I’ve lost over 40 pounds since starting intermittent fasting years ago and I love it so much. But one thing I see people do is start fasting, continue to eat too many of the wrong foods, and wonder why the weight isn’t melting off.
To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, I wanted to share my experience.
That way, you won’t waste your time and energy doing the wrong thing!
Keep in mind, I’m not a doctor so this is not medical advice.
This is based on my personal weight loss experience.
Your body may be different, but these are the foods I try to avoid to maintain a lower body weight.
As a general rule, I’ve found that the more “whole” my foods are, the better I can maintain or lose weight while fasting.
I currently lean toward a more whole food plant-based diet, but at the beginning of my fasting journey, I lost plenty of weight while still eating meat, cheese and dairy.
I believe you can too!
But if you’re serious about losing weight, whatever foods you choose, you’ll try to keep them as close to whole as possible.
By “whole”, I like to use Dr. Greger’s description: “nothing bad added – nothing good taken away.”
I think that’s simple enough to explain.
So if you want to eat popcorn, for example, it’s best to pop your own plain popcorn at home and then add a little lime juice and salt (an ENTIRE bowl is 140 calories!)
Versus a pre-packaged set that has additives, preservatives, oil, butter, way more salt than you need, and probably sugar too!
If you’re going to eat meat – opt for lean meat that you purchase at the store and prepare yourself rather than going to a fast food chain where they add a bunch of stuff to it!
I swear by this – the closer a food is to its natural state, the easier it’s been for me to melt fat off.
Try it for yourself!
Another of the top foods to avoid while fasting is refined sweeteners.
Now, you’ll have to decide for yourself if you want to use artificial sweeteners (I still do here and there and I’ve been able to drop weight like crazy!)
But you definitely want to avoid refined caloric sweeteners, such as table sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave, high fructose corn syrup, and syrup.
These types of sweeteners are highly processed and even though they offer a sweet flavor, they don’t carry any benefits other than calories.
And those extra calories can really add up!
Plus if you use them regularly your taste buds become accustomed to it and you may crave more and more sweet flavors.
Not ideal for weight loss.
Another of the top foods to avoid during intermittent fasting is anything with trans fat!
Refined seeds and vegetable oils like soybean oil contain cheap fats that are often hydrogenated.
They are considered poor choices for those who practice intermittent fasting because they have high concentrations of Omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Additionally, they make weight loss difficult and can contribute to heart disease.
This might sound crazy to you (I know it did to me at first) but you actually don’t need to use ANY oil at all when cooking!
I know I grew up knowing that you sautee onions and garlic in oil before adding food to the skillet so it just became “normal.”
But one tiny tablespoon of oil is 120 artery-clogging calories!
And let’s be honest – who only uses ONE tablespoon?
You can sautee onions and garlic in water, broth, soy sauce… any liquid with a non-stick pan will get the job done just as well.
And this ONE trick can help you lose tons of weight quickly!
In my experience, the more “whole” carbohydrates have been fine to consume while fasting for weight loss.
But the refined carbs are the ones that make me gain like five pounds overnight!
So I noticed when I eat a ton of baked or mashed potatoes, brown rice, oatmeal, and such, I’m totally fine.
If I eat chickpea pasta or red lentil rotini pasta noodles, I’m also fine.
But when I eat white bread, burger buns, pasta from restaurants, regular pizza dough, donuts, pancakes, etc…
Oh boy… BLOAT CITY.
And I don’t know about you but my body will hold on to excess bloat for days!
Over time in my weight loss journey, I’ve just slowly graduated from enjoying those foods every blue moon and finding lighter alternatives (like those I mentioned before.)
The way I see it is the process of losing weight is so finite.
It can take as long or short as you want!
Why not invest your time and energy in making the choices that will get you to your goal quickly, then in maintenance phase you can ease up a bit.
For that reason, I recommend avoiding such foods – at least until you get to a more comfortable place.
Then you can loosen up a bit!
Another big food to avoid while fasting is going to be pretty much any kind of pre-packaged snack.
Think, things that you stop to buy gas and then run into the store for a quick snack.
Almost anything you come out with is going to be terrible for losing weight while fasting!
These snacks (even the ones that you think are better for you like nuts and trail mix) are often loaded with added sugars, oils, and over-processed ingredients.
Also, these snacks can be ridiculously high in calories – something you don’t want when intermittent fasting for weight loss.
The best way to make sure you are consuming the right “good” foods while fasting is to prepare your meals and snacks ahead of time!
Even if you keep an apple in your purse or commit to eating one before you leave the house, you’ll be so much better off!
You can even make your own trail mix at home, then just leave it in your bag so if true hunger strikes while you’re out, you have a solution.
I had to learn the hard way that my daily snack was actually 450 calories at one point!
Please don’t let that happen to you!
I want you to succeed!
It would be a shame to put in all that work, fasting all those hours, then undo all your progress because you went to the gas station one too many times!
Alcohol is another thing that you want to avoid as much as possible – or at least severely limit while you’re losing weight with fasting.
Most of us are aware that alcohol is full of empty calories and can lead to weight gain, but also – it’s SO bad for fasting!
Think about it…
When you’re drinking, it’s usually not during your feeding window.
It’s late at night, it’s going to disrupt your sleep, it’s going to have you feeling tired the next day, you’ll probably break your fasting hours the following day, AND you’re less likely to make food choices that promote weight loss.
While the occasional indulgence is fine, for the most part, alcohol is a top food to avoid while intermittent fasting for weight loss.
You’ll thank me later! 😉
And last but not least, fried foods!
This is a total no-no for anyone looking to lose weight through intermittent fasting.
There are so many deep-fried foods out there (and yes, they’re delicious), but if you’re serious about making lasting progress you’re going to have to avoid them.
At least eventually.
I’m going to level with you.
At the beginning of my fasting journey, I ate ALL of the things.
I lost SO much weight just eating the same fried foods – just in an 8-hour window of each day.
But that will only get you so far.
I wish that weren’t the case, but I want to be honest with you so that you don’t wind up sad and frustrated the way I was.
Eventually, your body will adjust to the new reality of you consuming that many calories and that much fat and salt and grease, and you WILL stop losing weight.
I mean – I stopped COMPLETELY.
Then eventually regained it.
When I cut out fried foods (and many others on this list) and replaced them with more fruits, veggies, and whole grains, my whole world transformed.
And I never looked back!
You Don’t Have To Avoid Everything Forever
So there you have it, seven top foods to avoid while fasting for weight loss.
I know it’s a tough pill to swallow because it seems SO far out of reach.
But the truth about fasting or any weight loss plan is that it works by calories in – calories out.
Fasting is an excellent way to jumpstart your weight loss and you can start by eating almost anything you want.
But eventually you’ll have to make the same changes you would have to make on any other plan!
You just make them a lot slower.
I don’t want to waste your time and have you thinking that intermittent fasting is the end-all-be-all to your weight management issues.
It’s one tool that you can use quick, fast, and in a hurry to get the ball rolling.
But I want to see you succeed and win – and I know you can!
So make sure you pay attention to what you’re eating if you start fasting.
You don’t have to avoid all these things, all the time – ever. (I don’t!)
But you do owe it to yourself to make tiny little changes that move you in the direction of your dreams.
You’ve got this!