7 Most Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes

7 Most Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes

New to the benefits of intermittent fasting?

You’re going to want to know about these essential tips for making the intermittent fasting experience so much better with less negative symptoms that are common with beginners.


This is not a how to guide on intermittent fasting, but it will definitely help get you started in the right direction.

Not Fat Adapted

Being fat adapted means that your body can easily move into fat burning mode when carbohydrates are not being consumed. Negative side effects of fasting combined with being on a high carb diet are irritability, hunger, brain fog, and cravings for sweets. Give yourself at least 3-5 days or more of very low carbohydrate intake prior to undergoing any fasting routine.

Electrolyte Deficiency

Many people are already experiencing subclinical levels of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. When you fast, the body is using more minerals and requires some supplementing to help mitigate the potential unpleasant side effects such as dizziness, light headedness, headaches, weakness, and fatigue. Potassium, magnesium, B-Vitamins (vegans need B12, DHA, Zinc, Iron)

Nutrient Deficiency

Low quality ingredients, not enough fats and fats soluble vitamins, and not eating nutrient dense foods will make fasting very difficult. Be sure to eat healthy and satiating meals during your feeding window. Keeping track of your macro and micronutrients with an app will help you to know if you’re getting adequate nutrients.

Eating during Fasting

Some people claim to be fasting while consuming 500 calories. This may seem obvious, but if a calorie goes into your mouth, the fast is over. This includes BCAA, collogen, coconut oil, MCT oil, and protein powders. You do not get the benefits of fasting when you consume food, only more frustration when it doesn’t work because your body never makes the switch. Calories block fasting.

Influenced by Other People

Listening to people who are not supportive or open to hearing about the benefits of fasting can be a drag. They don’t understand why anybody would put themselves through such an ordeal. They make you question your reasoning, which can be good if you use that prod to become empowered with more research or it may be discouraging, and you quit.

Insulin Sensitivity

When you follow a regular intermittent fasting lifestyle, you become more insulin sensitive. This is a good thing, but it also means you need to pay attention to your carbohydrate intake. The most important thing to remember is that you don’t want to break a fast with carbohydrates or have large spikes of insulin all the time. Essentially, it’s a lot easier to gain weight when you are more insulin sensitive.

Refeeding Syndrome

If you have a large meal after fasting for a long period of time, anywhere around 18+ hours, you’re going to shock your digestive system. You’ll have better results if you break your fast with a small meal, preferably some lean protein, and wait for a couple of hours to have your next full-size meal. Be sure to supplement with electrolytes to mitigate the potential for refeeding syndrome.

If you are looking for more resources on the topic of intermittent fasting, check out the links below to learn more from a few of the most outstanding proponents in the field. 

Dr. Berg
Dr. Mindy Pelz
Thomas Delauer
Mike Mutzel, MS
Dr. Jason Fung

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