Common beginner Intermittent fasting mistakeswellnesswithswati
I have been practicing fasting for a decade now. Intuitively I would finish dinners early and unknowingly (IF wasn’t a thing then) ,ended up doing a good 14 hrs of fast. Well, what I didn’t pay much attention to was my eating window. Now when I see my clients and drawing from my own past experiences here are a few common mistakes that I see people starting on with the IF journey usually do .
1. The Mindset – Equating fasting with starvation. This is the most common one that I usually hear – But what if i feel hungry? You are not to be blamed if you have grown up like me at a time with 3 meals + snacks were treated as “normal”. In reality Fasting is not starvation, our body’s on the contrary thrive on short periods of no food phase. When we reduce our eating window , the body performs housekeeping tasks for maintenance and repair. Grazing through the day inhibits this process not only creating havoc to sugar levels also not giving the body to rest and digest food.
2.Substituting Electrolytes – With fasting ( even shorter ones)there is a loss of potassium, sodium and magnesium. These micronutrients are important for fluid balance and for muscle activity. Common symptoms of low electrolyte levels are fatigue, moodiness, muscle cramps, trouble sleeping. Adding a good quality salt will do the trick and keep your electrolyte levels in balance.
3. IF is not a magic wand – IF comes with a lot of benefits of its own – aids in weight loss, fat loss, keeps insulin and sugar levels stable but it is not a magic wand and can’t magically wipe out health consequences of a poor diet. In an 8 to 10 hrs eating window if you are eating high carb, processed and sugar rich foods – it will only reverse the benefits of fasting. A protein + fat + fibre rich meal with carb’s from natural and unprocessed sources will optimise your overall health (weight loss, gut healing , inch loss) both in fasting and feasting window.
4. Heard of calorie creep ? – This is another common one I see with my clients . Fats even though have no affect on insulin levels can easily creep into our eating window and inhibit weight loss. Eg. if you take fat with coffee in the morning and end up using three cups of coffee with butter or creamer, this will then be stored as fat in body.The body will readily have this new source of energy to use and will not prioritize fats from reserves to be used for energy. This could also be possible with foods like protein bars, keto desserts etc. Have you been unconsciously adding extra fat or having foods that are advertised as “healthy” to often in your eating window?
5. Too much too soon – Please start slow. If starting with your IF journey , I suggest a 12 hrs fast to begin with. Do not rush and straight get into a 16 or 24 hrs fast regimen. Body needs time to adjust through this eating routine. It only get easier with every passing week. At the same time making sure even with a short fasting window , your feeding window is solid .
If you are a beginner and would like to start your IF journey in a step by step and informed manner , please do check out my Easy and Effortless DIY ebook which can be now purchased here ( with tools, recipes, a reflection diary, food sources list and much more) –
–Easy & Effortless Fasting – A DIY ebook Helping You to Kick-Start a Successful Intermittent Fasting Journey
Signing off for now and should have any questions you can reach out to me – firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you.