10 Common Mistakes to Avoid During Intermittent Fasting

In this video, the speaker discusses the top 10 mistakes people make during intermittent fasting that hinder their results and long-term success. They emphasize the importance of gradual changes, understanding individual differences, and focusing on sustainable practices. The speaker also mentions the negative effects of excessive protein and fat consumption, high cortisol levels, inadequate salt intake, and deprivation. They advise against quick fixes and highlight the significance of viewing fasting as a lifestyle rather than a temporary solution. Additionally, the video promotes eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods during feeding periods.

Author Icon

Our Summaries are written by our own AI Infrastructure, to save you time on your Health Journey!

How does this happen?

Key Insights:

  • Intermittent fasting requires a sustainable approach for long-term success.
  • There is no one-size-fits-all approach to intermittent fasting; it is a trial and error process to find what works best for each individual.
  • Some people can make mistakes and still see weight loss results, but this does not necessarily mean it is healthy in the long run.
  • Changing eating habits too quickly can be unnecessarily painful and uncomfortable, leading to a higher chance of quitting.
  • Intermittent fasting should be seen as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix or a temporary diet.
  • It is important to eat enough food during intermittent fasting, allowing yourself to eat until you are full but reducing overall food intake by eating fewer meals.
  • Eating too many carbohydrates can raise insulin levels and hinder fat burning, so it is important to lower both carbohydrate intake and meal frequency.
  • Eating excessive protein can result in the unused protein being converted into glucose and stored as fat, so moderation is key.
  • Consuming too much fat can hinder weight loss as the body will use dietary fat for energy rather than burning stored fat.
  • Consuming too many calories, including calories from bulletproof coffee, alcohol, or rich and high-calorie foods, can hinder weight loss progress.
  • High cortisol levels, caused by stress, poor sleep, or excessive anaerobic exercise, can hinder weight loss progress and insulin regulation.
  • Not consuming enough salt during intermittent fasting can lead to electrolyte imbalances, so it is important to increase salt intake during fasting periods.
  • Depriving oneself and allowing excessive hunger during fasting periods can lead to overeating and indulging in unhealthy foods when allowed to eat again.


Hello Health Champions. Today I want to talk about the top 10 mistakes that people make during intermittent fasting that rob them of the results and the success that they’re looking for when starting out on fasting or intimate fasting. And when I say success, I’m talking about long-term success because if you do something to get healthier but then you stop doing it and you get right back to being unhealthy where you started then what was the point of changing anything at all. So have the mindset of changing for a lifetime.

Another problem is that people don’t understand that we are different. It’s like they think there is the right way. Tell me the right way as if someone could do all the research and just figure it out and come up with a one magical answer that’s going to apply to everybody. And there is no such thing so stop looking for the right way but instead if you start understanding the different principles and the mechanisms then you use trial and error and you figure out what the right way is for you.

And then there are some people who can make every single mistake that I’m going to talk about and they succeed anyway at least in terms of weight loss. They eat the pizza, they eat the ice cream, they just do it once a day and they lose the weight. Now I’m happy that they’re getting some weight loss results or whatever they’re looking for but it doesn’t mean that that is healthy in the long run. But then on the other hand there are other people who have much more stubborn situations and they have to be very meticulous and follow every single rule in the book. So keep in mind as we’re talking about these 10 mistakes that when we talk about results they have to be sustainable otherwise it doesn’t work and if it’s too painful you’re not very likely to carry it through but rather a lot of people will quit.

Mistake number 10 is that people often change too quickly. So if you’re like most people and you’ve never really tried to do anything then you probably wake up and you have breakfast, you eat a mid-morning snack, you have lunch, mid-afternoon snack, dinner and an evening snack and the only time you’re not eating is when you’re sleeping. So if you sleep for eight hours you might be fasting for 10 hours and all the rest of the time you’re basically eating. So what I suggest is that you allow your body to get used to this gradually don’t try to shock your body. Do it nicely then your body is going to work with you so if you just move your evening snack back an hour you gained an hour of fasting. If you skip it all together you gain another couple of hours if you move your breakfast up after that and you skip the snacks now you have 15 hours of fasting and you’re only stimulating insulin three times a day. And then the next step, you probably realize you don’t need breakfast at all so you just eat lunch and dinner and now you have an 18-hour fast. So you’ve almost doubled your fasting period and your feeding period has shrunk in more than half and some people do really well just going cold turkey going from six meals a day to two meals a day and if that works great but I don’t recommend it I recommend you change gradually because your body is going to be much happier in the long run.

For a lot of people if you change too quickly it’s unnecessarily painful and if it’s painful and uncomfortable a lot of people are going to quit and then we don’t get the results. Mistake number nine is that we think of it as a quick fix. We’ve all heard about these diets we see the magazines every day that lose 30 pounds in 30 days or some ridiculous thing like that and the problem is we get the mindset that we can do anything for a period of time but what happens then is we plan to go back to doing what we used to do and create the problem all over. So get over the idea of a quick fix. Don’t think of this as a diet think of it as a lifestyle and stop thinking short term. Just because it’s powerful does not mean that it’s short term you can get results within weeks but it doesn’t mean you can go back to doing what you used to do.

Mistake number eight is to not eat enough food and it could be because you don’t understand intermittent fasting or it could be that you’re just too gung-ho and you just want the results super fast. You decided I’m gonna do this once and for all and you just go all in and that may not be so smart the idea of intermittent fasting is that you eat less food overall because you eat fewer meals but when you do eat you allow yourself to eat until you’re full. That way you can eat to satiety, you don’t feel deprived but you are eating less food overall. You’re allowing your body to get into fat burning and you can start burning some fat off the body instead of from what you’re eating. But for some people who are a little too eager they end up eating low carb which is a good thing but then they also eat low fat and low protein, right? You can’t eat less or very little of everything that’s not going to work there’s a word for that it’s called starvation and there’s two problems with that first of all you’re shocking your body you’re not allowing it to get into that healthy, peaceful, harmonious place where it finds its homeostasis long term. And the other problem is that you’re going to be suffering and it’s going to be very difficult to sustain it.

Mistake number seven is to eat too much carbohydrate and why is that a problem because carbohydrate raises insulin and the whole reason we’re doing intermittent fasting is to lower insulin. We do that two ways by lowering carbohydrate and by eating fewer meals because what increases insulin is whenever we eat something and whenever we eat especially carbohydrate. So for some people it’s enough to just reduce the number of meals but for a lot of people you have to do both. You have to reduce the carbs and eat fewer meals and why is that so important to lower insulin? Because insulin is fat storing and if insulin remains high then we’re going to stay in a state of fat storing we’re going to prevent fat burning and if we eat less but insulin is high then we still can’t get to those fat stores on the body. And if we can’t get to them and the body senses it needs energy but it can’t find it on the body then it says you have to eat more and you end up getting hungry. So high levels of insulin make you hungry and too much carbs will maintain those high insulin levels.

Mistake number six is to eat too much protein for most people. I’m not talking about the meat, fish, chicken, eggs. I’m not talking about whole food good sources of protein. If you eat that in moderation it’s totally okay and for the vast majority of people you don’t really need to restrict these at all. But we still have to be aware of what happens to excess protein because the excess gets turned into glucose. Whenever you eat protein it can only end up two ways either your body uses it for something structural like muscles, bone, skin, hair, collagen, or it can use it for hormones in small amounts. So the structural is one way but the other way anything the body can’t use for structural becomes energy. It converts it into glucose and it uses it for fuel and then the glucose gets stored as glycogen up to the limit which isn’t very much of how much glycogen we can store and the rest gets converted to fat. So what I really want to get at is that some people have heard that sugar is bad and carbohydrates bad and fat is bad and then they think that the only thing left to eat is protein and they eat as much as they can of meat, fish, and chicken. But then they might also start eating things like protein powders and protein powders are not a great idea because most of them are plant-based but even the ones that are not, like whey and collagen, have a very poor conversion into the structural tissues. Over 80 percent of these protein powders and the protein in the powders get turned into glucose and then some of the protein powders even have other sugars or carbohydrates or even artificial chemicals and sweeteners.

Mistake number five is to eat too much fat. So, this is a little confusing to people because they think that low carb and keto and intermittent fasting is about eating as much fat as possible and that’s not true. It’s about reducing the carbohydrates so that you lower the insulin so you can burn the fat. Now, that’s a good thing if you can burn fat because then you can burn the dietary fat, but the real purpose is to burn the fat off the body and you still want to be in a caloric deficit, so that your body has an incentive to burn the fat off the body. If you keep giving your body all the fat it needs for energy through the diet then it’s never going to get around to burning it off the body. So, for some people it takes care of itself because when they eat fewer meals, their appetite goes down and they start burning the fat, but for others, they have a tendency to keep eating a little bit more than they should. So, this is something that you want to be aware of that if you’re not losing the weight, your body is not burning it off the body, it could be that you’re still eating too much fat.

Mistake number four is to eat too many calories. It is possible if you’re a really good cook, you cook gourmet foods and you eat twice a day and you have rich sauces and you like to add the garlic butter. It’s still possible to eat a little bit beyond satiety, you have this temptation to finish things just because it tastes really good. So, be aware of that that if you eat twice a day and you eat 1500 calories per meal, that’s still 3,000 and you’re probably not going to be burning through that very efficiently. Another problem is a little more sneaky that people think that bulletproof coffee is such a great thing and I’m not opposed to it, but the purpose of bulletproof coffee is to extend your fast. It’s to help you get through an extra three, four, five hours without raising insulin. So, if you can keep insulin going down and you can extend the fast, then bulletproof coffee is a good thing. But if you get it a little bit backwards and you think that the bulletproof coffee is better than nothing, that is actually going to do something and help you lose weight and you get the idea that more is better, especially with collagen, like a lot of people tell you to add, then before you know it you might have three of those – two tablespoons of butter, a little dash of cream, some collagen – 300 calories. If you do that three times a day, now you just added a thousand calories that you didn’t maybe think about. Another problem can be alcohol because alcohol, strictly speaking, the straight alcohol liquor like vodka, whiskey, cognac, bourbon has virtually zero impact on insulin so it should be safe on a fast or intimate and fast, but it still is very, very energy-dense. One little shot of liquor has 150 calories so if you have three a week, that might be okay, but if you have three a day, now you just added about 500 calories that maybe you didn’t think about. So, the solution is just to be more aware that don’t add things unnecessarily that you don’t think about and also if you eat very rich food then maybe eat a little bit less of that rich food and instead what you do is you add more low-calorie density foods. So, you eat the leafy greens and the non-starchy vegetables and you kind of make half the plate of that.

Mistake number three is high cortisol. To have a high-stress lifestyle that maintains high cortisol. Poor sleep is one more factor because if you don’t sleep enough or if your quality of sleep is poor, then you tend to run higher cortisol levels also. And the problem with cortisol is cortisol is produced in the body in response to stress and when you’re stressed, your body is looking to raise blood sugar. So, cortisol helps the body get more blood sugar, but that higher blood sugar triggers insulin which triggers insulin resistance and fat storing and so forth. So, for some people, a chronic high cortisol level could be the thing that is holding them back. Now, the problem with stress or a mental state of stress is I tell this to a lot of people and they will tell me that oh but I’m not stressed and then we check their adrenals which handle the stress and their adrenals are totally shot. Because stress is not how stressed you feel, it’s not about how you feel or how you think you feel, it’s about how you have conditioned your body over a lifetime. A lot of people will tell me I was stressed 20-30 years ago but today my life is very peaceful, well it’s during your years of growing up and during your years of living that you condition your body into certain responses and it’s not about the stress out there, it’s how your body responds to it and that’s a conditioned response at the cellular level. Another way to raise cortisol is to do too much anaerobic exercise. So anaerobic is when you’re huffing and puffing when you’re pushing yourself and if you do a class like this and they’re trying to whip you on and they’re trying to encourage you and they tell you how many calories you’re burning and you’re doing well but you’re huffing and puffing for 40, 50, 60 minutes now you’re producing cortisol during all that time and that cortisol is going to backfire on you because if you’re huffing and puffing and you’re making cortisol then your body has to use up carbohydrates and if you didn’t eat very many carbohydrates then it’s either going to break down muscle or it’s going to make you consume more the next meal. So, it’s going to make you hungrier. The one type of anaerobic that’s okay is called high-intensity interval training which is anaerobic but it’s very, very short-term so whereas a class might last 45 minutes or more, high-intensity interval training is where you warm up a little bit and then you go super high intensity for just a few minutes and then you get certain benefits, but you’re not staying in that state long enough to make a lot of cortisol. Another thing to be aware of is that if you’re on medication called corticosteroids then that is a man-made version of cortisol so even if you’re doing everything else right, the corticosteroids are giving you cortisol and that’s going to tend to mess things up. So just be aware of that that if you’re on steroids that’s probably going to make you extra hungry and that may not be the best time to try to be super strict with this but just try to get over the steroids and then start over. Another thing I talk a lot about is breathing exercises and meditation because that is the best way long term to handle to reprogram that conditioned stress response so that the world outside may still be the way it is but your body reacts, your body interprets that differently and you can get back into balance.

Fasting mistake number two is to not eat enough salt. We hear so often that salt is unhealthy. Salt raises blood pressure and that is not true. Excess salt can aggravate an existing health condition if we don’t have the ability to regulate but a healthy body can regulate salt perfectly. The only time you want to restrict it is if you have something like kidney failure because now your body has lost the ability to regulate, so therefore you have to help your body out. But when you’re fasting your insulin will drop. That’s the whole purpose, you eat fewer meals, less carbs, your insulin drops and insulin retains sodium. Insulin acts on the kidneys to recycle more sodium, more salt, so when insulin drops then we’re going to lose salt. Therefore you have to take a little extra also glycogen binds water. Glycogen is the carbohydrate storage form in the body and when we eat less carbs and we eat fewer meals, now we’re going to use up those carbohydrates and when we use them up they can no longer bind water so we lose additional water that way and salt, sodium, always follows water. They go hand in hand, their buddies; they go together. So now you’re losing water and salt because insulin drops, you’re losing water and salt because you’re using up carbs and losing it that way. Therefore when you’re fasting, make sure that you get a little bit extra salt and water compared to what you usually do.

The number one mistake people probably make when they’re fasting is that they’re depriving themselves. They’re allowing themselves to get too hungry and when that happens all they can think of is all the things they’re going to eat when they’re allowed to eat again. They’re dreaming about it and what ends up happening is they just consume three meals in one sitting. They’re eating all the things that they didn’t eat when they were fasting so they might consume everything on here just to make up for it. In addition to that, they might stray a little extra and start eating carbs and junk. And that’s another reason I usually encourage people to do it gradually, do it at a pace where your body gets used to it because it’s not about depriving yourself, it’s not about suffering. So what you want to try to do when you get back to eating is to eat a normal to large meal. Don’t try to make up and eat three meals in one sitting and you want to look for low carbohydrate because when you eat carbohydrate that’s going to stimulate those cravings again. They’re going to make you hungrier and you also want to focus on eating quality nutrients. Eat nutrient-dense food, eat whole food, unprocessed foods. If you enjoyed this video, you’re going to love that one, and if you truly want to master health by understanding how the body really works, make sure you subscribe, hit that bell, and turn on all the notifications so you never miss a life-saving video.