and weight gain.
Elevated stress levels and inadequate sleep can also disrupt hormone regulation and insulin sensitivity, potentially impacting the effectiveness of intermittent fasting.
Get enough sleep each night to help support your intermittent fasting efforts.
Overdoing it with exercise
While exercise is important for overall health, especially for cardiovascular health, overdoing it can lead to burnout and injuries. In addition, because the body’s energy resources are depleted too much, it can cause overeating when you break your fast.
Make sure to listen to your body and avoid over-exercising during fasting periods. Do your intense workouts during your eating window.
To sum up
Remember that the road to becoming healthier and achieving your goals will have its own ups and downs. Don’t stress yourself out. Just try to enjoy your new healthy habits, show compassion toward yourself, and always congratulate yourself for even the smallest achievements.