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Home Fasting Intermittent Fasting Failure: 7 Reasond Behind It

Intermittent Fasting Failure: 7 Reasond Behind It

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Last update: Mar 3
Last update: Mar 3
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Intermittent fasting is a popular weight loss strategy that involves alternating periods of eating with periods of staying away from any food. While many people have successfully used this approach to lose weight and improve their overall health, others have experienced intermittent fasting failure.

Despite their best efforts, some people might struggle to stick to the prescribed eating and fasting schedule, experience unpleasant side effects, or fail to see any significant results.

In this article, we are taking a closer look at some of the common reasons behind failure and explore strategies to help overcome these challenges. Whether you’re a professional intermittent faster or just starting out, understanding the potential roadblocks and how to address them can be key to achieving your goals.

7 Common Reasons of Intermittent Fasting Failure: Why It Migh Not Be Working for You?

Intermittent fasting is possibly the easiest weight-loss method you could find. So, why then do so many people fail when it comes to maintaining their fast?

#1 Drinking less water than your body needs

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Even if you’re not fasting, you’re probably not drinking enough water.

During intermittent fasting, it is especially important to keep up your water intake. While your body begins to burn fat, that fat releases everything else that has been stored away within it. This is why many people experience headaches or other symptoms in the first few days of a fast. 

Drinking enough water cleans out your whole system and effectively removes toxins from your body. Water keeps the whole system running smoothly and efficiently.

While doing intermittent fasting, you should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. To achieve that, make sure you drink a glass of water first thing in the morning and before every meal. That’s four glasses already! On top of that, you could get a nice water bottle and set reminders to drink from it every once in a while.

– recommends nutritionist Christine Ellis.

#2 Sabotaging your own progress

You’ve heard it before, “eat whatever you want” or “don’t stop eating your favorite foods” while intermittent fasting. 

This is true, but most of the time, people take this idea a little too far. Sure, you can have a burger once in a while without destroying any progress you made. But having a burger every time you’re in your eating window will negate all the positives of intermittent fasting. 

There’s no way around it – eating healthier, higher-quality foods will make you a healthier, higher-quality person. Sure, you can eat what you want, but you must maintain a balanced diet full of vegetables, whole grains, and good fats. Eliminating processed food and choosing healthier meals will supercharge your fast and will lead to many health benefits.

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#PRO TIP: If you don’t trust your own judgment on what would be considered as ‘balanced nutrition,’ find a meal plan or join a group of people who are also doing intermittent fasting. This way, you will be able to share your experience and get some useful tips in return!

#3 Eating Too Much or Too Little During Your Window

Consistency is key to maintaining a successful intermittent fasting routine. The food quantity and portion size matter just as much as the quality of food you put into your body. 

You don’t have to obsessively count calories but you do need to make sure you eat enough to make it through your next fasting window. If you’re really hungry, because you didn’t eat a full meal, you’re much more likely to break your fast. Breaking the fast means you will fall out of fat-burning mode.

– says Christine.

Also, you will get hungry during your first fasting periods. Many people tend to go overboard because they feel like they are “starving”. This is a slippery slope, you don’t want this to become a habit. You are still trying to lose weight and reducing calories will help this. Eating more usually involves unhealthy foods too. 

We’re trying to create a consistent, healthy lifestyle, and well-portioned, balanced meals on your eating window are crucial to success.

#4 Forgetting that stress & poor sleep can cause weight gain 

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You’ve got to chill out! High stress leads to pumped up cortisol levels. Cortisol in large, sustained amounts causes the body to store fat in an effort to protect itself. 

Reducing stress factors, you are in control of and forgetting about the ones completely out of your control will help keep the pounds off. Meditation is known to limit the effects of stress. You could also try to get out into nature more, go for a walk or hike once in a while. Try not to sweat the small stuff.

Sleep is more important to the body than you can possibly imagine. Building a steady and regular sleep schedule will help you to:

  • Balance your hormone levels
  • Minimize food cravings
  • Decrease inflammation in your whole body
  • Lose weight even faster

You’ll feel more energized during the day, feel more confident in your ability to handle stress, and be more likely to adapt to the rigors of your intermittent fasting program. Get some sleep!

#5 Giving up before surviving the 3-5 day transition

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Your body is not used to going long periods of time without food. Think of your stomach as something that needs to be trained. At first, fasting will be difficult, but over time your body will become more comfortable with operating with less food. 

There are also a few early side effects that come with transitioning too quickly into intermittent fasting, the most common are headaches and fatigue.

Try increasing your consumption of potassium, sodium, and B1 (found in nutritional yeast) by eating foods high in these areas. Or find yourself a supplement designed specifically for intermittent fasting. 

– recommends Christine Ellis.

The goal of fasting is to limit the body’s calorie intake, not to become nutrient deficient.

#6 Missing out on the amazing benefits of progress tracking

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You won’t immediately see the results of intermittent fasting, these kinds of things take time. Tracking what you eat, how you feel, and your weight over time will help keep you focused on your goals. 

You may not see the results in the meal, but looking back in your fasting journal you’ll find tons of little wins. This will be especially helpful at the beginning of your fast.

#7 Repeating these 2 simply avoidable mistakes

1. Bored eating

Stay busy to stay on track. It’s much easier to stick to your fast if you don’t have tons of time to snack. 

Try to schedule all of your obligations during your fasting periods. Move your lunchtime to one of you eating windows. If you’re sitting at home with nothing to do, you’re way more likely to start snacking or feel like you need to eat something. Bored eating is bad eating!

2. Relying too much on yourself

Losing weight is not easy. That’s the simple truth. You probably tried losing weight numerous times before, and if you won’t find a method that works for you, you most likely WILL try to lose it again. So, how can you avoid repeating the same mistakes over and over again?

To achieve the results you never achieved you need to try a method you’ve never tried.

That’s it. Don’t be afraid of experimenting with your weight loss! Turn it into a challenge, start tracking your progress, and keep adjusting your fasting times ’till you’ll find what works for YOU. Get out of your comfort zone, be fearless, and achieve your goals one by one!

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

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