Most Common Mistake Made with Intermittent Fasting

In 2020, intermittent fasting is finally getting recognized for its health benefits by mainstream media outlets like the TODAY Show which means the concept is becoming more widely accepted. This is both exciting and, frankly, a little concerning because there is a common mistake made with intermittent fasting that can cause much more harm than good.

Why It’s Exciting Intermittent Fasting is More Common Now

I’m excited people are learning about it because for the past 18+ months of being on FASTer Way, I have gotten a lot of side-eye when I tell someone that I practice the 16:8 protocol for intermittent fasting. It is either a completely unheard of practice or, those who knew about it, misunderstand it. In fact, I’ve had several potential new clients tell me they are really interested in joining my next round of the FASTer Way, but the intermittent fasting is a deal breaker. Some even sign up and then inform me that they’re doing the program only for carb cycling and online fitness but they will not participate in the intermittent fasting thankyouverymuch! For 99% of these clients though, I’m happy to report their fears are quickly put to rest as they joined the round and I coached them through it. Many of them even told me by Week 2 of the 6-week program that intermittent fasting was the easiest strategy to incorporate and their favorite part! Go figure! So for these reasons, it’s really nice that there’s some education happening on mainstream media that can help quell those concerns. And I’m noticing a new trend where potential new clients are not as anxious about intermittent fasting anymore—some are even attracted to our program because they heard about the benefits of IF!

Why It’s Concerning Intermittent Fasting is More Common Now

With mainstream media talking intermittent fasting, people are inspired to try it on their own. There is no real secret to it. It can be done if you research it. But… there are still common misconceptions out there that can be harmful for your health or have you believe that intermittent fasting isn’t right for you. There’s a VERY important component to intermittent fasting that often isn’t discussed or emphasized enough during these news segments.

Are You Guilty of this Common Mistake Made with Intermittent Fasting?

The most common mistake made with intermittent fasting is that it’s an excuse to skip a meal and severely restrict calories. But intermittent fasting is NOT a diet. It’s an eating schedule. In FASTer Way, we do the 16:8 protocol. Which means, 16-hours a day we are not eating and 8-hours a day we eat ALL our calories. For me, my individual macro goals set me around 2,000 calories each day that I eat during these times:

  • 11:30 am — Break my fast (typically eggs or oatmeal)
  • 1:15 pm — Lunch
  • 6:30 pm — Dinner
  • Snacks within my 8-hour window as needed to hit my macro goals
Example of my menu on Regular Macro Day
Example of Regular Macro Day
Example of my menu on low carb day
Example of Low Carb Day

Eating Enough Food is Crucial to Success

Looking at the samples above, you can see that I eat a lot! My body needs the calories to build muscle, burn fat, and perform optimally. If I were to skip a meal, I’d be well below my macro goals for the day which means I would not be fueling my body properly, and would not get to enjoy all the benefits that come along with intermittent fasting and healthy eating, such as:

  • More energy
  • Better digestion
  • Better sleep
  • Balanced hormones
  • Gut healing
  • Fat burning
  • …and so much more!

If you’ve been interested in intermittent fasting, let’s do it the right way together. Join me in my next round of FASTer Way to Fat Loss! Having a community for support and a Certified Coach to help you determine your macro goals and lead you through the process will make all the positive difference!

Watch this IGTV video to learn more:

Meridith Oram
Meridith Oram is an ACE-Certified Health Coach at Below the Fork where she encourages women to love themselves towards healthy. She is married with two boys, and lives outside of Philadelphia. She earned a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. Meridith writes about FASTer Way to Fat Loss, fitness, nutrition, Celiac Disease, and easy (but delicious!) gluten-free recipes at belowthefork.com. Follow her @belowthefork on all social channels.

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