6 Intermittent Fasting Mistakes
4 JUNE, 2019
Intermittent fasting is a simple fat loss strategy that involves shortening the hours in which you consume your daily calories. It is a tool that anyone can use to accelerate fat loss but there are some mistakes that can make it harder than it has to be. In this video I’ll discuss six common intermittent fasting mistakes.
Mistake #1: Trying to do too much, too soon
If you spend any time on social media it is hard to avoid testimonials from people who have lost weight using intermittent fasting. This social proof may encourage you to give it a try yourself but if you jump right into a 16 hour fast or longer, you may find yourself battling hunger and anxiety. If you’re new to fasting you’ll be happiest with your experience if you start with a shorter fasting period.
One of my most popular YouTube videos is 3 ways to do intermittent fasting ranging from easy to extreme. The easy version is 12-12 intermittent fasting. It involves splitting your day down with 12 hour eating window and a 12-hour fasting. And this is a great entry-level starting place that will provide benefits but is easy to build on as your diet and comfort level improves.
Mistake #2: Continuing to eat a high carb diet
In particular, a diet that contains refined carbs like bread and energy bars, pasta, and sweet drinks or soda these foods cause your blood sugar level to rise and then fall, which makes it hard for you to go for long periods without food. When your blood sugar dips your body does not have readily accessible energy available and because your metabolism is running on carbs you crave carbs. You’ll find that your comfort level with fasting increases dramatically when you switch your metabolism from being a good sugar burner to being a good fat burner. You do that by adhering to a low-carb diet.
Low-carb diets work because they rob your body of those quick burning carbs. Forcing your body to get adapted to burning fat for fuel when your body has made his transition. Blood sugar level stay steady and if there’s no energy coming in from food your body pulls the energy it needs from body fat. If you’re interested in getting fat adapted quickly, you may want to take my 21-day challenges. I have both a low carb and keto challenge and you can learn more about them on my website www.drBeckyFitness.com. This point of adapting to a fat burning diet leads me into the third mistake.
Mistake #3: Expecting too much from intermittent fasting alone
While it’s possible to see weight loss results right away when you start intermittent fasting, fasting results can stall if you eat a poor diet or you have a metabolism that has been slowed due to years of poor food choices. I’m in my opinion it is best to look at intermittent fasting as a tool to enhance your overall weight loss strategy. Now having said that, intermittent fasting can have positive health and weight loss effects in anyone, even those among us that are carrying some metabolic debt from the past. If you avoided these three next mistakes you can get the most out of intermittent fasting.
Mistake #4: Calorie Creep
A common mistake that I see is what I will call calorie creep. Now for the purest out there, a fast means no calories are consumed. However, many people like to have coffee with cream or other fats in the mornings that they are fasting. On my second YouTube channel that I run with my husband, we tested coffee with cream and other fats to see how they would affect our fast. I will point to those videos if you would like the details; but basically, what we found was that even though the coffees contained calories that our bodies needed to burn, it did not move us out of fat burning mode making them okay to consume. But it is important to note that we tested one serving of fat in a cup of coffee over a two-hour period. If you are drinking three or four cups of coffee each morning and adding cream to each cup, your calories are creeping up to a point where your body’s energy needs are being met making it unnecessary to pull energy out of body fat.
Mistake #5: Eating late in the evening
Another mistake is eating too late into the evening. Research is just starting to show up on the best time to intermittent fast. The indications seem to be that fasting in accordance with your natural circadian rhythm gives you the most benefit. In the evening hours, your circadian clock influences the production of hormones that prepare you for restorative sleep. Eating three or four hours before bed can work against this hormone imbalance. For instance, melatonin is a hormone that helps your body prepare for sleep. As it increases in the evening hours it triggers a decrease in the production of insulin by your pancreas. Since insulin is needed to lower blood sugar at late meal could cause blood sugar levels to stay elevated throughout the night time hours. That late-night meal will also cause blood flow to be directed to your digestive tract which causes your core temperature to elevate, making it hard for you to drop into that deep sleep that we need for repair and restoration.
Mistake #6: Poor Sleep and High Stress
The final mistake to discuss is lifestyle issues that lead to poor sleep and high stress. These factors make it difficult for your body to burn fat. Poor sleep increases the production of cortisol, which is commonly referred to as your stress hormone, so chronic stress, along with poor sleep results in chronically high levels of cortisol. As cortisol increases, so does blood glucose, which acts as a barrier to fat loss. So, you can be doing all of the right things when it comes to intermittent fasting but if your stress level is high and your sleep is poor your body will not be able to burn the fat that you’re hoping to lose.