5 Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes

5 Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes / Alessandra Edwards

Intermittent fasting (IF) can be an effective way to improve health, lose weight, and boost overall well-being. However, like any lifestyle change, it’s easy to make mistakes that can hinder your progress rather than help. Here are the top five mistakes I often see and how to avoid them.

MISTAKE #1: Adopting Intermittent Fasting after chronic calorie restriction

If your body feels like it’s been through more diets than a Hollywood star, jumping straight into a regular pattern of 16-hour fasting might just make your body hold onto to its fat stores even more. Your metabolic rate could be so slow following dieting that adding IF into the mix may slow down your weight loss even further.

And if you’re already stressed and anxious, adding IF to the mix is like asking for extra jalapeños on your anxiety taco. Not a good idea. Fasting increases levels of adrenaline and cortisol AND creates acidity. An acidic biochemistry increases your stress perception and affects your resilience.

MISTAKE #2: Timing Your Intermittent Fasting Wrong

Most people skip breakfast thinking they’re nailing IF, but if your metabolism is as unpredictable as your NBN connection, you might want to rethink that strategy. Skipping breakfast when you have blood sugar issues is like signing up for the midnight snack marathon. You’ll find yourself raiding the fridge at 11 PM, and no one needs that kind of temptation–unless your name is Nigella.

MISTAKE #3: Sneaky Calories

Calorie creep is an actual dieting term that refers to the gradual increase in calorie intake during fasting periods, often through seemingly harmless additions of milk to your coffee(s).

A touch of milk or reduced-fat cream in your coffee won’t matter but if you’re into super-sized lattes, chai or iced coffee be aware that it will be breaking your fast.

MISTAKE #4: Not Eating Enough Protein

Restricting your eating window to eight hours a day can make it tough to hit those protein goals. If you’re over the age of forty and you don’t get enough protein, you’ll lose muscle faster than you can say “protein shake.” And trust me, no one feels confident when their muscles have the consistency of marshmallows.

MISTAKE #5: Neglecting Electrolytes

During fasting, your body loses essential electrolytes, leading to symptoms like headaches, fatigue, and muscle cramps. Forgetting to replenish these electrolytes leads to annoying symptoms, which are easily avoidable. Dose up with a good quality, sugar-free electrolyte formula and ensure you eat plenty of non-starchy vegetables during your eating window.


Intermittent fasting can be a powerful tool for improving health and achieving your wellness goals, but it’s important to avoid these common mistakes. Start slow, adjust your diet, be mindful of calorie creep, align your eating with your circadian rhythm, and don’t forget to replenish electrolytes. By making these adjustments, you’ll set yourself up for a successful and sustainable intermittent fasting journey—without the drama.