You Are Exercising Excessively
Like too little sleep, too much exercise can also put stress on the body. You can get too much of a good thing, after all.
There is also a healthy limit to working out. Because exercise is still advertised as the panacea that can magically nullify poor diet choices, people often exceed the healthy limit.
Although exercise is crucial for mental health, diet is the mandatory basis for sustainable weight loss.
The most common form of exaggeration is by doing endurance training. And it is precisely this that activates compensatory mechanisms. Those who run a lot will eat a lot.
The exponentially increasing appetite is something I had to witness repeatedly during marathon preparation, in which I always put on weight.
The body reclaims the energy it has used and wants to prepare for more intense energy consumption. As biology demands it emphatically, you will also overeat if you overdo endurance training.
While healthy training causes acute inflammation, excessive exercise can cause chronic inflammation and stress .
Maybe You Are Losing Without Realizing It
If you think you are experiencing a weight loss plateau, you shouldnt fret just yet.
It is incredibly common for the scale not to budge for a few days at a time. This does not mean that you are not losing fat.
Body weight tends to fluctuate by a few pounds. It depends on the foods you are eating, and hormones can also have a major effect on how much water your body retains .
Also, it is possible to gain muscle at the same time as you lose fat. This is particularly common if you recently started exercising.
This is a good thing, as what you really want to lose is body fat, not just weight.
It is a good idea to use something other than the scale to gauge your progress. For example, measure your waist circumference and body fat percentage once per month.
Also, how well your clothes fit and how you look in the mirror can be very telling.
Unless your weight has been stuck at the same point for more than 12 weeks, you probably dont need to worry about anything.
A weight loss plateau may be explained by muscle gain, undigested food, and fluctuations in body water. If the scale doesnt budge, you might still be losing fat.
Youre Not Being Consistent With Your Fasting Schedule
Intermittent fasting is all about flexibility, which is great. If you work the night shift, youre eating wont follow a normal fasting schedule. So you fast 2 full days a week and eat a metabolic/healthy fat loss diet for 5 days.
Or you can eat while you work and fast while you sleep, which works best for you.
With flexibility comes great responsibility. Since you want to stick to a consistent schedule with intermittent fasting, because you want to see if what youre doing is working for you OR if you need to make adjustments.
If youre fasting 8pm to noon one day, then 10pm to 2pm the next, your average fasting period shortens and youre not going to reap all the benefits.
Some of my customers like to fast using the 16/8 method during the week and be a little more flexible during the weekend, using a 13/11 fasting method.
If it works for you, it works for you.
But, consistently will make or break an intermittent fasting program or any good diet for that matter.
Be consistent, track your progress, gauge how it works for YOUR schedule, and adjust as necessary.
Read Also: What Time Does Fasting Start
Tips For Intermittent Fasting For Healthy Weight Loss
Are there ways to use intermittent fasting to make sure you lose weight in a healthy way?
Yes! Here are our top tips:1
Youre Drinking Unnecessary Healthy Liquid Calories
Consuming liquid calories is one of the fastest ways to derail any weight loss effort.
This also includes healthier options like juice, fruit smoothies, green juice, and coconut water. It doesnt matter that they contain vitamins. You can get your vitamins and minerals from better sources like meat.
When you eat fruit in its unprocessed form, and Im not even a fan of eating a lot of fruit to begin with. But, there are levels to this.
Fruit will naturally contain fibre which slows down the absorption of vitamins and minerals and give you some level of satiety. Your body also has to physically digest the fruit.
But if you consume it in its juice form, it basically becomes rocket fuel. Most of the fibre gets taken out and youre just drinking liquid sugar at that point.
If you blend your fruit, it makes it a lot easier for your body to break down because theres not a lot digestion necessary.
And because its so easy to break down once it enters your system, those sugars are really quickly gonna be absorbed in your blood stream causing a huge spike in blood glucose with a corresponding spike in insulin.
Which brings me to my next point. Sugar, in case you didnt know, is one of the most insulinogenic foods on the planet. It causes a huge spike in insulin.
Not to mention fructose, which is the type of sugar found in fruit, is extremely lipogenic because your liver has to process it first and turn it into glucose to become usable energy.
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Figure Out Calorie Needs
There are no inherent dietary restrictions when intermittent fasting, but this does not mean that calories do not count.
People who are working with a doctor or dietitian to manage their weight need to create a calorie deficit, which means consuming fewer calories than they use. People who are looking to gain weight need to consume more calories than they use.
Many tools are available to help a person work out their calorie needs and determine how many calories they should consume each day to gain, lose, or maintain weight.
A person could also consult a healthcare professional or dietitian for guidance on how many calories they need. A professional can help a person determine the best foods for them and find an overall healthy way to lose weight.
You Are Not Eating Enough Protein
If you find that your meals cannot carry you across your fasting period to your next eating window, then you might need to adjust your diet.
Consider including more lean protein in your diet. It does not matter the type of protein, vegan or animal protein, all are fine.
Your meals should have healthy fats, carbs, leafy greens, and proteins.
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Youre Not Eating Enough Protein
Ive been writing a few posts lately about protein and I cannot stress enough how important it is for the body! Whether its vegan protein, protein powders, or sources like lean meat and chicken, protein is an essential building block. Protein is important for muscle mass and recovery after you exercise. Its good for bone health, too.
Protein fills you up as well, helping you make it from the fasting window to the eating window. If you are consuming foods that are sugary and processed, your insulin levels spike, signaling your body to store fat. At the same time, this spike blocks leptin, the hormone that tells you that you are full.
So rather than filling up on carbs and refined sugar, go for delicious lean protein!
How To Troubleshoot By Listening To Your Body
Learning to listen to your body is an essential element of your intermittent fasting success.
When You Feel Great
How do you feel when you fast? Do you feel energetic and content or do you feel deprived and fatigued? How is your sleep? Are you getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night? If your sleep and your energy level are excellent, troubleshooting should be pretty easy. My first recommendation would be to plan two 5-day modified fast, two months in a row.
How to Plan Your Two 5-Day Modified Fasts
Pick the first or second week of your menstrual cycle to plan your modified fasts. As women enter the second phase of their menstrual cycle their bodies need enough calories and carbs to ensure optimal hormonal function. Consequently, most women will notice that fasting or eating low carbs is way more difficult during the last week of their cycle. Hence my recommendation is to plan your modified fasts during the first or second week of your cycle.
For more information about how to do a 5-Day Modified Fast read Modified Fasting: How You Can Benefit From Fasting Without Starving.
Moreover, check out my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation, which includes more tools and meal plans to help you succeed.
When You Dont Feel So Good
If fasting is still a struggle, you feel low on energy, or your sleep isnt optimal, there are many options when it comes to troubleshooting. Start by checking your ketones on your fasting days.
When Your Ketones Are Below 1.0 mmol/L
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What Are The Negative Side Effects Of Intermittent Fasting Exactly
As mentioned, intermittent fasting is still very much in the research phasebut there are some promising findings. However, there’s also plenty of anecdotal evidence that IF does come with some possible negative side effects, and you shouldn’t start an IF eating plan without hashing those things out with your doctor first.
Here are 10 red flags to watch out for. And if you notice any of these side effects, that means stop IF and talk to your doctor or a nutritionist before proceeding.
/8you’re Not Taking It Slow
When people switch to a particular diet, one common mistake they make is jumping right to it and not taking it slow and steady.
With intermittent fasting, people do the same. Given that average human beings are used to eating after every few hours, leaping forward to a 24 hour fasting may not be the best solution. Rather one must start with a small fasting window and then gradually increase the frame.
If you go all in on your first try, you may not remain consistent and may lose track over time.
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Reasons Youre Not Losing Weight On Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is one of the fastest ways to lose weight.
But, like with every diet, a plateau comes.
The weight starts coming back or the weight stops coming off.
Not good, right?
Well, here are a few things that could be going with your intermittent fasting diet that you can start working on.
If you stopped losing weight on intermittent fasting OR you started to gain the weight back, then read on.
So How Does If Work For Weight Loss Exactly
Intermittent fasting is about when you eat, says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CPT, owner of Shaped by Charlotte, LLC. Depending on the IF approach, youre either shortening the eating window each day, or engaging in about 24-hour fasts one or more times a week. One of the most popular approaches is the 16:8 method, which is when you fast for an 16-hour window, like from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. the next day.
Essentially, by restricting your food intake to a shortened time window, you naturally decrease your caloric intake and, in turn, can lose weight. “Not only are you taking in fewer calories, but youre also slowing down your insulin pump, which may boost fat burn,” explains Martin.
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Stay Healthy With Intermittent Fasting
What about the misconception that intermittent fasting isnt great for your health? I had my annual checkup a couple of months ago and did blood work, explains Krystal. Im in perfect health!
Krystal shares her progress with her Instagram followers, who leave encouraging comments such as Amazing!!! Youre so inspiring! and #GOALS! And shes sure to take them on every aspect of her journey, including sharing breaking her fasts, easy ketogenic recipes, and workout fasts which are workouts she completes while fasting.
Reason #: Your Food Choices Are Garbage
Intermittent fasting isn’t an excuse to load up on junk food thinking it doesn’t matter what you eat as long as it’s being consumed in your eating window! Intermittent fasting isn’t “magic.” Rules still do apply! The other thing is that, when you make the effort to consume lots of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins, you will end up naturally eating fewer calories – particularly when you have a restricted eating window with only so much room in your stomach – which will only help with your weight loss.
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Start Tracking Your Calories
A surefire way to ensure youre not overeating is to track your caloric intake. To get started, you need a kitchen scale and a way to record your results. Pen and paper is sufficient, but using an app like MyFitnessPal is easier.
For a few weeks, track everything you put in your mouth. In addition to helping you see how many calories youre consuming, tracking your food will give you a better idea of appropriate portion sizes. You dont have to track forever, but it certainly helps to check in every few months to be sure youre still sticking to proper portions.
Not Losing Weight On Intermittent Fasting: Outside Your Eating Window
#5: You dont have the right attitude towards your fast
Scientific studies have shown that intermittent fasting can have a number of benefits on your physical and mental wellbeing.
However, some people enter a fast and underestimate how difficult it can be mentally. They believe that all that has to be done is not eat and then they will suppress cancer cell growth, reduce the risk of diseaseases or will instantly lose weight. When people dont feel like this is happening, they begin to resent the fast.
There will always be bumps in the road, but not taking your fast seriously from the start is a recipe for failure.
You have to always remember your why and understand that there are days when you will be cranky or tired during the eating window. Maintaining self-control and discipline both with food and mentally will reduce the likelihood of breaking your fast and improve your chances to lose weight.
#6: You are struggling to stay accountable
Intermittent fasting can be lonely if you are doing it on your own. Having the support and guidance of other like-minded individuals can be pivotal in helping to find motivation and keep you accountable.
We can suggest a 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge to start fasting with a community of supportive people. The challenge includes a meal plan to help navigate the diet and a useful Q& A to answer any questions you might have on fasting.
#7: You are not getting enough sleep
There are 2 reasons for this:
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Weight Loss Mistake #: Your Diet Has Become Too Monotonous
Once youve seen some progress with your routine, you may stick to the exact same meal prep day-in and-day out in hopes of continuing to see the same results. For some, the structure may prove successful, but sometimes monotony leads to complacency, leading your weight loss to plateau. Sometimes plateaus occur when you eat the same foods in the same amounts every day, Taub-Dix says. She explains that this happens because when you first start a diet thats far different than your norm, it almost shocks your body. So, as you adjust to your new diet, your body no longer reacts with the same type of weight loss. But, she stresses, a plateau is not necessarily a bad thing being stable should be applauded.
At the end of the day, your weight comes down to 70 percent diet and 30 percent exercise.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Work
There are several different ways to do intermittent fasting, but they are all based on choosing regular time periods to eat and fast. For instance, you might try eating only during an eight-hour period each day and fast for the remainder. Or you might choose to eat only one meal a day two days a week. There are many different intermittent fasting schedules.
Mattson says that after hours without food, the body exhausts its sugar stores and starts burning fat. He refers to this as metabolic switching.
Intermittent fasting contrasts with the normal eating pattern for most Americans, who eat throughout their waking hours, Mattson says. If someone is eating three meals a day, plus snacks, and theyre not exercising, then every time they eat, theyre running on those calories and not burning their fat stores.
Intermittent fasting works by prolonging the period when your body has burned through the calories consumed during your last meal and begins burning fat.
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Typical Fasting Weight Loss Plans
Fasting regimens vary, but the basic premise usually starts with a strict regimen allowing only water, juice and/or some kind of laxative concoction. Some plans allow a few solid foods, but are still called fasts because they provide so few calories.
Not all fasts are created equal. Some can be perfectly safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from 24-48 hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss.
Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. But high-risk people, the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are advised against any type of fasting.
The real danger lies in staying on the fast for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month.