IF 16/8 Challenge

Day 11: Tackling Common IF Challenges and Misconceptions

Tackling Common IF Challenges and Misconceptions

Intermittent fasting (IF) has gained popularity for its numerous health benefits, but with it comes a variety of challenges and misconceptions. In this article, we will address common issues faced by those practicing IF and debunk misconceptions to help you better understand this dietary approach.

  1. Common Challenges

a. Hunger: One of the main concerns during IF is hunger. Drinking water, consuming low-calorie beverages like herbal tea, and staying busy can help manage hunger during fasting periods.

b. Energy levels: It is common to experience fatigue or low energy levels during the adaptation phase of IF. Ensuring proper nutrition during eating windows and giving your body time to adjust can help alleviate this issue.

c. Social events: Navigating social situations while fasting can be challenging. Planning your fasting schedule around social events or opting for low-calorie options can help maintain your IF routine without impacting your social life.

  1. Debunking Misconceptions

a. Starvation mode: A common misconception is that IF leads to "starvation mode," causing your body to store fat instead of burning it. However, studies have shown that short-term fasting does not significantly affect metabolic rate (1).

b. Muscle loss: Some people believe IF causes muscle loss. While it is essential to maintain adequate protein intake during eating windows, research indicates that IF can help maintain or even increase lean body mass when combined with resistance training (2).

c. Women and IF: There is a misconception that IF is not suitable for women. While some women may experience hormonal imbalances with IF, research suggests that it can be safe and effective when done correctly (3). Women should consult with their healthcare provider before starting IF to determine the best approach for their individual needs.

Intermittent fasting can be a valuable tool for improving health and managing weight when done correctly. By addressing common challenges and debunking misconceptions, individuals can better understand and navigate the world of IF. It is essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new dietary regimen, including intermittent fasting.


      1. Mansell, P. I., Fellows, I. W., & Macdonald, I. A. (1990). Enhanced thermogenic response to epinephrine after 48-h starvation in humans. The American journal of physiology, 258(1 Pt 2), R87-93.
      2. Tinsley, G. M., Forsse, J. S., Butler, N. K., Paoli, A., Bane, A. A., La Bounty, P. M., ... & Grandjean, P. W. (2017). Time-restricted feeding in young men performing resistance training: A randomized controlled trial. European journal of sport science, 17(2), 200-207.
      3. Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., ... & Howell, A. (2011). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. International journal of obesity, 35(5), 714-727.