The 8 Biggest Mistakes While on Intermittent Fasting

I’m the first to admit fasting can be as simple or as complicated as people really want to make it but there are some common mistakes I’ve personally seen some otherwise experienced people make. Biohacker and coach Siim Land has these common mistakes to share:

#1 Don’t Become Dependent on Coffee

Caffeine is an incredible appetite suppressant and reduces any sensation of hunger for many hours. At the same time, it can also turn into a powerful drug.

To maintain our sensitivity, we have to receive its stimulus less often. While fasting we shouldn’t drink more than 2-4 cups of coffee a day, nor should we feel the need to.

#2 Don’t Think You’ll Die

You won’t lose muscle, gain fat, damage your health or die from fasting for 16-20 hours. The opposite will actually happen.

Fasting isn’t starvation either. You begin to starve only when your body doesn’t have access to nutrients, whereas during a fast you’ll be in deep ketosis, which unlocks the door to the vast amount of calories stored in your adipose tissue.

#3 Don’t Be Afraid of Hunger

Fasting allows you to reconceptualize hunger. It makes you more in tune with your body and allows you to discover the real causes of your desire to eat.

#4 Don’t Bring in Too Many Additional Stressors

If you’re doing daily fasts of 20+ hours, then you should be mindful of other stressors you may come across.

Additional stressors include lack of sleep and excessive exposure to artificial light at night. Blue light in the evening can offset our circadian rhythm and thus block the expression of some hormones.

#5 Don’t Freeze to Death

During fasting, you may feel colder than you normally would. If your fingers and toes are getting numb or blue, then you should stop and cover yourself up. Dress warmly and don’t push yourself too hard.

#6 Don’t Fast for Too Long Too Often

Don’t jump into it right away if you can’t handle it. Start with having 14-hour fasts, then 16, then 18 and then have your first 24-hour fast. If you want to go beyond that, then be my guest, but do so at your own risk and concern.

#7 Don’t Gorge After Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a great way to create a caloric deficit. Because you’ll be eating less often, your meals can be larger in quantities and calories. This can also mean that you’re able to eat some junk food, while still maintaining a negative energy balance.

#8 Don’t Ignore the Signs and Soldier Through

Some signs of too much fasting are constant headaches, fatigue, feeling like being hit with a club, not sleeping well, shivering and feeling very cold despite wearing a lot of clothes. Be mindful of how your body reacts and listen to the signs that you’re being given. Pushing it too far will lead to burnout and won’t result in an advantageous outcome.

Sometimes people really make fasting more complicated than it needs to be. We believe in keeping it simple and seeing results – you can always experiment after that.

Thousands of books have been written about the unique benefits of intermittent fasting and its ability to help people lose weight and improve health, but Eat Stop Eat was one of the first. Far from being just another fad, Eat Stop Eat is your indispensable guide to the latest science behind using intermittent fasting for simple yet effective weight loss, without unneeded complexity or the need to deprive yourself of the foods you love to eat.

And you can download the entire audiobook for free when you give Amazon Audible a try. Even if you decide it isn’t for you and cancel – you still keep the audiobook.

Amazon also sells the book (I mean – it is Amazon) and I used to suggest that to anyone who ever mentioned fasting or weight loss. It was my bible when I was getting started. The fact it’s an audiobook means you can stick it on when you’re doing… basically anything else. Getting it free is just a bonus.

Check it out on Amazon here.

You can also see this answer (along with others) here on Quora and visit Siim’s YouTube channel here.

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