Whether you’re doing intermittent fasting to lose weight or for health benefits, make sure you’re not making some of these common mistakes.
In this post, you’ll learn how many calories you should consume while intermittent fasting so you can achieve your goals.
The purpose of this post is to give you a simplified version of the confusing rules you’ll find on the internet when it comes to intermittent fasting and caloric consumption; it is not to provide any professional/medical advice.
How Many Calories Should Women Eat During Intermittent Fasting
The best part about intermittent fasting is that it’s easy to incorporate into our daily routines, there’s no need to purchase foods to mimic fasting, and getting started with fasting is easy.
Intermittent fasting only restricts when you eat foods, it does not restrict how much you should eat or what you should eat. The latter two are based on your body’s dietary needs and health goals.
Women are notorious for incorporating intermittent fasting to help with weight loss; however, fasting or not, restricting too many calories (too much caloric deficit) can actually be counterproductive.
Sometimes, the problem lies with not being sure what counts towards fasting; in other words, you’re not sure what you can eat or drink while fasting. In short: during your fasting period, you can only have 0-calorie drinks and no food.
You should eat the number of calories your body needs to thrive in a way that supports your goals as well as provides the nutrition it needs.
How many calories should I eat when intermittent fasting?
The number of calories consumed in a day while intermittent fasting will depend on a person’s age and activity level. These calories can vary day by day, so an average daily total can be calculated by using a simple tool called a calorie calculator.
The caloric baseline for each individual is the number of calories a body needs to survive (do its minimal functions), and the recommended is the average caloric recommendation based on activity.
Calorie Restriction vs Intermittent Fasting
Calorie restriction is when you reduce the amount of food and drink you consume within a day below your body’s baseline needs (what it needs in a day). Intermittent fasting refers to the restriction of when you can consume your daily calories by creating an “eating window.”
While intermittent fasting does not require you to reduce the number of calories you eat and drink in a day, many people who follow a fasting schedule with small eating windows are unable to eat enough calories in such a short window and, therefore, end up not eating enough.
Other types of fasting, such as mimic fasting, restrict the number of calories you can consume in a day in addition to the fasting period.
How to Eat Enough Calories When Intermittent Fasting
It’s important that you eat enough calories when intermittent fasting so your body doesn’t think that it’s being deprived of food and nutrition, which can often backfire by making it think it’s going into starvation mode regularly.
When you do not eat enough calories over a long period of time, your body will adapt by slowing down and not needing as many calories, which can be very frustrating because it can create plateaus for many people.
To make sure you eat enough calories, it’s important that you make an intermittent fasting meal plan with both nutrition and health goals in mind. Check out this video that explains it:
What if I’m not Eating Enough During Intermittent Fasting
Not getting enough calories in the eating window is very common, especially among people that practice a 16-hour fast. With a smaller, 8-hour eating window, many people are “too busy to eat,” or they fail to plan their meals so they can get adequate nutrition.
Long-term, insufficient nutrition or consuming low-quality foods that don’t provide the body with all the micro and macro nutrients it needs -this happens frequently when people follow a keto diet and fast at the same time- it’s not good for the body, and instead of feeling the positive benefits of fasting, they have less energy and are unable to lose weight.
If weight loss was the primary goal for intermittent fasting, not eating enough food will slow down the body’s metabolic rate causing your metabolism to slow down and require less energy (calories) to function.
Understanding the rules of intermittent fasting, when to eat and when to fast is important, but just as important is understanding how to eat a balanced and nutritious diet overall so your body can function properly and achieve your health goals.
If you’re new to intermittent fasting and want an easy-to-follow intermittent fasting pdf and food plan that explains it all, check out the eBook.
Intermittent Fasting for Women
If you want to dive deeper, I’ve created a book with everything you need to know about intermittent fasting & a 1-week meal plan so you know exactly what to eat during your eating windows. Check out my Intermittent Fasting Guide here.