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Why Am I Gaining Weight While Intermittent Fasting

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Weight Loss Mistake #: Youre Relying On Avoid Lists

Why am I gaining weight with intermittent fasting?!!

We have enough decisions to make each and every day so many of us resort to relying on “avoid” lists to take the guesswork out of which foods we can and cant eat. Taub-Dix explains that while a lengthy “avoid” list may seem like clear guidance at the start of a diet, it can lead to resentment and misinformation. Ive tried adhering to more of these lists than I can count, thinking it wont be so bad cutting out only carbs or avoiding fried foods. But I end up finding it more difficult than ever. It leads me to seek comfort in other unhealthy foods, while giving myself false praise for having successfully avoided the one food I deemed off limits even though Im still not eating ideally. Knowing that I needed to find balance, I tapped Taub-Dix for her advice.

Foods that may need to be limited when one is trying to drop a few pounds is not the same as complete avoidance, she says. And this includes labeling your favorite indulgences as off limits. Instead of cutting out foods you enjoy, try watching your portion sizes or save richer foods for special occasions, Taub-Dix says. You shouldnt punish yourself by cutting out foods you enjoy just because youd like to lose weight enjoying delicious food is one of the pleasures in life.

Overeating Nuts Dairy Or Fruit

We suggest people skip dairy especially, milk, cream, and cheese for the first 60 days on IF.

Initially, this enables you to determine if youre sensitive to the lactose or casein in dairy products.

Eliminating dairy can also help with weight loss while overeating dairy products has the opposite effect.

Much like with eating too many nuts, the issue here is not that youll necessarily stop ketosis. Its the calorie-dense nature of these foods and the fact they are easy to overeat which can seriously impair your weight loss goals.

Buying shelled nuts is one way to discourage yourself from gorging. Sidestep nut mixes with dried fruit, too.

With fruit, youll get plenty of fiber and nutrients but far too many simple sugars like fructose. These are known to contribute to weight gain. Eat fruit in moderation.

Dangers Of Fasting For Weight Loss

When you dramatically reduce your calorie intake, you will lose weight. But it can also cause all kinds of health problems, including muscle loss. Further, when you start fasting, your body goes into conservation mode, burning calories more slowly.

Keep in mind that the initial weight lost on a fast is primarily fluid or “water weight,” not fat. And when you go back to eating, any lost weight usually gets a return ticket back. Not only do most people regain weight lost on a fast, they tend to add a few extra pounds because a slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. Worse, the weight that is regained is likely to be all fat — lost muscle has to be added back at the gym.


Side effects of fasting include dizziness, headaches, low blood sugar, muscle aches, weakness, and fatigue. Prolonged fasting can lead to anemia, a weakened immune system, liver and kidney problems, and irregular heartbeat. Fasting can also result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, muscle breakdown, and diarrhea. When you drink laxative concoctions during a fast, there is an increased risk of fluid imbalance and dehydration.

The risks get more complicated and severe the longer you stay on a fast, or if you repeatedly go on fasts.

Recommended Reading: Why Does Intermittent Fasting Work For Weight Loss

Skipping Meals Can Cause Headaches Dizziness And Nausea

Long periods of fasting can lower your blood sugar levels and leave you feeling lightheaded, dizzy, with headaches, and/or nausea.

If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor to make sure it’s safe to try intermittent fasting. People with type 1 diabetes and/or on diabetic medications may be more susceptible to unwanted side effects or struggle with controlling their blood sugar levels .

Your body will also need some time to adjust, so try choosing a day of the week or period of time that you dont need to be very active or deeply concentrate when first starting a fasting practice.

Could Help Promote Balance In Other Areas Beyond Food


When we think of intermittent fasting we immediately think of food, since that is what we are limiting. But could we benefit from taking a break from other things in our life?

The basic concept of fasting is to abstain from something for a specific period of time, so what other things could we fast besides food?

Television, social media, and video games to name a few may all be things we could use a break from that may positively impact our health and well-being.

At the end of the day, consciously choosing to reduce or shift our habits can help us create health and wellness goals based on our values and beliefs.

Read Also: How To Reach Ketosis By Fasting

Intermittent Fasting Vs Calorie Restriction

Hereâs where it gets tricky: calorie restriction can also lead to weight loss and changes in cardio-metabolic markers.

Some mouse studies have kept calories constant to evaluate intermittent fasting independently and only changed the feeding schedule. They have compared a regime of caloric restriction with intermittent fasting to a regime of calorie restriction alone. These studies have yielded somewhat mixed results, so there are no clear answers to be had there.

More research is needed, but so far, it seems some forms of intermittent fasting could be a good alternative or can supplement the possible health benefits of calorie restriction.

One human study on intermittent fasting, which involved changing only the timing of peopleâs meals without any calorie restriction, found very negligible results for participants.

This interplay can make it hard to know whatâs really behind the weight loss, blood pressure changes, insulin and glucose regulation, and other effects seen in research and people who follow intermittent fasting regimens. Is it the timing, or the reduction in calories that yields results?

âI think thatâs mainly just driven by people eating less.â

Three of the five fasters Inverse interviewed also practice a ketogenic diet, have cut out certain foods , or exercise while intermittent fasting, which may contribute to their results.

But Longo tells Inverse that this kind of drastic restriction isnât recommended.

Your Expectations Are Unrealistic

Weight loss is generally a slow process. Many people lose patience before reaching their goal.

Although it is often possible to lose weight fast in the beginning, few people can continue to lose weight at a rate of more than 12 pounds per week.

Another challenge can be having unrealistic expectations of what is achievable with a nutrient-dense diet and exercise.

The truth is, not everyone will be able to look like a fitness model or bodybuilder, and thats OK. The photos you see in magazines and other places are often enhanced.

If you have already lost some weight, but the scale doesnt seem to want to budge any further, perhaps trying to redirect your focus to accepting your body the way it is your next goal.

At some point, your weight will reach a set point where your body feels comfortable. Trying to go beyond that may not be worth the effort or realistic, and may even have potentially negative effects on your health.


Peoples expectations are sometimes unrealistic when it comes to weight loss. Keep in mind that losing weight takes time and not everyone will look like a fitness model. Focus on developing an individualized weight loss plan and goal based on your needs.

Also Check: What’s Better Intermittent Fasting Or Keto

You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

Eating sugary foods and refined carbs like pasta, bread, sweeteners, and dessert don’t cause weight gain just because they tend to be high in calories these foods affect your insulin levels. Jason Fung, MD, a nephrologist and author of The Complete Guide to Fasting, explained to POPSUGAR that these foods spike your insulin levels. When insulin levels are high, it signals your body to store fat, which can lead to weight gain.

Eating these types of foods can also make you eat more in general, explained Susan Peirce Thompson, a psychology professor with a Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences. When eating sugar elevates insulin levels, it blocks leptin . If your brain doesn’t get the message that it’s had enough, it’ll signal to your body to keep eating.

Eating sugary foods also makes you want them more. That’s because sugar overloads your dopamine receptors, leading to strong and insatiable cravings. In Thompson’s book Bright Line Eating, she explained that this is why you eat cookie after cookie and still want more.

You don’t need to ditch all carbs, though. Opt for complex carbs like whole grains, beans, veggies, and fruits. Langevin said to aim for three servings a day of whole grains, one to two of fruit, and one to two of legumes. Here’s a list of the best carbs for weight loss.

I Tried Intermittent Fasting For Weight Loss And Ended Up Gaining Weight Instead

Why Am I GAINING Weight With INTERMITTENT FASTING? 4 Big IF Mistakes That Lead to Weight Gain
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Perhaps, this relentless experimentation is also what lands me and my health into trouble sometimes. Well, thats what happened when I decided to give intermittent fasting a try.

Basically, it involves eating only during a few hours of the day and fasting for the rest of the hours . Now, the fasting window can range anywhere

from 12 to 16 to even 24 hours depending on the type of intermittent fasting that you decide to try out.

Also, read: Considering taking up intermittent fasting? Take this quiz before you dive in

Now, karwachauth is enough of a torture for me. So, obviously, I ruled out the 24-hour fasting window option as soon as I got to know about it and settled for an 18-hour long fasting window that started from 8:00 pm till 2:00 p.m.

The next day, I broke my fast with a huge glass of water, fruits, and cold coffeetaken at an interval of 30 minutes and followed by a hearty 400-calorie lunch, a light evening snack, along with a 400-calorie dinner later in the day.

Why did I decide to give this diet a try, you wonder?If youre a staunch believer/follower of intermittent fasting, pardon me for referring to it as a diet instead of a lifestyle. But, intermittent fasting went out of my life too quickly. Its totally not my style. Hence, for me, it remains a DIET that I tried and ended up regretting.

Anyway, lets get to the point, shall we?

Also, read: Yoga practitioners have a different take on intermittent fasting. Read on

Also, listen:

Also Check: How To Do Diet Fasting

Keeps Cells Healthy And Vibrant

When we fast we give our body time to rest and repair, tending to natural processes put in place to keep our cells healthy. Autophagy is an example of a process our body naturally undergoes to keep our cells healthy and in turn, keep us healthy!

Autophagy is the process our cells go through to remove waste and dysfunctional cells to help our body clean out damaged cells and regenerate new and healthier cells. Evidence suggests when we intermittent fast, we increase the frequency of this process, so our body works harder to remove any unwanted junk and dysfunctioning cells .

Increased autophagy may play a role in protecting us from several diseases including neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular diseases .

Weight Loss Mistake #: Youre Stressed Out

When youre stressed all the time, you may find yourself feeling too overwhelmed to think about a well-balanced meal and instead buy whatevers convenient, Taub-Dix says. Whats more, she points out, is that many of us are stress eaters, or someone who eats unnecessarily simply to soothe their intense feelings. As someone who does that regularly always forgetting to grab my packed lunch before running out the door only to find an excuse to grab a slice of pizza or a bunch of processed snacks for lunch Ive finally come to terms with the fact that my stress has been inhibiting my progress. Stress can be the outcome of an unhealthy lifestyle, a busy schedule or lack of sleep, says Taub-Dix. Proving yet again why its so important to find balance in all areas of your life when youre hoping to shed some extra pounds. And of course, these efforts will have effects on your health that go far beyond simply losing weight. The number on the scale the priority for changing your habits but changing your habits might just change the numbers on the scale, Taub-Dix says.

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You’re Letting Calories Slip In During Your Fasting Hours

Fasting means consuming zeroor as close to zero as possiblecalories during your non-eating hours. You might have some not-so-obvious culprits slipping in that are breaking your fast. For some people, even a little bit of sweetener or cream in their coffee can knock them out of their fast.

Not sure what counts? Here’s exactly what breaks a fast.

Recommended Foods And Tips

Why Am I GAINING Weight With INTERMITTENT FASTING? ð¡ð¤ðð 4 ...

While the 16:8 intermittent fasting plan does not specify which foods to eat and avoid, it is beneficial to focus on healthful eating and to limit or avoid junk foods. The consumption of too much unhealthful food may cause weight gain and contribute to disease.

A balanced diet focuses primarily on:

  • fruits and vegetables, which can be fresh, frozen, or canned
  • whole grains, including quinoa, brown rice, oats, and barley
  • lean protein sources, such as poultry, fish, beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, seeds, low fat cottage cheese, and eggs
  • healthful fats from fatty fish, olives, olive oil, coconuts, avocados, nuts, and seeds

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are high in fiber, so they can help keep a person feeling full and satisfied. Healthful fats and proteins can also contribute to satiety.

Beverages can play a role in satiety for those following the 16:8 intermittent fasting diet. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help reduce calorie intake because people often mistake thirst for hunger.

The 16:8 diet plan permits the consumption of calorie-free drinks such as water and unsweetened tea and coffee during the 16-hour fasting window. It is important to consume fluids regularly to avoid dehydration.

Don’t Miss: Does Fasting Help With Depression

How To Do It

The easiest way to follow the 16:8 diet is to choose a 16-hour fasting window that includes the time that a person spends sleeping.

Some experts advise finishing food consumption in the early evening, as metabolism slows down after this time. However, this is not feasible for everyone.

Some people may not be able to consume their evening meal until 7 p.m. or later. Even so, it is best to avoid food for 23 hours before bed.

People may choose one of the following 8-hour eating windows:

  • 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • noon to 8 p.m.

Within this timeframe, people can eat their meals and snacks at convenient times. Eating regularly is important to prevent blood sugar peaks and dips and to avoid excessive hunger.

Some people may need to experiment to find the best eating window and mealtimes for their lifestyle.

Is Intermittent Fasting Making You Gain Weight One Of These 6 Reasons Could Be The Culprit

Many people find that intermittent fasting comes with a variety of health benefits for them, including disease prevention, improved digestion, and even reduced bloating. But for many people, the reason they dabble in timed meals and eating windows is for weight loss. If you are in the latter category and you’ve been on the IF train for months and have actually gained weight, we might have some answers. We’ve asked experts to weigh in , and these are the six intermittent fasting mistakes that can lead to weight gain.

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You’re Not Maintaining Good Lifestyle Habits

What you eat and don’t eat ultimately becomes an important piece of your health care puzzle. Just as important: Getting at least eight hours of stellar sleep nightly, managing stress levels, maintaining a healthy social and spiritual life, and consuming the right foods to support your fasting efforts and cultivate amazing health. When you maintain other good habits, you’ll find fasting becomes easier and creates more lasting benefits.

Of course, no plan works for everyone, including fasting. If you’re interested, give it a fair try: Commit to at least 30 days of fasting before you ultimately decide whether it works for you.

Youre Dieting But Not For Weight Loss

Why Am I Gaining Weight Intermittent Fasting?

Dieting and eating less is in reality very subjective. Dieting for some means only eating whole foods, cutting out specific food groups, or no snacks or sweets, eating a meal less than theyre used to, intermittent fasting, calorie restrictions, and the list goes on.

But the thing is that you can be doing any of those things and still not lose weight if youre not in a calorie deficit.

Reducing your calories has also been shown to lead to people being less active. Remember, a calorie balance is a balance of how many calories your body needs and how many you consume, so a significant reduction in your activity could tip the scale and halt your weight loss.

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You Binge On Sweeteners

Sugar-free zero and diet drinks have always been trendy. Nevertheless, it is precisely these products that make people reach a plateau on intermittent fasting again and again.

Does Zero sugar equal full-fat burning, as the advertising teaches us? Unfortunately, the reality looks quite different.

Although sweeteners such as aspartame and stevia do not increase blood sugar levels, they are also involved in releasing insulin .

Moreover, they eradicate gut bacteria that contribute significantly to our health .

Accordingly, researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio found that the probability of weight gain from consuming diet soda increases by 47 percent .

Due to zero-drinks, many people are not losing weight on intermittent fasting. Dont be one of them.

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