Planning to do intermittent fasting? It’s important to learn how to do intermittent fasting correctly before you start. If you begin practicing intermittent fasting without getting enough information beforehand, you may not reach your wellness goals, or you might even move further away from these goals.
First, let’s accept that intermittent fasting is not suited for everyone. Since every person is unique, the diets observed by every individual will inevitably need to be different to fit their respective needs. As with any diet, it is important to create a routine that makes you feel good if you are intermittently fasting. But sometimes, the routines you create that make you feel good while intermittent fasting might not be helping you reach your diet goals. Alternatively, the new routine might tire you out and put you in a bad mood, making it more than likely that you revert back to your old habits in a short period.
You might be making some commonly-made mistakes while fasting intermittently. These mistakes might be stopping you from reaching your diet goals. Even worse, these mistakes might harm your health unnecessarily, leaving you hungry and thirsty.
In addition to some general tips for fasting intermittently, here are some of the most common intermittent fasting (IF) mistakes you should be careful to avoid:
Not Choosing The Right Plan For Intermittent Fasting
This is one of the most common mistakes you can make while doing IF. There’s no need to make yourself unhappy by forcing yourself to follow a diet that you know will make you feel limited in your life. The most important thing is to make dietary changes that you feel comfortable that you can sustain.
Think about it this way: If you are someone who has three main meals and snacks frequently throughout the day, any fasting program will likely leave you feeling sluggish and make you think about food all the time. This will make it difficult for you to follow this diet and make permanent changes in your daily life. If you are someone who prefers to work at night rather than during the day, it wouldn’t be wise to start fasting at 5:00 or 6:00 pm. Or if you are someone who goes to the gym 4-5 days a week, fasting during the hours you exercise will prevent you from exercising efficiently.
This is why you should choose the right IF plan for you that will lead you to success. First, analyze your lifestyle and schedule, and use that as the basis to choose the right intermittent fasting plan and schedule for you. Your choices should suit your needs. For example, you might choose an IF plan with a shorter fasting period, such as the 12/12 method, if you’re just starting.
Eating Too Much During Your “Eating Window”
Intermittent fasting reduces the time in the day you have to eat, helping you consume fewer calories. But for some people, the restrictive regimen that comes with intermittent fasting might compel them to overeat during the window of time they have allotted for themselves to eat. This can hinder weight loss efforts by causing excess calorie intake during the “eating window”.In fact, some research suggests that restrictive diets may not work because it drives feelings of deprivation, and thus disrupts an individual’s relationship with food and pushes them to overeat.
In addition, when you are fasting intermittently and overeat after a long period, your blood sugar levels suddenly rise, increasing your insulin levels. This can make you feel headaches and tension.
Therefore, it’s important to plan so that you avoid overeating. For example, when you transition into your eating window, prepare yourself a healthy plate and make sure you chew well.
Eating Too Little During Your “Eating Window”
Yes, you heard right. Not eating enough while fasting intermittently can also be a reason why you’re not losing weight!
If you do not eat enough during your eating window while fasting intermittently, your muscle mass will decrease over time, and your metabolism will slow down. You will also feel hungry while fasting, and your mood will be constantly low.
All of this might mean that you harm your ability to burn fat for the rest of your life due to reduced muscle mass.
Therefore, take extra care to eat enough healthy and nutritious foods during your eating window. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables, and an adequate amount of protein and carbohydrates in your diet.
Eating Unhealthy Foods During Your “Eating Window”
Another mistake you can make when doing IF is to eat unhealthy foods during the eating window. When you normalize eating more unhealthy foods while fasting, you won’t be able to achieve your desired weight goals.
If you stuff yourself with foods that spike your blood sugar up and then have a drop in blood sugar during your eating window, you won’t experience the best health effects of fasting, and you’ll also find that your appetite for food increases, making you feel bad.
That’s why you should focus on eating nutritious foods such as leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit during your eating window.
Not Drinking Enough Water When Doing Intermittent Fasting
Drinking enough water is critical when doing IF. Remember, about 70% of your body is made up of water. You need to remind yourself to pay attention to your water consumption while fasting so that you make up for the water you lose during the day.
If you do not drink enough water, you may end up dealing with headaches, hunger pangs, or muscle cramps. Not drinking enough water can also slow down your metabolism, further preventing you from losing weight.
Also, if you tend to drink more coffee while doing IF, it becomes even more important that you drink enough water throughout the day. Have one glass of water every time you drink any coffee or caffeinated beverage. And definitely aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water during the day.