It just flat out works.
In my opinion, intermittent fasting is one of the most powerful methods of weight loss. Its efficacy is unparalleled if done properly.
It’s one of the main fat loss strategies that I use with my private coaching clients and they’ve all gone to see some amazing results. So you know it works.
But the keyword here is IF you do it properly. There are rules to this. And with any set of rules, intermittent fasting mistakes are bound to happen along the way.
In this video, I’m going to show you the top 5 intermittent fasting mistakes that’s preventing you from losing weight.
The Top 5 INTERMITTENT FASTING MISTAKES
1. You’re eating too much carbs.
We’re gonna start with this because this is one of the biggest intermittent fasting mistakes out there. This honestly prevents people from losing weight whether you’re fasting or not.
But before we dive in too deep, we need to establish a baseline first. You have no business starting intermittent fasting if you don’t have a check mark beside these items.
- Delete liquid calories
- Delete refined carbs like cookies, chips, pasta, pizza
- Delete excess sugar like fruit or candy
- Delete fake foods like protein bars and granola bars
- Do eat a lot of nutrient dense foods
- Revolve your diet around plants and animals
If you do all those things, you’re going to lose weight. Intermittent fasting will just help you get there faster.
And that’s where mistake number one comes in. A lot of people get into intermittent fasting because they see all these crazy results on the internet. So they do it. They take care of the fasting part, but they don’t really adjust their diet. And this is such a big mistake that prevents people from losing weight when they start intermittent fasting.
If you’ve ever heard of the saying that you can’t outrun a bad diet. Well, you can’t out-fast a bad diet. Yes, I just made up that word. But you get what I mean.
Now, let’s quickly talk about what happens to your body every time you fast. One of the biggest benefits of intermittent fasting, and there is a lot of them, is that fasting regulates your insulin levels. This is important because insulin is what controls your body weight.
All you need to know is that if your insulin levels are high, you cannot access your body fat for energy. You just can’t. High insulin blocks fat burning.
If your insulin levels are low, that’s when your body taps into your fat stores for energy. And if you’re trying to lose weight, that’s exactly what you want.
So if you keep eating a high carb diet, your body is in a constant state of dealing with all the glucose that’s entering your system.
If you have a lot of glucose in your system, that raises your blood sugar levels. Your body deals with that by raising your insulin levels to store all that glycogen into your cells.
So if you keep eating a high carb diet, you’re putting your body in this metabolic limbo where your body doesn’t really get into a fully fat burning state. Because when you fast, you drop your insulin levels. But when you eat a high carb diet, you spike it up again.
You have this roller coaster ride where you’re neither here nor there in terms of being a fat burner or a sugar burner. Being in a high carb diet actually makes intermittent fasting harder. Because again, you have to deal with the blood sugar crash that happens naturally every time you eat a high carb meal.
And every time you have a blood sugar crash, your body thinks that it’s going into a state of hypoglycemia. So your brain sends hungry signals to your body that you need to eat again. This is why you need to eat every two or three hours if you’re on a high carb diet.
And if you don’t eat, that is when you get “hangry”. Sound familiar?
2. You’re not eating enough.
To piggy back off of mistake number one, this is the other side of that equation where you’re not eating enough when you’re doing intermittent fasting.
You try to do too much.
This is typical crash diet mentality. You combine intermittent fasting with a low calorie diet because you think it’s going to double the effect and you’re going to get results faster. It sounds great in theory. Unfortunately, it’s a completely fallacy.
Here’s the problem with that theory. If you do intermittent fasting and you’re eating a lot of low calorie and low fat foods, you are actually doing more harm than good. Because usually, low fat foods that aren’t normally low-fat are highly processed. That is because:
A) To make them low calorie, they have to take the fat out and…
B) They’re higher in sugar content. Because every time they take the fat out, they have to replace that with something else. And that’s something else is sugar to make it taste good.
So low fat foods are usually higher in sugar. And food manufacturers sometimes mask this by using fake sugar aka artificial sweeteners. Did you know that there are 60 different names for sugar that food manufacturers can use? And we’re going to talk about that in a second.
The other problem with being on a low calorie/low fat diet is low calorie/low fat equals high carb and high sugar. Which means that you’re keeping your insulin levels high.
So as you keep your insulin levels high, you’ve now put your body in a position where your body is only burning the energy that you’re taking in from this low calorie diet. Because remember, high insulin blocks fat burning.
Let’s say you’re only eating 1200 calories a day. But again, you’re eating a lot of low fat/high carb food. If you do that over time, your body will eventually slow down your metabolism to 1200 calories because that’s all that’s coming in.
Because your insulin levels are high, you can’t access your body fat for energy.
Your body then responds to this by lowering your metabolism. And that leads to weight loss plateau, fatigue, and eventual weight gain. You’re also just constantly hungry all the time.
Bottom line is when you’re fasting, stay away from low calorie and low fat foods. Stick to single ingredient foods and make sure you’re always eating to satiety.
3. You’re using a crutch.
By using a crutch, I’m talking about drinking keto coffee or bulletproof coffee where you’re adding MCT oil and butter to your coffee.
Now I’m not necessarily saying that those are bad things. But MCT oil and butter contains calories. Which means that if you take it while you’re fasting, your body has to process it. And every time your body has to process something, that breaks your fast.
Yes, it does keep you in ketosis because you’re taking in full fat. And full fat doesn’t trigger an insulin response. This is often referred to as a “Fat Fast” by the way.
But if you’re trying to lose weight, would you rather have your body burn butter or burn your own body fat for energy? The answer is pretty obvious.
Another popular crutch that people use are artificial sweeteners. I’m talking about drinking Diet Coke, diet soda, or any drink that’s branded as having zero calories
This is all you need to know about drinking diet soda. The whole belief that drinking diet soda, zero calories, and Diet Coke is somehow better for you is probably one of the biggest lies in the fitness industry. That and everyone believing that fat is bad for you.
Here’s the biggest problem with drinking diet soda. Your body doesn’t count calories. You have no calorie counter in your stomach. Which means that the idea of drinking a “zero calorie” guilt free soda is a complete lie.
Your body, however, has a physiological response to these zero calorie drinks. It doesn’t get a free pass. I mean, nothing that sweet gets a free pass once it enters your system. I don’t think you need to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.
One of those physiological responses is a spike in insulin levels. And when you trigger an insulin response, you’ve just broken your fast. Are you starting to see how important managing your insulin level is when it comes to controlling your weight?
Your body now goes into fat storage mode because your body thinks that there’s food coming in all because you’re drinking Diet Coke, even though it’s zero calories. And that’s where the term empty calories comes from.
The problem is, there’s actually no food coming in. Your body then activates the hunger hormone ghrelin and it makes you crave food even more. Notice how you’re always hungrier whenever you drink can of diet soda? As you can see, Diet Coke and diet soda does more harm than good.
There’s also a lot of studies that drinking Diet Coke destroys your gut microbiome. Studies have also shown that drinking Diet Coke is directly linked to obesity.
Listen, the whole point of fasting is you want to create periods where you’re taking a break from eating. It’s not about gaming the system by using crutches like artificial sweeteners and drinking diet sodas.
4. You’re not fasting long enough.
Let’s get one thing straight out of the way.
If you’re just fasting for twelve hours, that puts you at break even. What I mean by that is if you’re eating three meals a day, you eat your breakfast at 8 a.m., your lunch at noon, and then you finish dinner at 8:00 p.m, you’re pretty well balanced. You have a 12 hour eating window, and then you have a 12 hour fasting window.
This was the norm back in the 70’s and we didn’t have an obesity epidemic.
You need to fast a minimum of 14, preferably 16 hours, if you want to start seeing results from intermittent fasting. In fact, studies show that the benefits of fasting actually doesn’t start until the 16 hour mark.
That’s why the 16 hour fast is one of the most popular ways of intermittent fasting. It’s also one of the easiest ways to follow. Because if you skip breakfast, that automatically extends your overnight fast aka your sleep. And if you eat lunch at noon and then you eat your dinner at 7:00 pm and you’re done eating by 8:00 pm, then that gets you your eight hour eating window.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, you need to start fasting longer. Listen, you’re not gonna die. The average person is carrying around 100,000 calories worth of stored energy in the form of body fat. If you want to lose weight, you need to tap into your fat stores for energy. The simplest way to achieve that is by fasting for a minimum of 16 hours every single day.
5. You’re throwing in the towel way too soon.
This goes back to having realistic expectations when it comes to how long you’re going to reach your goals.
Listen, it didn’t take you a week or a month to put on the weight that you’re trying to get rid of. What makes you think that a couple of days or a week of fasting is going to magically get rid of all that excess body fat? It doesn’t work that way.
You need to start slow on this. Be patient. There are levels to this. The problem is, a lot of people throw in the towel way too soon when they do intermittent fasting because they think it’s too hard.
You can’t just go from 0 to 100 miles an hour on this, especially if you’re somebody who typically eats all day. If you’re someone who grazes on food all day, from the moment you wake up until you go to bed, then you need to slowly change your eating habits.
If you’re somebody who’s used to eating six small meals a day, maybe just try to reduce that to five meals a day. Then four meals a day. And then you eat three meals like a normal human being.
After that, start eating a late breakfast. You adjust your breakfast an hour later every single day until you get used to not eating breakfast. Eventually, you just want to have an 8 hour eating window. In that 8 hour eating window, you want to make sure you’re eating a lot of nutrient dense foods.
Again, you want to revolve your diet around plants and animals. You’re eating a lot of healthy fats, high quality protein, and you’re eating to satiety.
My final point is this. Think of fasting like a muscle. The more you use it, the better you get at it. This. Takes. Time.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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