The health benefits of intermittent fasting are clear: fat burning, improved immune function, and increased energy. However, these benefits (and more!) only happen when intermittent fasting is utilized correctly. Learn the three ways people get intermittent fasting wrong and why you shouldn’t try it on your own.
Just like restrictive diets, when intermittent fasting isn’t done properly it can end up damaging your metabolism, your hormones, and even cause you to gain weight! Because of that, it is incredibly important you take the time to understand how to use IF properly.
Because intermittent fasting is not a diet—it’s an eating schedule—it’s less about restricting calories and more about nourishing your body, as well as giving it time to effectively heal and repair itself. This only happens during a digestive rest (fasting).
While you can absolutely try intermittent fasting on your own, you don’t want to mess around with it if you haven’t done your research and know exactly how to nourish and heal your body the right way during your eating periods.
The reason the FASTer Way to Fat Loss is so effective is that we combine intermittent fasting with carb cycling, nutritious whole foods, the right macronutrient balance, and 30-minute workouts to help you turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
Here are three ways people get intermittent fasting wrong and why you shouldn’t try it on your own!
1. Not Eating Enough
We recommend the 16/8 intermittent fasting protocol. This means you have an 8-hour eating window and a 16-hour fasting window.
This doesn’t mean just skipping a meal or two.
Or starving yourself.
In fact, this is one of the biggest mistakes we see from people who are trying intermittent fasting on their own... not eating enough during their eating window.
Your body needs fuel.
Any time you aren’t getting adequate calories, you can cause serious damage to your hormones and slow down your metabolism.
When you focus on cutting calories during your fasting window rather than giving your body the energy it needs to think clearly and function properly, you are not optimizing your body’s fat-burning potential—you are shutting it down.
The results? You’ll feel terrible, your energy will tank, and your weight loss will stall.
2. Poor Nutrition
Another common mistake we see from people doing intermittent fasting on their own is eating whatever they want during their eating window rather than focusing on nutritious foods.
It’s not enough to just eat within your 8-hour window. The benefits of intermittent fasting won’t take full effect if you aren’t fueling your body with whole foods.
At the FASTer Way, we focus on carb cycling and a balanced, nutritious whole-food diet. So, while you can have a donut or a soda at various points throughout the week, we focus on eating nutrient-dense foods like:
- All the fruits and vegetables!
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Healthy fats
- Lean proteins
By focusing on whole foods during your eating window, you’ll make sure that your nutrient intake isn’t being compromised, or your ability to see and feel the benefits from your intermittent fast.
3. Eating Too Much
Some people have a tendency to binge-eat during their eating window if they don’t purposely pair IF with a nutrient-dense diet.
For those who have never fasted, jumping into the 16/8 protocol can be difficult.
Rather than easing into fasting with a 12/12 split, or taking out an hour here and there, or starting with just one day a week (all things we recommend to those who are brand new to intermittent fasting), they end up eating far too much during their eating window.
Often, this means going completely overboard with unhealthy foods.
At the FASTer Way, we focus on helping our clients eat enough of the right macronutrients and micronutrients to optimize their intermittent fast and keep them full—all while increasing their metabolism, burning fat, maintaining lean muscle, and creating daily habits that will help them thrive.
The benefits of intermittent fasting happen when we give our bodies time to heal and proper nutrition.