Tips | Drink water | Review your diet | Eat more | Eat less | Get enough sleep | Drink a cup of coffee
While you might enjoy various intermittent fasting benefits like weight loss, improved hormonal function and better sleep, it’s likely you will also encounter a few fasting side effects. While it is inevitable you will feel hungry at some point while fasting, possibly the second most common side effect could be intermittent fasting fatigue.
When intermittent fasting fatigue hits, it might be tempting to just throw in the towel and reach for your favorite snack to soothe the body and mind.
Not so fast (no pun intended)!
Thanks to thousands of people who have completed our 21-day Intermittent Fasting challenge and shared their experience, we’ve summed up the best tips to overcome intermittent fasting tiredness. Try a few (or, ideally all 6) to get back on your fasting track full of energy.
6 Tips To Overcome Intermittent Fasting Fatigue
1. Drink water
While it might be tempting to just grab a cup of strong coffee to wake up your body and mind, it will just treat the symptom, not the cause of your fasting fatigue. Studies show that even mild dehydration can make you feel tired regardless of whether you’re actually rested or not.
When you’re dehydrated your blood pressure drops, leading to reduced blood flow to your brain. You also experience a decrease in blood volume which makes your heart work harder to pump all the nutrients, oxygen, and fluid to different cells. All of that causes fatigue and sleepiness.
To top it up, mild dehydration symptoms often resemble symptoms of hunger. You might experience the typical hunger cues like growling or empty-feeling stomach. Think twice – it might not be a snack that you need but just a glass of water.
We could talk over and over about the benefits of drinking water. Especially during intermittent fasting when your water intake is reduced because of fewer meals consumed. One thing is clear – stay hydrated and you will avoid most intermittent fasting side effects and feel more healthy and energized.
2. Review your diet
Often fatigue is not directly caused by intermittent fasting. If your diet does not contain all the essential micronutrients and minerals you might end up having nutritional deficiency that causes fatigue among other side effects.
The most common mistakes with a poor diet are too much processed food and sugar and not enough vegetables, fruits and other whole foods. Try consulting with a nutritionist to get personalized guidance on how to improve your diet or try some of the already made nutritionist-approved meal plans for intermittent fasting.
3. Eat more.
Following the previous tip about reviewing your diet, you might end up concluding that you should eat more healthy meals to provide all the essential nutrients. You may not be getting the calories you need to keep your energy up. This is particularly the case if you have a more active lifestyle that includes working out or having a more mobile working life.
Even if your goal for intermittent fasting is to lose weight you shouldn’t do it at the expense of your health!
If you think not eating enough is causing your intermittent fasting fatigue, try reducing your fasting window to fit in a few nutritious snacks or a small healthy meal. You might also take a look at some intermittent fasting supplements to boost your vitamin and mineral intake.
4. Eat less.
Wait…should you eat more or less then?
After your fasting window, you might feel like going on a binge eating spree. Overeating, especially for beginner intermittent fasters is a very common intermittent fasting mistake.
However, doing that will not only jeopardize your weight loss goals but is also likely to make you feel sluggish or fatigued after your big meal.
A bit of sleepiness after a meal is completely normal, particularly if you eat a big meal or food high in carbs. It makes your blood sugar increase very steeply after eating and plummets afterward which leads to a so-called blood sugar “crash”.
To minimize the after-meal fatigue, try breaking your fast with a smaller meal, especially one with fewer carbs. You might want to try yogurt, bone broth or leafy green vegetable salad.
5. Get enough sleep
Seems quite simple – if you’re feeling tired it’s likely you’re just not getting enough sleep. CDC suggests that adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night for the best health and wellbeing. The reality is that more than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
When it comes to intermittent fasting and sleep, some people claim fasting has improved their sleeping habits. Others struggle to sleep when hungry. If you’re one of the people that can’t fall asleep with an empty stomach try shifting around your fasting schedule or brew a cup of fasting tea before sleep to make you feel fuller.
6. Drink a cup of coffee
Sometimes you just need to be energized and focused and need a quick fix. When all else fails coffee can be there to rescue you. Luckily black coffee is one of the few drinks you can enjoy during your fast. No sugar or cream though.
Try to stick to the suggested 2 – 3 cups of coffee (400mg of caffeine) a day and stay away from coffee in the evenings. You might not want it to interfere with your good night’s sleep making you more tired the next day.
Stay Consistent With Intermittent Fasting. Here’s How!
Intermittent fasting can be a real rollercoaster ride. Are you looking for some support and guidance?
Our 21-day fasting challenge can provide much-needed support and tips to overcome any difficulties and help in staying consistent with your fasting schedule. Whether you are new to fasting or experienced, 21-day Intermittent Fasting Challenge can help both. Also, you will get access to a delicious intermittent fasting meal plan.
So, let’s get started. Join us on Monday to kick start your intermittent fasting journey.