15 Intermittent Fasting Do’s And Don’ts – Plus 5 Tips For Breaking A Fast!

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, or IF, involves limiting your food intake to specific hours of the day or days of the week and abstaining from food intake the rest of the time.

The idea behind Intermittent Fasting is that by limiting food intake to an 8-12 hour eating window each day, you can potentially get health benefits beyond weight loss, such as improved heart function and blood pressure levels.

As with any type of diet change, it’s important to research how to do intermittent fasting correctly before diving in headfirst.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

When you first hear about intermittent fasting, you might be quick to assume that it’s just another fad.

That, after all, seems to be what many diet trends are.

But intermittent fasting is different.

It’s not really a diet at all; rather, it’s an eating pattern—one that involves periods of time during which you consume few calories (or even go without any food).

So does intermittent fasting work?


Studies have shown it can help with weight loss and could provide other health benefits as well.

There are several different types of intermittent fasting—and each one offers unique benefits for fat loss or muscle growth.

More on intermittent fasting here.

Intermittent Fasting Isn’t Just For Dieters: If you do decide to try intermittent fasting, pay close attention to how your body responds over time.

Let’s have a look at our 15 Do’s And Don’ts.

We’ll start with 5 do’s followed by 10 dont’s.

Intermittent Fasting Do’s

1. Drink a lot of water

One of my favorite intermittent fasting benefits is how it makes me feel full and satiated.

I’m not a breakfast person, so giving up morning food has never been a challenge for me, but drinking a ton of water really helps with midday hunger pangs.

Feel free to chug water as often as you want, just remember that drinking too much at once can actually be dangerous.

Stick to drinking three cups or bottles an hour or so apart from each other—and definitely don’t overdo it!

We’re looking out for your health here. Stay hydrated and stay healthy. 

2. Exercise

If your life revolves around exercise like mine does, intermittent fasting might become one more reason to get off of your butt (figuratively speaking).

When you’re taking in fewer calories than usual throughout the day, it may be easier to push through a tough workout without hitting a wall.

Exercising during a fasted state certainly isn’t essential, but many people have experienced faster results by combining intermittent fasting with exercise.

Especially if they lift weights/workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach before eating any food for fuel instead of going into energy reserves from stored body fat.

Listen to your body. 

3. Give Yourself Time To Adjust

See what works best for you—and I’ll promise not to judge! Drink coffee! A lot of readers ask me about my caffeine consumption when I’m on an intermittent fast.

Is coffee allowed?

I can safely say that I’ve never had better or more productive days while drinking three or four cups of black coffee per day.

Coffee is absolutely fine, especially because it won’t kick you out of ketosis (an intermittent fasting benefit) like other sugary drinks might.

Enjoy your favorites guilt-free! 

4. Exercise before breakfast if possible (or even after)

If you’re already up, there’s no need to stay in bed until your 8 AM feeding window opens.

Get active in some way before food hits your stomach; many people find they don’t really want much food until after their morning workout anyway.

Go for a walk outside or take advantage of any opportunity for activity–even if it’s not exercise-related at all. 

When first starting out stick to low-intensity exercises while your body adjusts.

Once you built up to moderate exercise and feel fine you’re probably ok to get back into high-intensity interval training.

5. Try Meditation

Meditation during fasting is not only okay but highly recommended.

The purpose of meditation during fasting is to clear your mind, but it can also help increase levels of BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor) in your brain.

Research has found that individuals who meditate often enjoy higher amounts of BDNF in their brains, which means they are less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or depression.

Intermittent Fasting Don’ts

1. Skipping breakfast

It seems counterintuitive, but skipping your first meal of the day can do a number on your metabolism.


When you skip breakfast, research shows that your body begins to metabolize muscle for energy production.

Potentially making your body more susceptible to weight gain. So, don’t skip meals!

Instead, try intermittent fasting or full-day fasting (once or twice per week). 

2. Not tracking macros accurately

To lose weight effectively and keep it off long-term, you need to know how many calories you’re consuming and burning each day.

And that means counting macros diligently.

This includes carbs, fats, proteins, fiber, sugar alcohols (like erythritol), lactose (if you’re lactose intolerant), salt/sodium/glucose/fructose/alcohol…you get it.

Without accurate tracking, one can estimate their intake to be 20% higher than reality—which adds up over time!

If your calorie goals are too lofty for you to measure all your macros with 100% accuracy every day (nobody’s perfect), try using an app like MyFitnessPal.

They allow for macro estimates through a variety of customizable filters including metabolic damage from previous diets.

Check out this article I wrote that gives you a full breakdown of how to track your macros.

3. Eating too much protein on non-fasting days

People who try intermittent fasting often make one big mistake—they overeat proteins on non-fasting days.

That’s because high amounts of lean protein help curb appetite and make you feel full for longer, which is why it’s a no-brainer to add lean sources of protein to your meals throughout your normal eating window.

However, if you eat more than your body needs, it can turn into fat over time if not burned off through exercise or daily activities. 

That being said you do need to make sure you are eating enough protein.

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4. Not drinking enough water during fasting periods

If you’re not properly hydrated during fasted periods, there’s a good chance that excess nitrogen from proteins will be converted into something called ammonia.

Which can lead to headaches and poor concentration as well as brain fog that negatively impacts your mental clarity.

In order to prevent these symptoms from happening due to dehydration, always drink plenty of water while fasting!

It may sound strange at first but after some time, it’ll become a habit and you won’t even notice those extra glasses of H2O anymore…but they’re doing wonders for keeping your brain clear and bright! 

5. Fasting too frequently

There’s a common misconception that you should be fasting every day in order to lose weight—but it’s not true!

Fasting every day isn’t recommended for weight loss because when you restrict your eating window, your body can go into starvation mode where it holds onto fats and sugars rather than burning them off.

As a result, your metabolism slows down dramatically, making it harder to lose weight effectively.

Instead of fasting daily, try implementing an intermittent fast once or twice per week where you eat for 6-8 hours only within a 10-hour window—and then continue with normal eating during other windows! 

6. Overdoing snacking during feeding periods

Even though it seems counterintuitive, eating more often actually helps you lose weight!

That’s because when you eat more often (and in smaller portions), your body gets trained to burn calories more efficiently and uses them as energy rather than storing them for later use.

So when you eat bigger meals less frequently, that doesn’t mean you can go ahead and overindulge in snacks and nibbles—especially if those snacks are high in carbs and fats.

Instead, try replacing some of your regular meals with small(er) ones to reduce your daily calorie intake; we recommend eating every 3-4 hours. 

7. Not drinking enough liquids when fasting

As we mentioned before, fasting can often cause dehydration in some people—but what exactly is it and how can you prevent it?

Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough water or other fluids that help your body function properly.

This is especially important during fasted periods because your body will try to retain as much fluid as possible so it doesn’t pass out of your system completely.

If you feel thirsty during a fast, make sure to drink plenty of water and other healthy (low-calorie) beverages like unsweetened tea! 

8. Forgetting about supplements

When you’re on a fast, it’s important to make sure that your body is getting all of its essential vitamins and minerals; if you don’t get them from food, try taking a multi-vitamin!

Also remember that even though most fruits and vegetables contain some of these nutrients, they might not be enough to get your daily requirement.

So consider taking an additional supplement like MitoXcell during your fasting period. 

Have a read of this article breaking down the difference between two popular supplements, creatine, and pre-workout.

9. Not drinking coffee while fasting

While we don’t recommend drinking sugary sodas or teas during fasted periods, healthy sources of caffeine are just fine.

Especially in situations where you have trouble staying awake or becoming alert when you need to be.

For example, if you’re suffering from jet lag and find yourself having a hard time concentrating and remaining focused due to fatigue…try sipping on some black coffee!

It should give your brain a quick energy boost so that you can function normally again and focus on what needs to get done without feeling drowsy.

This is particularly helpful for busy professionals who often travel for work.

If your mind feels like mush after an overnight flight, try downing a cup of strong black coffee before heading into work.

You should feel much more alert and able to concentrate on tasks right away! 

10. Forgetting about your gut microbiome

While fasting, it’s important to remember that our bodies are host to trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms—many of which live in our guts!

These microorganisms help us digest foods properly, regulate metabolism and even fight disease.

However, if you’re not eating enough good bacteria during a fast, you can risk disrupting their natural balance.

As a result, you might notice some unpleasant side effects like digestive issues or increased susceptibility to illnesses and infections.

Make sure to eat plenty of probiotic-rich foods like fermented veggies and take a high-quality probiotic supplement (like MitoXcell ) to support healthy levels of these helpful bacteria in your body! 

Tips For Breaking A Fast

While fasting, your body is burning fat for energy, so you can lose weight if you’re in a calorie deficit.

After breaking a fast, it’s important to eat enough food so that your body has enough fuel to continue burning fat.

Your goal should be to break your fast with whole foods instead of junk food. Here are 5 tips for breaking a fast safely and efficiently.

1. Prepare Yourself Before Starting Any Kind Of Fast

Ask yourself how committed you are to seeing it through.

If you want to use intermittent fasting as an opportunity to experiment, there’s no shame in trying out different approaches or being unsure about how best to proceed.

However, if you have decided intermittent fasting will work for you, don’t start off weak by choosing something like water only—it could easily end up being too challenging mentally or physically depending on your situation

2. Pick A Day To Start

Once you’ve chosen your type of intermittent fasting and made sure your diet and exercise routine won’t be compromised, pick a day to start:

Saturday or Sunday might be good days because most people tend to relax during these times when they’re free from work.

Make sure it isn’t a cheat day for you–you should ideally have gone without food all week before proceeding with your first full day of fasting.

3. Get Clear On What You Want From Intermittent Fasting

There are many ways to reap intermittent fasting benefits–weight loss, gut health, longevity–so decide which outcome is most important to you personally.

Sometimes people find that their expectations aren’t quite lining up with reality after their first round of intermittent fasting.

Don’t be discouraged, but also try adjusting your approach until you see results.

4. Observe Others For A Week

When you break your fast, look around and observe others who also broke their fast.

How did they do it?

What worked well for them?

Where did they run into challenges that slowed them down or derailed them completely?

5. Keep Track Of Results As You Break Your Fast

Keeping track of progress can help keep you motivated and hold yourself accountable for sticking to your plan throughout intermittent fasting.

Can I Eat Anything On Intermittent Fasting?


But don’t freak out, because you can eat normal meals when breaking your fast. You just need to adjust accordingly.

For example, in general, breakfast is usually eaten between 7 and 10 AM. If you want to break your fast at 6 PM (and end around 8 PM), that will mean your last meal before breaking fast was 12 hours earlier at 6 AM (i.e., if you’re fasting from 6 PM until 6 AM).

So eat a big breakfast during that time, or make sure to get two meals in during that period if it works for you!

As an aside, I personally find eating something soon after I wake up helps me maintain energy levels throughout my morning routine.

Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up if possible so your body has enough fuel to perform optimally all day long!

Also note that while intermittent fasting should ideally be done daily, nothing says you have to do them back-to-back-to-back; once every other day would be fine, even.

Just make sure not to go more than 24 hours without doing one! 

I see a lot of people think when they break their fast they can eat whatever they want. That’s not a good idea either.

Maintain a healthy diet when breaking your fast.

Don’t smash back a load of fast food in your eating period because some influencer said you can.

That’s going to undo all the benefits of intermittent fasting.

What Should I Eat After A 16 Hour Fast?

The biggest thing to remember with intermittent fasting is that you shouldn’t go an entire day without eating.

After your 16 hours fast, it’s important to eat within 8 hours.

Depending on your size and body type, an 8-hour eating window may give you enough time to consume breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack or two.

Many people choose coffee or tea with low-calorie sweeteners as their morning drink during intermittent fasting.

Be sure to drink plenty of water during your eating window as well. This will help with digestion and make it easier for you to follow through with intermittent fasting each day.

Try to avoid artificial sweeteners if possible.

These can lead to spikes in insulin levels which will impede fat burning.

If you prefer natural sugar substitutes like Stevia, honey, agave nectar, etc., simply use smaller amounts.

Can I Intermittent Fast Every Day?

The short answer is yes, but I don’t recommend it.

People who try to fast every day end up binging on non-fasting days, because they get used to eating that way.

This can easily lead to weight gain or at least slower weight loss.

If you are going to fast every day, you should change it up and eat normally for one day per week instead of fasting all seven days.

This gives your body a chance to rest from both fasting and overeating on non-fasting days.

You can also do an 18/6 fast where you eat for 18 hours per day and only have access to food for six hours during your waking hours.

At first, fasting seems simple—all you need to do is skip breakfast—but there are plenty of intermittent fasting variations out there. 

Best Foods To Break A Fast

To break a fast, choose nutritious foods that are high in protein and healthy fats.

The best way is to start with small meals and avoid sugary foods. Here are some ideas:

  1. Cottage cheese on whole-grain crackers or a bed of greens.
  2. Hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Peanut butter on apple slices.
  4. Turkey breast on whole-grain bread.
  5. Chicken breast over salad.
  6. Tuna over greens.
  7. Salmon with veggies.
  8. Carrots with hummus.
  9. Nuts and seeds.
  10. Almonds.
  11. Yogurt with berries.

A post-fast meal doesn’t have to be large, but make sure you get plenty of protein and healthy fats.

This will help minimize your body’s insulin response from eating carbohydrates, which can lead to cravings for more carbs.

Consuming too many simple carbs after a fast can also make you feel hungrier than before you started fasting.

If you are interested in fasting and getting your diet right.

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