Weight Loss Tips: 10 Things To Avoid When Trying Intermittent Fasting


Intermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern that cycles between periods of eating and fasting. Unlike traditional diets that focus on what foods to eat or avoid, intermittent fasting primarily focuses on when to eat. There are several different methods of intermittent fasting, but they all involve dividing the day or week into eating and fasting periods.

Intermittent fasting can be an effective way to manage weight and improve health, but certain habits can undermine its benefits. In this article, we discuss some things you should avoid practicing when following intermittent fasting.

Here are 10 things to avoid when trying intermittent fasting:

1. Consuming sugary beverages

sugary drinks can spike insulin levels, which can disrupt the fasting state and lead to cravings. Opt for water, herbal tea, or black coffee instead.

2. Overeating during eating windows

Bingeing on large meals during eating windows can negate the calorie deficit created by fasting. Practice portion control and focus on balanced meals with plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fibre.

3. Ignoring hydration

Fasting can increase the risk of dehydration, so it’s important to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Set reminders to stay hydrated, and aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.

4. Relying on processed foods

Processed foods high in refined carbs and unhealthy fats can sabotage your fasting goals and negatively impact overall health. Choose whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.

5. Skipping exercise

Physical activity is key for maintaining muscle mass and supporting weight loss during intermittent fasting. Incorporate regular exercise into your routine, focusing on a mix of cardio and strength training.

6. Ignoring nutrient timing

Pay attention to when you eat certain nutrients to optimise energy levels and performance. For example, consume carbohydrates before workouts for fuel and protein after workouts for muscle repair.

7. Neglecting sleep

Poor sleep can disrupt hunger hormones and increase cravings, making it harder to stick to your fasting schedule. Prioritise quality sleep by establishing a bedtime routine and creating a comfortable sleep environment.

8. Not managing stress

Chronic stress can trigger emotional eating and sabotage weight loss efforts. Practice stress-reducing techniques like meditation, deep breathing, or yoga to support your fasting goals.

9. Consuming excessive caffeine

While moderate caffeine intake can boost metabolism and suppress appetite, too much caffeine can disrupt sleep and increase cortisol levels. Limit caffeine intake to earlier in the day and opt for decaffeinated options later on.

10. Failing to listen to your body

Ignoring hunger cues or pushing yourself too hard can lead to burnout and derail your fasting journey. Tune into your body’s signals, and adjust your fasting schedule or eating patterns as needed to ensure sustainability.

By avoiding these common pitfalls and adopting healthy habits, you can maximise the benefits of intermittent fasting and support your overall well-being.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

​Below we discuss some things you should avoid practicing when following intermittent fasting. 

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