Many diets are prone to failure. People get hungry and over eat. People eat because they are emotional, tired, sick, and just bored. Most diets actually do work to help people lose weight if they stick to it. But, many of them are impossible to stick to. For example, how many people live a lifestyle that enables them to eat six small meals a day? How many people can really eat enormous amounts of raw food daily (raw food diet)? How many people truly have time to prep for diets? Not many people. That’s the truth. Most people have very busy and hectic lives. Most people live on a tight budget and can’t afford to spend too much on food. With Intermittent Fasting, it’s mostly about when you eat and not what you eat. Although, if you truly want to be healthy, you should stick to whole food, mostly plant based foods using meat or tofu as a complement. Of course, you can eat whatever you want on your feeding days up to your point of satiation and you may still lose weight. But, it won’t mean that you’re super healthy. Anyway, there are several reasons why people fail on IF to consider.
  • Failing to Plan – If you don’t pre-plan your fast and feed days, you may find yourself in a situation where you are at a birthday party and can’t enjoy the festivities. Then you’re going to fall off the plan and think you’ll make it up later. That won’t work. Only consistency will work when using IF as a way to lose weight and gain mental clarity.
  • Not Exercising – It’s important for any healthy lifestyle to exercise. The great thing about IF is that you can take an exercise break when you are taking a food break. Fasting days should include slower paced days. For example, if you normally swim laps, why not enjoy the Jacuzzi or sauna instead? Take those days to get a massage and take care of yourself, instead of working too hard. On feeding days, work out like you normally would, depending on your goals.
  • Over Eating – Many people use intermittent fasting as an excuse to overeat. They think “Well, I fasted all day yesterday so I’m going to this Chinese food bar and I’m going to eat until I feel like puking.” No, that doesn’t work. Don’t over eat. Eat only until you are satisfied. For most people this is a little bit behind “not hungry” to a little bit of a full feeling in your tummy.
  • Other People – Sometimes when you go on a diet other people will discourage you, question you, and suddenly act as if they had a degree in nutrition hidden in their file cabinet. The best thing to do is not tell other people what you’re doing unless they are going to join you.
  • Negativity – Sometimes, it’s the wrong time to try any type of eating plan at all. If you’re going through a divorce, a death, or even just got a new exciting job, it’s a bad time to change your eating plan or lifestyle.
You can overcome all of these negatives if you think about them and work around them. Plan ahead, use the calendar, eat right, drink plenty of fluids, and get exercise. Only tell the people who need to know what you’re doing and seek support from online groups, or a friend who will do IF with you.

Why IF Can Be Successful

IF can be very successful because it is truly scientific. On most diets that restrict calories every single day of the year, your body gets used to the deprivation and adjusts its metabolism to reserve fat for famine. When you switch back and forth between deprivation and plenty you trigger your hormones to burn fat, heal the body, the mind and get healthier. The reasons intermittent fasting can be successful aren’t that hard to figure out. It’s rather simple, and is scientific.

Calories Matter

No matter what type of diet you’re on, calories do matter. But, they don’t matter exactly in the way everyone thinks. It IS that you need a calorie deficit to lose weight, but it’s more than that too since the human body is so smart. The fewer calories you eat, the harder your body will work to hold on to fat because it doesn’t want to starve to death. Most people know about “starvation mode” which is when your body slows down.You feel sleepy, confused, and like you’re starving. Most diets trigger starvation mode due to being very restrictive. But, with intermittent fasting you sort of trick your body into thinking it’s being over fed so that it doesn’t go into starvation mode, while still having a calorie deficit which will cause you to lose weight.  

Eating Health Foods Matter

Many people who try IF do think they can eat whatever they want during feeding. Sure, occasionally, maybe weekly, you can add a “cheat meal” which might be some cake or other processed, high fat, high sugar, high calorie food. But, if you eat those on a regular basis, even while fasting, you can still easily over eat. The reason is that processed food is often more calorically dense which means you have to eat more of it to feel full, even while it has more calories. Your body doesn’t really know if it has 3 pounds of apples inside it or 3 pounds of cake. But, three pounds of cake obviously has far more calories than 3 pounds of apples.  

Intentional Exercise Matters

The truth is, about 80 percent of your results will come from the food you put into your body. If you put highly nutrient dense food in it, you’ll be healthier and get close to your body’s healthy weight over time. But, if you don’t move, you aren’t going to get the full benefits that you could enjoy. Intentional exercise doesn’t have to be difficult. It can consist of something as simple as a fast 20-minute walk daily, running, biking, weight lifting and more. It’s up to you. The best way to ensure that you’ll always include exercise in your life is to pick something you truly like doing. There is no point doing anything you hate. Just like, if you hate broccoli you don’t need to eat it because there are other things you can eat with the same nutrients, you don’t have to bike up a mountain if that isn’t something you will enjoy.  

Consistency Matters

With any type of weight loss or mental improvement plan, you need to be ready to stick to your plan for the long haul. You won’t know if something is going to work or not after just a day or even a week. You need to decide to stick to anything new for at least 21 to 30 days. The reason is that it will take that long to know if you can stick to it without too much problem. Plus, it’s long enough to see results, but not too long that you will give up. After all, you can do almost anything for 30 days.  

Your Lifestyle Matters

Most people are super busy and it’s hard to prepare meals in advance. With intermittent fasting, you really don’t have to do that. You’re not going to eat six small meals a day, and in fact, you can plan that you’ll fast all day if you have a busy job, and eat your meals only at night (even before bed). Plus you can skip breakfast without guilt. This plan works well for super busy people who have more going on in life than cooking and eating. Additionally, your frame of mind also matters a great deal. If you’re experiencing anything negative, don’t start anything new. But, if you are otherwise healthy and you truly want to try IF for weight loss and mental clarity you should. It will work for you if you find a plan that works around your lifestyle that you can stick to consistently.