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Intermittent Fasting Plateau: 9 Tips To Boost Your Weight Loss

intermittent fasting plateau

Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Lori Geurin

I remember when I first started intermittent fasting. I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right, but the weight was just melting off me. It was so easy! But then, as I got closer to my weight loss goal, I hit an intermittent fasting plateau. My weight stopped moving no matter what I tried. At first, this was really frustrating. But after some digging and learning, I found a few ways to boost my intermittent fasting weight loss. Here are my top tips…

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overcome an intermittent fasting plateau

How To Break Out of an Intermittent Fasting Plateau

1. Clean Fasting

First, make sure you’re doing what’s called “clean fasting.” That means no snacking or nibbling while fasting, even on healthy foods. Once you start eating, your body goes into “feast mode” and it becomes harder to burn fat. Autophagy, the process of cell repair that happens while fasting, also slows down – yes, even if you add a splash of cream to your coffee. So if you want to keep the benefits of intermittent fasting going, make sure you’re really fasting.

Be sure to drink plenty of water. You can also enjoy black coffee, unsweetened tea, and carbonated water.

Learn all the details about how to do clean fasting in What Is Clean Fasting And How It’ll Boost Your Fasting Results.

Clean Fasting Tips

If you’re used to grazing all day long, this can be a tough one. But it gets easier after a while and there are a few things that can help:

  • Drink plenty of water and herbal tea.
  • Go on a walk or do something to take your mind off food. Drink sparkling water if you’re craving something. Add some Himalayan pink salt to your water if you’re feeling hungry or tired.
  • Remember that intermittent fasting is not about depriving yourself. In fact, it’s the opposite! When you give your body a break from digesting food, it has more energy to heal and repair itself.
  • Focus on why you’re fasting and what benefits you’re hoping to get from it. And remember, it’s only for a short time and you’re doing it for your health! If you slip up and have a snack, don’t beat yourself up. Just start again from where you left off.
  • If you’re really struggling, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from intermittent fasting for a day or two and then starting again. I find that it’s usually when I’m not getting enough sleep or am feeling particularly stressed that fasting becomes more difficult. Most of the time I feel great – more alert, energetic, and focused – when I’m fasting.

If you’re new to intermittent fasting and are having trouble getting started, get our FREE intermittent fasting ebook.

free intermittent fasting ebook

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2. Eat in Your Eating Window

Make sure you’re eating all your meals within your eating window. It can be tempting to let the hours creep up and start eating earlier and earlier. But if you do that, you’re not giving your body enough of a break from food.

Eating all your meals within a smaller window will help to increase the benefits of intermittent fasting. You’ll give your body more time for fat burning and you’ll be less likely to overeat.

And, if you’re wondering, what the heck is an eating window? It’s simply the hours of the day when you’re eating during a fast. For example, if you start your fast at 6 pm and end your fast at 10 am, your eating window would be from 10 am to 6 pm.

Check out these 50 things to do instead of eating when you’re intermittent fasting.

3. Prioritize Quality Sleep

Sleep is when your body repairs and heals itself. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body won’t be able to repair itself as well. This can lead to weight gain, among other things.[*]

Getting enough quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. So if you’re not getting at least seven hours a night, start there. You might need even more than that![*]

Starting a healthy sleep routine doesn’t have to be complicated. Just make sure you’re winding down for 30-60 minutes before bed, disconnect from electronics screens, and create a dark and cool environment in your bedroom.

If you want to learn more about how sleep affects your health, check out this post on the benefits of sleep.

4. Track What You Eat

If you’re not tracking what you eat, it’s impossible to know the number of calories you’re consuming and if you’re getting the vitamins and minerals your body needs.

Tracking what you eat also helps to hold you accountable. If you know you’re going to have to write down everything you eat, you’re less likely to make unhealthy choices.

Weight Loss Plateau Intermittent Fasting: How To Track What You Eat

There are a few different ways to track your food intake:

  • Use an app like MyFitnessPal or Cronometer. They both have good free versions that you can use to track your food intake. I use them both and switch back and forth depending on what I’m in the mood for.
  • Or you can keep a food journal. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just a notebook where you write down everything you eat and drink throughout the day
  • Try a printable weekly meal planner. Make sure you’re tracking not only what you’re eating but also how much you’re eating. This will help you to make sure you’re not overeating, even if you’re eating healthy foods.

Printable Weekly Meal Planner Minimal Meal Planner Food Prep image 1

5. Manage Stress

Stress is one of the biggest saboteurs of weight loss.

When you’re stressed, your body goes into survival mode and starts to hold onto fat.[*] That’s why it’s so important to find ways to manage stress. This looks different for everyone, but some things that have helped me are:

Ways To Manage Stress

  • Exercise: Even taking a short walk can help to relieve stress.
  • Meditation: There are tons of free meditation apps like Headspace and Calm that you can use to get started.
  • Yoga: Yoga is another great way to reduce stress.
  • Connect with friends and family: Talking to people you trust can help to reduce stress and make you feel supported.
  • Find a hobby: Doing something you enjoy can help to take your mind off of whatever is causing you stress. Here are 100 low-cost hobbies you can try today.

If you want to learn more about how to manage stress, check out this post on 6 simple ways to relieve stress.

6. Clean Up Your Carbs

If you’re eating a lot of processed foods, refined carbs, and sugar, losing body weight may be challenging. Processed foods are loaded with unhealthy additives and preservatives that can sabotage your weight loss efforts. Refined carbs have been stripped of their nutrients and fiber, so they’re not as filling or satisfying. And sugar, well, we all know how bad sugar is for our health.

Eating healthy carbs like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and legumes can help to boost your weight loss. These foods are packed with fiber and nutrients that will help you to feel full and satisfied. And they’re also low in calories, so you can eat a lot of them without packing on the pounds.

7. Shorten Your Eating Window

If you’re eating all day long, it’s going to be difficult to lose body weight. That’s why intermittent fasting is so effective. It helps to naturally reduce your calorie intake by limiting the time you have to eat. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply eat your last meal of the day a little earlier.

If you typically eat dinner at eight, try eating at six instead. This will help to shorten your eating window and make it easier to fast for longer periods of time. It will also help to boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.

After years of feeling like I always needed a late-night snack, I found that by eating dinner earlier then brushing my teeth, I was able to break this habit. And as a result, I started shortening my eating window and losing weight.

If you want to learn more about how to shorten your eating window, check out this post on the 16/8 method of intermittent fasting: 16/8 Intermittent Fasting: How to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight.

8. Exercise and Strength Training

Exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. It helps to boost your metabolism, build muscle, and burn fat. And when it comes to weight loss, muscle mass is key. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn, even at rest.

Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, but adding exercise into the mix can really help to give your weight loss a boost. Strength training is especially beneficial because it helps to build muscle. But any type of exercise will help to increase your calorie burn and promote weight loss.

If you’re new to exercise, start by doing some simple cardio like walking, yoga, or swimming. You can also try adding in some bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges. Just be sure to listen to your body and not overdo it.

9. Eat the Right Foods

I’ve touched on this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you want to lose weight, you need to be eating the right foods. That means whole, unprocessed foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories. Think vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Eating these types of foods will help to fill you up and keep you satisfied. And they’re also packed with the nutrients your body needs to function properly. Processed foods, on the other hand, are devoid of nutrients and can actually make you feel hungrier.[*] So be sure to focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods if you want to lose weight. Eating habits matter.

Healthy Recipe Ideas

If you need some inspiration, check out this list of healthy recipes:

Final Thoughts About Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Health

Intermittent fasting is a tool that can help you lose weight, but it’s not the only thing you need to focus on. Eating healthy foods, exercising, and improving your sleep quality are all important factors in maintaining a healthy weight. So if you’re struggling with weight loss, take a look at your overall lifestyle and see where you can make changes.

And remember, intermittent fasting is not a diet! It’s simply a pattern of eating that can help you lose weight and improve your health. If you hit a plateau, don’t give up! Just try one of these tips and see if it makes a difference.

Have you struggled with an intermittent fasting weight loss plateau? What tips have helped you to boost your weight loss? Share in the comments below!

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