People all over the country are raving about intermittent fasting. And that must have made you curious. Does intermittent fasting work? The answer to that question is yes, it does. Apart from weight loss, there are many other benefits of intermittent fasting. These include lower risks of heart disease, lower diabetes rates and diminishing signs of aging.
But these benefits will only happen if you practice this the right way. There are a few common mistakes that people make with intermittent fasting. Make sure that you avoid the following mistakes:
1. You are Taking it Too Fast
When you hear about the benefits of intermittent fasting, your first instinct is to jump into it headfirst. Instead of easing into the process, you just start with the fasting right away. And staying hungry for 24 hours is not only unhealthy, but can also cause frustration and irritability.
You need to make your body adjust to intermittent fasting and take it one step at a time. Start with a smaller period, and gradually increase the time.
2. You are Being Too Hard on Yourself
This is another mistake that must be avoided. A lot of people have this obsessive compulsion to do everything by the book, and not eat follow their body’s instincts but follow the clock.
Don’t be a militant about intermittent fasting and eat when you want to. You are fasting, not starving. If you were supposed to eat at 9 but you can’t stand being hungry, it is okay to have your meal at 8.
You don’t want to be fatigued physically or mentally. Don’t push yourself too hard.
3. Not Eating Enough
A lot of people don’t eat enough food during their eating window. Intermittent fasting is often used as a way to lose weight, but it is not a diet. It is a way to clean your body from the junk foods and the high calories and having a balanced diet. You need enough food to make sure that your body functions properly.
4. Not Drinking Water
You are giving up food, not water. You need to drink plenty of water so that your body can detoxify as well as stay hydrated. You can also have no-calorie drinks like apple cider vinegar and herbal tea. But make sure that you stay away from alcohol as it can dehydrate your body. Coffee is fine, as long as you compensate with plenty of water.
5. Creamer, Artificial Sweeteners, and BCAAs
We all love to add creamer (hopefully dairy free) to our morning cup of joe. However during a fast, the goal is to not consume any foods that begin the digesting process. This includes adding creamer to your coffee and mixing in those beloved artificial sweeteners. Black coffee will give you that caffeine boost to start the day, while not compromising your fast. BCAAs are often consumed during fasted workout to curb cravings and fuel the muscles, however it is recommended to consume BCAAs after your fasting window.
6. You are Eating Too Much
If not eating enough is a problem, eating too much is one as well. As fast as the clock strikes eat-o-clock, people start shoveling food inside their mouths. Intermittent fasting is not an excuse to eat unhealthy food.
Now that you know all the common mistakes, you can start with intermittent fasting. You will see positive results in just a few months, even weeks. But if you were ever a victim of an eating disorder, avoid intermittent fasting.
Written By: Elevate Nutrition Founders, Jillian Salomone and Paul Salomone