The seven biggest mistakes in intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is very easy. At certain times, you eat nothing. You only drink water or unsweetened tea or coffee. The effects on your body weight are enormous, as described in some other articles on BodyFast.de. But there are still some mistakes you can do which may delay your success or even might prevent it. You’ll find the main mistakes below.

1. You have the wrong expectations

Intermittent fasting primarily focuses on adjusting the body to a new rhythm: The body can take a conscious, small break from (abundant) food. Be patient. Over the years, the body has become accustomed to receiving food whenever it asks for it. This source of energy has been suddenly taken from it for a certain time. First, it has to deal with this change and this may delay results initially! Maybe you feel discouraged after just a few days, when the initial visual results are not immediately apparent. It is common for the body to take at least two weeks to acclimate! Furthermore, when you start fasting, your body fills shrinking fat cells with water, which can lead to weight fluctuations. With the following “whoosh effect”, you’ll lose weight. Our info graphic gives you the details:

2. You (still) eat too much!

No matter which dieting method you choose to reduce body fat, the goal is to achieve a caloric deficit. The same goal applies to intermittent fasting! According to many guides, it seems as if the caloric value is completely insignificant during the phase. However, too much food will always be turned into fat and become apparent in the form of unpleasing fat deposits. Intermittent fasting only works, if you eat mindfully during the phases of food intake. This means that the individual should not overeat, but consume normal portion sizes and choose healthy foods if possible. Here you find an easy system to determine the right amount of calories.

3. You eat the wrong things

Those who give in to their appetite following a fasting phase and consume unhealthy foods uncontrollably are ruining their successful weight-loss plan. As with any diet, you should not only watch the amount, but also the quality of your food intake. A balanced diet without too much sugar is one of the easiest ways to reach your goal weight. When you implement intermittent fasting, it is also very important to adjust your dieting plan to the new rhythm. This will ensure that you prevent ravenous appetite attacks and guarantee your body that it will be supplied with the necessary nutrients. The BodyFast intermittent fasting app smart coach is doing this for you, but you can also manually adjust the times of each week of fasting to fit your daily routine.

4. Insufficient preparation

Losing weight successfully, requires well thought out preparation. As previously mentioned, it is very important to pay attention to the quality and quantity of the food intake. A weekly meal plan and shopping-list will help you track your nutrition. This way you can avoid foods with high caloric value (especially foods with sugar) that you would either consume immediately after you buy them or that you keep handy at home. Alcohol consumption must be adjusted further. Only water, unsweetened tea and black coffee are allowed during the fasting phase. Ideally, you want to plan in advance. This way you can reduce or eliminate luxury foods such as alcohol or coffee with sugar from your diet instead of trying to eliminate them when you start fasting. This can quickly lead to withdrawal symptoms, headache and stress. However, with a little bit of patience, symptoms will pass rather quickly and should not keep you from fasting! The positive effects will reward you.

5. You don’t exercise enough

Those who want to lose weight the healthy way, should exercise as well. Physical activity promotes the development of muscle mass, for which a high amount of energy is used. Should you decide to remain inactive during your intermittent fasting to save energy, you achieve the following: Your metabolism may need less energy so that it will turn energy into fat cells. At the same time, muscle mass may be reduced, as the body no longer requires it. Regular physical activity boosts the metabolism as well as fat burning processes. Regular walks, jogging or strength training at the gym is all compatible with intermittent fasting. Allow your body to take some time to adjust. It will happen quickly. Soon you will feel fitter, more toned, and slimmer. Weekly BodyFast challenges will help you to stay fit and to promote the integration of activity in your daily routine. Challenges are suggested to you by the Coach and are optional.

6. You limit your everyday life too much

Not all forms of intermittent fasting fits every daily routine. Sometimes there are unexpected appointments or events. For this reason, intermittent fasting allows for flexiblity of 1 to 2 hours. This should not become the norm and you should observe consistency of the food intake and fasting phases. Nevertheless, you should not limit yourself too much and it is important to keep up your perseverance, motivation, and interest in the fasting program.

7. You choose a fasting method which doesn’t fit to your life

Your current version of intermittent fasting might not fit your life-style particularly if the new rhythm is difficult to get used to. 5/2, 16/8 or 10in2 intermittent fasting can be accomplished byfollowing various meal and fasting rhythms. If one version does not work for you, it is worthwhile trying a different one.

Use the BodyFast fasting coach. Each week, your coach can tailor your fasting plan to your personal dates, goals and set it up to meet your standards. Just try it out and download the App!

54 thoughts on “The seven biggest mistakes in intermittent fasting

  1. Magriet Reply

    Good day
    Just purchased a three month trail with a coach. Looking forward to the challange.
    Will there be any sort of guidelines of what type of food i should eat to get best benefits…
    Please let me know.
    Will there be a prpgramme fore to plan ahead…
    Working away from home and meed to pack in meals .
    Thank you
    Magriet

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Dear Magriet, thanks for your comment and for trying the Coach! Please read our FAQ for all questions concerning the Coach. You’ll find everything there. Best wishes!

    • Colleen Julies Reply

      Hi Magriet

      I have started BodyFast last week and are in two minds about trying the coach. What has been your experience, would you recommend it?

      Best
      Colleen

      • Patrick Post authorReply

        The Coach is an intelligent fasting algorithm our team has developed in 1.5 years. If you need support from a live person, you can always ask our experienced team for any questions around intermittent fasting and the app.

        What is the Coach?
        The BodyFast Coach creates an individual fasting week plan for you, based on your input like age, progress and weight goal. The varying and individual fasting plans of the BodyFast Coach orientate themselves on the genetically programmed natural eating habits of human beings.

        The weekly Coach plans offer a great variety and challenges the standard dieting and fasting methods. For example, with the popular “16-8 fasting”, you skip breakfast or dinner but the fasting intervals and times always remain the same. A habituation effect often occurs in that way of fasting. If you skip breakfast or dinner every day you will of course experience positive effects. However, following the same fasting program may result in falling back into old patterns and losing interest. The body will also adapt to the new eating habit which follows the same pattern every day and thus the results will lessen.

        In contrast, Coach users get a different fasting plan every week – with varying intervals and fasting times, depending on the individual’s daily routine, availability, progress and goals. The greater variety provided by the Coach pushes the human body even more but people swear by the results. Coach fasting results in faster weight loss, but also in more resilience and flexibility.

        Weekly Challenges
        The individual Coach plans additionally provide weekly challenges, like physical activity or light workouts (walking, jogging, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, etc.). Users are confronted with new stimuli every week. Additional wellness and mindfulness tasks promote serenity and balance. This ensures a lot of motivation and variety to reach the health and weight-loss goals without frustration or boredom. BodyFast aims to provide a holistic experience that not only supports health, healing, and well-being but also brings even more peace into one’s everyday life.

        Coach-Users have even more advantages:
        + They may choose manually out of over 50 effective fasting week plans
        + The Coach sets weekly challenges in the areas of fitness and health which lead to a healthier lifestyle. This way, Coach users reach their goals even quicker.
        + Coach- users can set a joker day every week and take a break from fasting. This brings more flexibility to the schedule and the week plan will be prolonged by one day.

  2. Ruth Jensen Reply

    Good day,
    I am on IF with a coach since 1 month, and I think I got through every fasting period very disciplined.
    I am a night person, sometimes I go to bed 2.00 or 3.00 in the “morning” and get up 9.00 or 10.00 am. So, my last fasting periods have been 24 hour (12am – 12am). Since I am still up when my eating window opens, and I am very hungry, I start eating before I go to bed. If I wouldn’t eat, the fasting period would be longer than 24 hours, since I would have breakfast 9.00 or 10.00 am. So, I am confused, am I allowed to eat that late after the Fasting period before going to sleep? I also have to say, I didn’t loose any weight the last couple weeks, Could this be that?
    Thank you.
    R. Jensen

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Dear Ruth, after the fasting periods you can eat, also if it is nighttime!

      + If you didn’t lose weight, you should consider prolonging your fasting hours or fasting more often. That’s what our Coach does – he adjusts your fasting plans according to your goals and progress. But you can also choose a different week plan manually.
      + Intermittent fasting is no fast “wonder diet” which often leads to a yo-yo effect. It is a long-term change of your eating habits. That’s why weight loss can take some time.
      + In the eating periods you shouldn’t overeat – or eat more than you would usually eat without fasting.
      + If you have acute food cravings: stay active, go for a walk, meet friends and drink lots of water (to glasses are recommended).
      + You should avoid sugar and sweetened drinks also in the eating periods. If you really want to eat sugar, then directly after a larger meal, to let your blood sugar regulate itself better. This also reduces the hunger during fasting periods.

  3. Brian Patterson Reply

    Just purchased the 3 month programme. I cycle at least 4 times a week. At least 2 X 1 Hour sessions on my bike at a gym ( Wahoo KickR) during the week and 2 X 3 hour sessions on the weekend. Whilst I want to lose residual fat and create muscle and can probably do the 1 Hour sessions whilst fasting and unfueled there is no way I can do 3- 4 hours on a bike for 100 Km without carbs in my bottles and no fuel. Typically on weekends I start at 6:30 am and ride to 10:00 am Do I move the fast backwards, and at 4:30 am and eat or end at 6:30 am and carb up and eat thereafter? Any advice appreciated as to how to incorporate strenuous exercise into this programme!

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Dear Brian, the best thing is to try out how you feel when you move the fasting times a certain way. You can do workouts and exercise while fasting, for some it’s better to move the exercise to the end of the fasting periods, for others it does not really matter at all. It also depends on the goals you have.

  4. Catherine Reply

    During the summer, I would like a strict fast Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday, with a more relaxed fast on the weekend. Is this possible with the Coach part of the program? Can I design a fast like this?

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Yes there are fasting plans that support the three days fast. One of them is called MWF (Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

  5. Monica Ruiz Reply

    I just started this week. But today I had a little mess up. One of my co workers offered me a cherry and I took it. Not even thinking and forgot I was fasting. Does this one cherry mess up my fast for the day. This was actually an hour before the fasting would have been done

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      You shouldn’t eat cherries during fasting. But just do the next fasting periods without 🙂

  6. Aleksandra Reply

    Hallo,

    ich bin fast am Ende der zweiten Fastenwoche mit Coach angelangt. Mit heute faste ich das erste Mal 24 Std.
    Ich wüsste gerne, ob in Fastenzeiten die Einnahme von Flohsamenschalen erlaubt ist. Die tun mir gut, aber ich bin unsicher, ob sich die, wenn auch sehr geringe Kalorienzufuhr an Fastentagen ungünstig auswirkt?

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Hallo Aleksandra, da Flohsamenschalen Kohlenhydrate und Proteine enthalten, würden wir sie während der Fastenperiode nicht empfehlen. Dies wird den Autophagie/Zellreparaturprozess negativ beeinflussen.

  7. Aleksandra Reply

    …und kann ich trotz Infekt weiter fasten? Sollte ich das mit einem Arzt abklären? Ist nur eine kleine Erkältung und ich bin etwas schlapper, aber ich meide gerade lieber andere Anstrengungen und faste gemütlich weiter… Ist das in Ordnung?

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Hallo Aleksandra, medizinische Beratung können wir leider nicht geben, daher frage bei Zweifeln bitte immer Deinen Arzt!

  8. Diane Takesh Reply

    I just starwthe fasting at night after vacation I will sign up with the coach. My question is can I fast at night from Monday thru Friday and then change on Saturday and Sunday to morning g?

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hallo Diane,
      shifting fasting times in the weekends is no problem.:) In the current version of the app, you can move the fasting times by pressing the “move fasting periods” buttons at the start of a week or even during the week. You can also enter your meal times so that the app can adjust your times better automatically.
      Kind regards,
      Svenja

  9. Diane Takesh Reply

    Can I have veggie broth and club soda in addition to the coffee, tea and water in the fasting period?

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      If you are new to IF you can have veggie broth, if it is difficult for you to persevere. However, I would reccommend you to do without broth, if possible.

  10. Silvia Huber Reply

    Hallo,

    ich bin mit großer Begeisterung dabei. Habe ein 3 Monatsabo abgeschlossen. Wenn die drei Monate vorbei sind, würde ich gerne das Jahresabo buchen. Das 3 Monatsabo wird nicht automatisch verlängert oder? Wird man informiert, wenn es ausläuft?

    LG

    Silvia

  11. Sena Reply

    Hallo,

    ich habe die erste Woche 16/8 hinter und festgestellt, dass ich 18/6 praktiziere. Wieso kann ich die Zeiten nicht ändern?

    Gruß
    Sena

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Liebe Sena,
      bei der aktuellen Version unserer App ist es leider nicht möglich die Fastenperioden manuell zu verlängern. Du kannst diese lediglich verschieben. Wir arbeiten jedoch mit Hochdruck an einem Update, das unseren Nutzern mehr manuellen Spielraum einräumt.
      Wir bitten um deine Geduld.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Svenja

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Diane,
      thanks for your comment! If you are a Coach user, you can set one day per week as Jokerday. So, if there’s a day you definitely can’t stick to your fasting plan, you can skip the day and do the fasting period later in the week.
      Kind regards,
      Svenja

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Diane,
      we are currently working on new features that allow users to individually adjust and start/stop the fasting plans.

      In the current version of the app, you can move the fasting times by pressing the “move fasting periods” buttons at the start of a week or even during the week. You can also enter your meal times so that the app can adjust your times better automatically.

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Tina,
      during the eating period you should eat when you feel hungry or just keep on with your usual eating times. Make sure you don’t binge, because this will negate the effect of losing weight. If you want to lose weight faster, eat a little bit less then usually and avoid sugar and fast foods.

      Try for yourself what works best and feels best. Make sure you ask other BodyFasters in our Facebook group how they manage their eating periods: https://www.facebook.com/groups/bodyfastEN/
      Kind regards,
      Svenja

  12. Alison Reply

    Hi I was looking at the other options for IF and one has two day where you begin at 00.00 can you explain, they said it is to loose fat quick but not for the inexperienced.. can you advise /explain the timings
    Thanking you in advance

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Alison,
      can you please tell me the name of the plan? I’m sure then, I will be able to help you. 🙂

  13. Dima Reply

    How is this different than a regular diet where you are eating 1400 calories ( low carb and fat) plus exercising ( and you are still eating 3 meals and 2 snacks between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm?

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Dima,
      what is so special about Intermittent Fasting is, that you don’t have to count calories during your eating-periods. As you skip meals while fasting you automatically create a calorie deficit that will lead to a loss in weight. The only thing you need to be careful with is to remain from overeating. As long as you don’t eat more than usually (without fasting), IF will work for you. 🙂
      Kind regards,
      Svenja

  14. DIANE TAKESH Reply

    As a coach member it tells me I have 50 plans to choose from. How do I find them? I can’t follow some days. Especially Saturday and Sunday.

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Dear Diane,
      you can find our 50 plans in the “fasting”-tab. Please notice that the plan overview is only accessible at the end of your current fasting week. Alternatively you can abort your current fasting week to have a look at the plans.
      Kind regards and happy fasting,
      Svenja

  15. Evija Reply

    Three questions:
    1) Can I have coffe with milk (cappuccino / flat white) during fasting period?
    2) What is the best way to break the fast? (excpecially the longer ones 2-5)
    3) Would you recommend applying dry fasting during a fast period?
    Many thanks

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Evija,
      1. Of course you can have coffee during your fasting periods. However, you should have it without milk, sugar and sweeteners, as this will break your fast.
      2. In fact, you can break your fast with anything you want, as IF is not based on calorie counting. Just make sure not to overeat in your eating windows.
      3. We usually do not recommend dry fasting, but you are free to test it of course. We’ be happy to hear about your experience with dry fasting. 🙂
      Kind regards,
      Svenja

  16. Sunni Reply

    Guten Morgen,

    ich habe den Coach für 25 Wochen gebucht und bin jetzt in der zweiten Woche. Bisher komme ich mit der Fastenzeit gut klar. Ebenfalls habe ich mich im Fitness Studio angemeldet und war auch dort, um zu trainieren. Meine Ernährung würde ich als gesund bezeichnen, da ich vor dem Intervallfasten bereits meine Ernährung umgestellt habe, aber der Abnahmeerfolg sich nicht recht einstellen wollte.
    Nun habe ich mit dem Coach vor zwei Wochen mit 76 kg gestartet, vor drei Tagen wog ich dann nur noch 74,7 kg. Ein Minus von 1,3 kg – ich habe mich sehr gefreut.
    Aber heute morgen steht meine Waage wieder auf 75 kg. Dabei war ich gestern im Studio und habe länger gefastet, als der Coach mir vorgeschlagen hat.
    Mache ich etwas falsch?
    Viele Grüße, Sunni

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Liebe Sunni,
      vielen Dank für deinen Kommentar. Nein, du machst nichts falsch! Dein Körper benötigt nur einige Zeit, um sich an die Umstellung zu gewöhnen. Wegen der kurzfristigen Gewichtsschwankung brauchst du dir keine Sorgen zu machen, das ist völlig normal. Wichtig ist nur, dass es tendenziell (über Wochen oder Monate gesehen) nach unten geht. Es reicht völlig aus, wenn du dich 1-2 mal pro Woche wiegst. So machst du dich nicht unnötig wegen Tagesschwankungen verrückt, die zum Beispiel auf temporäre Wassereinlagerungen zurückgeführt werden können. Beobachte die Entwicklung einfach in den nächsten Wochen. Solltest du nicht abnehmen, melde dich bitte bei mir. Vielleicht kann ich dir dann ein paar Tipps geben wie du deine Abnehmerfolge steigern kannst.
      Liebe Grüße,
      Svenja

    • Patrick Post authorReply

      Fettabbau beim Intervallfasten
      Hallo Sunni, unsere Infographik verdeutlicht dir, warum es beim Gewichtsverlust anfangs ab- und wieder aufwärts gehen kann!

  17. Sunni Reply

    Hallo Svenja und Patrick,
    vielen Dank für eure Antworten. Nun befinde ich mich in der dritten Wochen und der Coach hat mir eine 5:2 Woche vorgeschlagen.
    Am Mittwoch nach dem ersten Fastentag war ich tatsächlich auf 73,4 kg und heute morgen habe ich mich erst gewogen, denn heute ist für diese Woche mein zweiter Fastentag. Die Tage dazwischen habe ich normal gegessen. Aber heute morgen habe ich tatsächlich 2 kg mehr auf der Waage. Bin also wieder über 75 kg.
    Ich werde die gebuchten 25 Wochen durchziehen, aber irgendwie bin ich mir nicht sicher, ob die Methode bei mir anschlägt 🙁
    Gruß, Sunni

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hallo Sunni,
      machst du denn Sport und achtest auf eine ausgewogene Ernährung mit moderaten Portionen? Sport lässt sich sehr gut mit IF kombinieren und kann deine Erfolge steigern. Was die Ernährung betrifft: Versuche deinen Zuckerkonsum etwas einzuschränken. Das reicht meistens schon aus um Erfolge zu erzielen. 🙂
      Liebe Grüße,
      Svenja

  18. Ramiro Reply

    Hello,

    I had the 3 month plan. I want to know something, during the non-eating time, can I drink coffee or tea with a little of stevia sweetener?

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Ramiro,
      thanks for your comment.
      You can have coffee and tea, but you should have it without stevia or other sweeteners.
      Kind regards,
      your BodyFast-Team

  19. Andres Reply

    Hola… Agradezco que me puedan responder una pregunta
    ¿En el tiempo en el que estoy ayunando puedo tomar te de piña?. Es una infusión de agua con cáscaras de piña muy buen diurético relacionado con la pérdida de peso

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hola Andres,
      durante los períodos de ayuno, puede beber té siempre que no use leche, azúcar u otros edulcorantes. Buena suerte con el ayuno!
      Saludos,
      Svenja

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hi Anon,

      Calorie counting can make food an elaborate science, as you have to calculate and keep a record at every meal. It spoils the fun of eating for you, your family and your friends.
      In addition, studies show that the error rate in the calculation is up to 25%, since even the best manuals and apps cannot determine the exact number of calories for each meal on your plate. With calorie burn, you have the same problem.
      With intermittent fasting, you don’t have to count calories to lose weight healthily. It is enough to watch out for moderate portion sizes and reduce the intake of unhealthy foods and fast foods that contain a lot of sugar and white flour. You always skip meals, but don’t make up for them during the meal periods. You’ll run into a calorie deficit and lose weight.
      Junk food should only be eaten infrequently and when snacking try to choose healthy snacks.
      Kind regards 🙂

  20. Sunni Reply

    Halo Svenja und Patrick,

    nun bin ich in der 5. Woche und habe gerade mal ein Kilo weniger. Ich esse schon seit Jahren wenig zuckerhaltiges, lasse sogar die Kohlehydrate abends weg und ernähre mich ebenso seit Jahren gerne gesund. Fast Food so gut wie nie. Wirklich ! zweimal in der Woche gehe ich ins Sportstudio.
    Fazit von mir: bei vielen Anwendern hilft das Fasten wohl, bei mir schlägt es irgendwie nicht an.

    Ich habe den Coach für 25 Wochen bestellt und bezahlt und werde ihn auch diese Zeit natürlich noch nutzen, aber ich möchte auf gar keinen Fall eine Verlängerung dieses Abos.

    Wo bitte kann ich das Abo kündigen?

    viele Grüße
    Sunni

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hallo Sunni,
      tut uns leid zu hören, dass IF bei dir bislang noch nicht richtig anschlägt. Vielleicht ist der Abnehmeffekt bei dir nicht so groß, weil du auch schon vor dem Fasten vieles bei der Ernährung richtig gemacht hast und dein Stoffwechsel darauf eingestellt ist. Wir würden dir trotzdem empfehlen dran zu bleiben und vielleicht längere oder häufigere Fastenperioden einzulegen. Abgesehen von einer Gewichtsabnahme bietet IF ja auch viele weitere gesundheitsfördernde Vorteile, von denen du profitierst.
      Dein Abo kannst du direkt bei Apple oder Google Play kündigen, damit es sich nicht nach Ablauf der Laufzeit verlängert.

      Bei iPhones/iPads:
      https://buy.itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZFinance.woa/wa/manageSubscriptions

      Bei Android Phones/Tablets:
      http://play.google.com/store/account/subscriptions

      Liebe Grüße,
      Svenja

  21. Anja Henne Reply

    Bin erst 1 tag dabei und im urlaub, bin gespannt ob ich das fasten in meiner Schichtarbeit durchziehen kann, nur mit verschobenen Zeiten.

    • Svenja Taubert Reply

      Hallo Anja,

      danke für deinen Kommentar.
      Es ist tatsächlich oft nicht einfach, Fasten und Schichtarbeit zu vereinbaren. Einige unserer Nutzer kriegen das aber ganz gut hin:

      + Hast Du schon einmal probiert, die Fastenzeiten in der App zu verschieben? Das geht nämlich sowohl vor, als auch während der Fastenwoche.
      + Du kannst unter vielen verschiedenen Plänen wählen – vielleicht schaust Du Dir die unterschiedlichen Möglichkeiten einmal an.

      Wir arbeiten aber daran, Schichtarbeit besser zu unterstützen und freuen uns über jede Anregung zum Thema!
      Lg,
      dein Bodyfast-Team

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