Remember our blog suggesting that how you eat can be as important as what you eat? Well, plenty of people are having weight loss success with intermittent fasting. Fasting intermittently involves eating and drinking only during a specific window of time, for example, fitting in all of your meals between the hours of 10am and 6pm. Abstaining from calories during a longer window of time gives your body the chance to burn stored fat (instead of only burning what you recently consumed).
But intermittent fasting is not for everybody, like diabetics who need to eat at certain times to manage their blood sugar. Intermittent fasting is not a one-size-fits-all weight loss solution, especially if not done correctly. Because this is a relatively new way of eating, people aren’t always aware of best practices. If you’ve started or are considering fasting intermittently, here are some important things you should not do:
What Not to Do When Fasting Intermittently
#1. DO NOT STOP DRINKING WATER IN YOUR FASTING WINDOW.
Some people think you’re not even supposed to drink water during the fasting window. This is wrong. Your body still needs to stay hydrated. Make sure you continue to drink water throughout the day, especially in the mornings after your body has gone without water throughout the entire night. Avoid having coffee or tea before hydrating yourself with water.
#2. DO NOT JUMP INTO EXTENDED FASTING TOO QUICKLY.
The typical fasting window is 16 hours. This can be difficult for anyone who’s used to eating and snacking frequently. If this sounds like you, make sure to start with a shorter fasting window, like 13 hours. From there, begin adding an hour more to your window when you feel ready. Easing into a longer fasting window should ease the hunger, and you’ll likely avoid becoming discouraged from continuing the diet.
#3. DO NOT EAT TOO LITTLE DURING YOUR EATING WINDOW.
Ghrelin is a hunger hormone that signals you to eat. When you don’t eat enough, you’re not able to shut off this hormone, so you’ll continue to feel hungry. It’s important to eat until you’re satisfied.
#4. DO NOT EAT A HIGH CARBOHYDRATE DIET.
Eating a high carbohydrate diet can lead to insulin resistance, which will defeat the purpose of bringing your insulin levels down during an extended fast. Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, body fat, and liver start resisting or ignoring the signal to transfer glucose from our bloodstream to our cells. This leaves excess sugar in your bloodstream, which can lead to chronic health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
#5: DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL DURING YOUR FASTING PERIOD.
Just because alcohol is a liquid doesn’t mean it won’t break your fast. Alcohol has been shown to slow the breakdown of fat. Heavy drinking has been linked to weight gain and obesity. Knowing this, it’s best to keep alcohol consumption within your feeding window.
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