5 Things that suck about Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent Fasting is a great way to lose weight. I’ve lost more than forty pounds using it. But when I mention Intermittent Fasting to people as a method of weight loss, a lot of them say that they couldn’t do it.

Actually, I used to be one of those people.

I thought it was crazy to restrict “when” you ate. It was madness to miss out on breakfast — “the most important meal of the day”! Only a “nut” would hold back on when they ate for hours or even days…

Then I tried it.

And with the fervour of the newly converted, I try to get others to join me in this method of weight loss.

I’ve been fasting for over a year now. But there are some aspects that aren’t so great about this process.

Here are five things that kind of suck about Intermittent Fasting:

  1. Hunger. Yes, it’s obvious that if you don’t eat you’ll get hungry. It sucks. And that might be the biggest challenge for most people with staying on track. You often feel hunger pangs and have to ignore them. Hunger comes in waves, so you aren’t in a constant state of hunger while fasting. And it becomes easier to deal with your hunger the more you fast.
  2. Temptation. It takes ample amounts of willpower to stay on the course. Most of the time, you have food nearby or others are eating while you fast, so the temptation is always there. It’s challenging to forgo filling your belly in the moment. Or postpone savouring the sensation of taste and texture that food gives you. I find the temptation to eat is harder to deal with than the feeling of hunger. Sometimes, I just want to eat — even if I’m not particularly hungry. Especially if there is something delicious in front of me.
  3. Dragon’s breath. This is something I didn’t know about when I started fasting. When your body starts burning up the fat, it triggers ketosis. Ketosis causes a distinctive breath smell. My wife lets me know when my breath is curling up the wallpaper. Sometimes, discreetly and sometimes not-so-discreetly. It’s a weird by-product. Mint, anyone? Oh, wait.. That might take me off my fast… I try drinking water which is supposed to help. And brushing my teeth. Sometimes scraping my tongue… But this is one area I have to do more research on. Any suggestions?
  4. Stomach grumbling. I don’t always feel hungry when it happens, but my belly makes noise. It’s embarrassing. It’s weird that your stomach makes such a ruckus when there’s no food in it. But as long as you aren’t somewhere that’s supposed to be silent, it isn’t usually an issue. If you’re going to a funeral, it’s not a good time to fast.
  5. Light-headedness. If you do a long fast — more than twenty-four hours — you could get light-headed if doing some exertion. Don’t do strenuous activities when doing a long fast. Or activities that need focused attention. I was doing a 60-hour fast and found I got light-headed when I ran up a few flights of stairs. It’s important to be aware that you could get light-headed and use caution on longer fasts. Be careful when you first start fasting and do it in small increments to see how it affects you.

These five sucky things aren’t enough to stop me from Intermittent Fasting. My results outweigh these drawbacks. Intermittent Fasting is the most effective method of weight loss that I have tried. And that’s in more than twenty-five years of trying to lose weight.

But it ain’t all sunshine and roses… The sucky aspects have to be dealt with or at least taken into consideration, especially if you do a longer fast of 24 hours or more.

Next time, I’ll explore the great things about Intermittent Fasting. Until then, what sucks about Intermittent Fasting for you?

© 2020 Peter Gruner

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