We’ve all heard about the many benefits of intermittent fasting—about how it can rev up your metabolism, help you control your calorie intake, and help you feel lighter for most of the day. As many people and many scientific studies have proven, intermittent fasting can have a lot of health benefits, and it can help you to lose weight the healthy way. But before you dive in head-first, it’s important to know the struggles and challenges you’ll be facing. No matter how good the fasting diet is, it’s not as easy as it’s made out to be.
Difficult to Schedule
For some people, it’s very difficult to fit all of their eating into a 6 or 8-hour window. For example, if you need to be at work by 9, you might not be able to get away with a breakfast any later than 7:30 or 8 AM. But what happens when you need to fit in a 6 PM workout? You need fuel both before and after your workout, which means you’ve got to eat outside of your 8-hour window. Those who need a cup of coffee to start the morning (at 6 or 7 AM) may find it tough to stop eating as early as 2 or 3 PM, especially when they’ve got a long afternoon. This scheduling difficulty can often make it challenging to fit intermittent fasting into your day.
Difficult to Organize into Your Social Life
If you’re only eating within a certain time period, you’re going to find it difficult to organize social events outside of that eating window. Let’s say you’re a morning eater who needs to have their first meal fairly early. When it’s time to cut off eating around 3 or 4 PM, you’re not going to be able to go have a late-afternoon or evening meal or drink with friends. You may find it difficult to fit any outings into your social calendar during the week, because you’re all working during the time of day when you can eat.
There are few things more frustrating than following a limiting diet. While you are able to eat a lot of food, the fact that you can only do it within that certain time period every day can be very frustrating. It makes it difficult to do or plan anything outside of that eating window, and you may find that it makes you feel stifled having to do everything within your schedule.
Difficulty With Fullness and Hunger Cues
When you’re only eating for a certain amount of time every day, your body gets used to a different sort of approach to fullness and hunger. During intermittent fasting, you may feel hungry before your eating window starts, but because you’ve trained your mind and body to ignore it, you stop paying attention to those cues. But when you stop doing the intermittent fasting diet, you end up feeling hungry at odd times, or having a hard time getting your body back on “normal” meal times. It’s a common side effect with those who try intermittent fasting regularly but switch back to their normal diets.
Lack of Consistency
For those who work the same 9 to 5 job every day, consistency and a schedule might be much easier. However, for those who work shift jobs, there is no such thing as consistency due to constantly changing shifts. Trying to fit an eating window into a constantly changing schedule can be very difficult, making the intermittent fasting diet much harder to sustain over the long term.