Many people find that intermittent fasting comes with several health benefits for them, including disease prevention, improved digestion, and even reduced bloating. On the other hand, for many people, the reason they get stuck in timed meals and eating windows is only for weight loss. So if you are assuming that you are utilizing Intermittent fasting for weight reduction purposes, know that it’s very easy for you to do it incorrectly. Committing intermittent fasting mistakes can slow down your weight reduction or even make you gain weight!
What is intermittent fasting?
It is a term which is used to describe eating pattern that includes regular time periods of fasting in which anyone can have no calories or very low calories. Simply put, in this diet, you follow an eating schedule every day, only consuming food during a fixed number of hours during a specific window of time, and then fast for the remaining hours.
But as with most diets, you may wonder, ‘can you do intermittent fasting wrong?’ The answer is YES.
Intermittent fasting mistakes you should avoid for healthy weight loss
1. Low calorie intake
Consuming low calories can have side effects. If you are not eating enough number of calories in your eating window, you might not lose weight. In fact, you gain it back as eating less mostly make you eat more than required number of calories in your next eating window. This is because of sheer hunger, the body also stores food to protect it, and it will get a sense to reserve extra calories as fat, instead of lean muscle.
2. Excess calorie intake
Giving importance to what you eat is as important or may be more important than when you eat. If you tend to eat high caloric foods, full of sugar, or may be high calorie food during your eating window, you will definitely gain weight instead of losing. So one of the important intermittent fasting rules to follow is to just maintain your calorie intake and don’t overeat because you have to fast in the latter part of the day. Reduce your amount of calories and follow a balanced diet including more fibre, protein and water.
3. Low consumption of protein
Protein is the most important for muscle mass, strength and it is also good for bone health. So, consumption of protein during the eating window should be adequate because it keeps you full during your fasting window, thereby keeping your calorie intake in place.
While following intermittent fasting, people also tend to do intermittent drinking, which is completely a big NO. Dehydration can bring muscle cramps, headache, hunger pangs and constipation along with it. So always make sure that you keep drinking water in between your meal times as it regulates your appetite, boosts your metabolism, and makes exercise easier and more efficient. All of these could contribute to weight loss results.
5. Not having enough sleep
Yes, this is important to consider in the do’s and don’ts of intermittent fasting. It has been observed that sleeping for the right number of hours is very important for weight loss. That’s because when you wake up late, you face increased appetite due to change in hormones, and that makes us eat more unhealthy foods at night. So, a very simple way to cut it is having at least 7-8 hours of sleep on a daily basis.
6. Not having all your meals
Taking long gaps in between eating windows or skipping a meal won’t help in losing weight. Instead, it can lead to binge eating for the next eating window. So, just maintain a sufficient gap and eat till you are full, but not overstuffed.
Looking at such common mistakes, following intermittent fasting diets should be done under the guidance of a professional dietician for proper weight loss.