Five mistakes to avoid

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Of: Judith Brown

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Despite discipline, intermittent fasting just won’t work for you? Then you might be making one of the most common mistakes.

Intermittent fasting is a popular way to get rid of those extra pounds. This not only helps with weight loss, but can even have a positive effect on the aging process, as cells regenerate during intermittent fasting. However, it happens again and again that the method does not show the expected effects, and the pointer on the scale does not want to sink despite the discipline. In this case, it is useful to be aware of some intermittent fasting mistakes that can still prevent you from reaching your dream weight.

Losing Weight With Intermittent Fasting: Known Mistakes You Need To Avoid For It To Work

If you choose the 16:8 method for intermittent fasting, you can eat within eight hours and then abstain from eating for 16 hours. If losing weight still does not work, it may be due to some mistakes. © mitarart/IMAGO

Those who want to lose weight can choose between three variations of intermittent fasting, also called intermittent fasting: With the 16:8 method, you can eat in eight hours. It is followed by a 4 p.m. lunch break. If you choose the 14:10 variation, you can eat within ten hours and then fast for 14 hours. The 5:2 method is probably the most tiring: Here you normally eat five days a week. For two days, however, there is no food at all. Why losing weight can always fail can be due to the following five mistakes:

  • 1. Wrong fasting plan: Before you start intermittent fasting, you need to think about which variant is best for you and can be incorporated into your daily life. Of course, you can also try different methods until you find the one that works for you. Then the pounds should also drop.
  • 2. Too many calories: Losing weight requires a negative energy balance and a caloric deficit. This means you need to take in fewer calories than you burn. It is often said that with intermittent fasting, you can eat whatever you want during the eating window. But that’s not entirely true. To successfully lose weight, you need to watch your caloric intake. Vegetables, fruit, whole-grain products and low-fat cottage cheese, for example, contain fewer calories and keep you full longer. Coffee is also allowed during intermittent fasting and boosts fat burning.
  • 3. Not enough calories: However, it is also possible that you are not consuming enough calories and therefore not losing weight. Because too little calorie intake can disrupt the hormonal balance and have a negative effect on satiety and thyroid hormones, for example. Too little caloric intake often causes the body to absorb too little protein and use muscle to generate energy. Thus, the calorie consumption of the body decreases and weight loss becomes more difficult. The only way out of this vicious cycle is to maintain a moderate calorie deficit.
  • 4. Too much stress and not enough sleep: If you want to go on a diet, low stress and enough rest are essential. Because enough sleep has an influence on the regeneration of the body and at the same time stimulates the hormonal balance. If you don’t get enough sleep and are under too much stress, your body usually releases more cortisol, the stress hormone. High cholesterol levels lead to lifelong stress and obesity due to more frequent eating. Those who want to lose weight should therefore ensure that they sleep seven to eight hours a day and take short breaks from time to time, for example with the help of meditation.
  • 5. Too little exercise: When it comes to losing weight, you shouldn’t rely on nutrition and diet alone. Sport and exercise can also support intermittent fasting – although a scientist has found that sport helps with energy expenditure less than previously thought. Nevertheless, physical activity at least distracts from the thought of eating and with the help of strength training you can also maintain your muscles.

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Intermittent fasting: change your diet in small and slow steps

Intermittent fasting is a dietary change you need to start with caution. At the start of a weight loss project, we tend to overdo it sometimes due to high motivation. If you then extend meal breaks to, say, 8 p.m. and only eat small portions, you’ll probably quickly stop and give up. Therefore, it is advisable to approach intermittent fasting in small steps.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not authorized to answer individual questions about clinical images.

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