Maybe one of the most popular benefits of intermittent fasting is its ability to help individuals not to feel hungry. Other benefits include weight loss, improved mental health and even longevity of life, which are reasons most people want to sign up for it as a lifestyle.
I really believe we can achieve certain health and fitness goals if we stay dedicated to intermittent fasting but some people complain about its inefficacy, which make some of them give up too soon. Well, I researched and discovered that this can truly happen…when you are making some of the mistakes listed below:
Top Intermittent Fasting Mistakes You Must Avoid
- An Excuse to Eat Junks
Some people start intermittent fasting because they need a very quick solution to all their health and fitness problems, as much as it is a very effective way of taking charge of your health, it can never automate the flushing of the junks you take in form of refined sweeteners and other processed foods. It is best practice to eat whole foods and nourish your systems with fruits and other nutritious fresh foods. It is very important to eat very good foods because during the process of autophagy, which is responsible for cleansing your system, damaged components are broken down. This process, which occurs naturally for everyone in a fasted state, the body becomes automatically sensitive to the food in its system and the sensitivity can be bad if the food in the system are nothing but junks that do not goof for the body. The truth is, if you take more nutritious foods, your stomach would not crave for nutrients in form of additional foods – yea, that is what happens when you are constantly hungry.
- Trying to Calorie Restrict During The “Eating Window”
Seriously, guys, you need to stop being strict about your calorie intake. While you are fasting, you can put a clock and weight on it but once you are in your feeding window you can include it in your meals, ones that are naturally embedded in your freshly prepared meals though and not the ones in your unhealthy snacks or in your processed quick fix meals. Experts reminded us that staying away from calories is not healthy from our bodies because lack of them causes unwanted changes in our bodies.
- Overdoing Many Things
Some people try to make up for the number of years they have lived without making any effort to exercise of watch what they eat, so they come into intermittent fasting with the hope to achieve all they have not within a short time frame. They have heard about the wonders of intermittent fasting; they do not want to be left out so they start overdoing things. They fast, exercise, eat less in such an order that is scary. Well, from the research I carried out, doing that can lead to adrenal fatigue for you, physical exercises are great for your body but you should remember that too much of anything is not too good and stress is one of them. If you are new to intermittent fasting, try to take it one step a time, of course, starting with visiting your doctor and staying close to your Dietician.
- Obsessionwith Eating Windows
Hunger occurs every 16-24 hours against popular belief that it occurs every 4 hours – well, that is when real hunger truly occurs in my opinion, not every 4 hours hunger pang you feel and want to eat something. If you didn’t know, one of the lessons intermittent fasting teaches and instils in every adherent is the ability to master when the body really needs food, in essence, your body and not time determines when you should eat. You will never learn what your body is signalling if you keep watching the movement of your clock just so you can know how many hours left before you eat. The 16/8 for instance allows you to have two main meals per day, if you skip your breakfast, you can eat anytime you feel hungry because the fast is not dependent on time. If you check my post on how to curb hunger while interment fasting you will see you do not even need to bother about your hunger pangs at all.
- Poor Consumption of Water
Detoxification is often ongoing in the body of anyone fasting, it is important they leave our systems and of course we can help aid their exit from the body by drinking enough water. Not only would enough intake of water help flush out the toxins in our systems but it would also help in making us feel full during our fasting window.
- Not Tracking Calories Intake
This can be a dauting task for people like me who did not care about counting the number of calories we used to eat before starting intermittent fasting. I mean, carrying every bottle and looking up the number of calories is often a hard work for me but it is an important thing to do and you can use apps like MyFitnessPal if you don’t like looking up numbers like me.
At least three weeks into starting out intermittent fasting, you need to do this for it to become habitual and easily figure out how many calories you are consuming to know how much more you need or how much you need to cut away.
- Low Nutrients Intake
Did you know you should not consume less than 20% fat in order for your hormones to keep functioning well? Calories are important, but so is quality food. You can also try checking out some recommendations for perfect nutrients ratio because most of them are effective. Also note that you can hardly go wrong with consuming vegetables, fruits and water.
- Use of Wrong Strategy
Based on my opinion, I don’t think you can ever find out the best strategy you can use when it comes to intermittent fasting if you do not check your lifestyle first. Do you normally skip breakfast? Are you a late nigh person? Di you snack often? Answering questions like this will help you figure out your best formulae for intermittent fasting…remember it is best to allow your doctor walk you through these kinds of question to avoid biases that can affect your expected results from intermittent fasting. If you are using the wrong strategies, of course you might start feeling like a failure or even lose total interest in it as it becomes more difficult for you to practice. Before you throw in the towel, you might want to revisit your strategy.
- Abstinence From Caffeine
Especially if you are just starting out with intermittent fasting, you might want to consider taking advantage of caffeine during your fast windows. Some Scientists posit that taking caffeine on empty stomach gives you energy surge. However, you might want to be careful about not adding refined sweeteners or cream, they said it’s best to take your coffee or tea black or plain respectively. Also ensure you do not overdrink coffee or tea, anything above 3 cups of coffee is actually going beyond yourself .
- Obsession With Timing and Rules
Just like I stated above if you can successfully prevent sticking to the arbitrary eating and fasting windows, which is a common mistake people make when they are on intermittent fasting. This inadvertently leads to a life devoid of social activities. Intermittent fasting is supposed to help you adopt and maintain a nutritious diet and not just some strict timings meant to be followed to detail. Foe example if you are using the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting, there is nothing wrong with you doing 15/9. Plus, Dieticians have assured us that small irregularities like this do not make any difference.
Anything can be abused and intermittent fasting is not different. Some people the extra mile with intermittent fasting and they become extremists in the process.
Know thyself! If you know you can easily fall into eating disorder because if you are such a person, then intermittent fasting might not be your best option towards achieving any of your health or fitness goals. If you are on intermittent fasting, you need to a self-aware person, as much as you are aware of the benefits of intermittent fasting, so must you consider its demerits to figure if it is what you can do or not. Be careful and make sure that you are consuming enough nutrients as outlined as above. Be self-aware and know if you are the type of person prone to an eating disorder.
You can avoid making the mistakes listed above and even help others with the tips. You can also read further to learn more about different types of intermittent fasting. Do not forget to share with us whatever new knowledge you have that I have not included in this post.