Fasting is no walk in the park.
Food is such a huge part of our lives. Going hours or days without food is challenging.
But sometimes we make it even harder than it has to be.
Let’s look at some of the mistakes I see people making when it comes to fasting.
Fasting mistake: Not taking electrolytes
Whether you’re doing Intermittent Fasting or Extended Fasting, you need those electrolytes!
Most people come to fasting already deficient in electrolytes anyway.
And when you start losing fat, you lose a lot of water, and with it electrolytes. Check out our Fasting Electrolytes guide to find out more about this process.
Basically, your electrolytes will deplete very quickly.
Some of the hardest aspects of fasting, such as headaches, muscle cramps, and even hunger, can be avoided just by getting those electrolytes in.
Also, make sure you’re getting the right kinds of electrolytes.
Many of the electrolyte supplements on the market are not designed for fasting.
Many of them also have ingredients that will break a fast.
Nutri-Align Fasting Salts are designed specifically for fasting, and they have no added junk.
Fasting mistake: Not drinking enough water
When you fast, you’re not only losing weight. You’re also detoxing.
All those toxins stored in your body fat are being released.
You need that water to flush out those toxins!
Also, ketosis itself can be very dehydrating.
Aim for around 64 ounces of water a day, and after that drink to thirst.
Fasting mistake: Stressing over the scale
I know that we love seeing the results on the scale. It can be so motivating when we hop on there and see that we’re down a pound or two.
But it can also be super demotivating when the scale stays the same, or even moves in the opposite direction.
Try to keep in mind that weight is not the same as fat. The scales are not an accurate measurement of fat loss or gain.
Your weight on the scale can go up or down by as much as three or four pounds a day, and that’s totally normal.
If you must weigh, I suggest doing so only once a week. This way you should see a steady, downward trend.
And it’s a good idea to take measurements, as well. Many times when the scale is being fickle, you’ll still be losing inches.
The way your clothes fit, and how you’re feeling, are also way better measurements than the scale.
Fasting mistake: Not preparing in advance
I’m not saying that you can’t just jump right into a fast and do well with it. A lot of people do.
But your chances of completing a successful fast are much higher if you prepare and plan ahead.
I always suggest taking at least a few days before a fast to cut out high carbohydrate foods, and fill up on healthy fats and proteins.
This will make your fast so much easier!
And take some time to plan ahead.
Some things to think about:
- What days will you fast? How many hours/days?
- What will you do when you get hungry or have cravings?
- What kinds of things can you do to keep your mind busy?
- What kinds of liquids will you allow during your fast?
- What about social situations? How can you work your fasting around those?
- How will you break your fast?
Read more in our article on how to prepare for Extended Fasting
Fasting mistake: Telling people you’re fasting
The first rule of Fasting Club is nobody talks about Fasting Club.
It’s funny, but it’s true.
It’s unfortunate, but many people just don’t understand fasting. Even many health care professionals still see fasting as a bad thing.
My rule of thumb is that it should be on a need to know basis. Does your partner need to know? In most cases, yes.
But do your coworkers need to know? Probably not.
What can happen when you share with others that you’re fasting is that they start bugging you about eating, and some will even try to sabotage your efforts.
They mean well. People don’t take the time to learn about fasting and they think you’re doing something extreme.
Or sometimes it’s because your choice to not eat makes them feel guilty about all the food they’re consuming.
So, in my opinion, if you don’t have to tell people, don’t.
You do always need to let your doctor know what you’re doing, especially if you have diabetes or any other medical condition.
If it turns out that your doctor is not supportive of fasting, you might need to think about looking for another doctor.
Fasting mistake: Not doing a proper refeed
Always think of your refeeds as refuels, and aim for nutrition.
The goal is to refuel your body for your next fast.
If you’re doing Extended Fasting, you need to refeed for half as many days as you fasted.
I know we’re often eager to jump right back into another fast, but the refeed is just as important as the fast, maybe even more so. Do it right.
Read more about the refeeding stage
Have you made any of these fasting mistakes?
Next time around, try making these changes and see if it helps.
We wish you lots of success with your fasting!
Author: Roo Black
Roo is a fasting coach with over 5 years of experience. She leads the admin team of the Official Fasting for Weight Loss Facebook group - one of the largest fasting communities on social media with over 125,000 members. We highly recommend this group for anyone who is looking for fasting advice or coaching.