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11 Ways to Stay Motivated During Intermittent Fasting

There are numerous intermittent fasting types, all with positive benefits for the body beyond weight loss. And even though some might be easier than others, they all pose the same challenge—staying motivated. 

If you’re struggling to stay motivated with your intermittent fasting routine or want to start fasting but need help staying consistent, this article is just what you need. Below, you’ll find 11 tips to help you stay on track with your new habits.

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1. Don’t Restrict Any Foods

While it may seem that restricting certain foods, such as carbs, sugar, or flour, could lead to the best results, in reality, you may be taking a shortcut toward an unwanted side effect of restriction—binging.

You become prone to overeating when you feel hungry and have previously been strict about which foods to eat and which to avoid.

To break this cycle, it is generally recommended to practice balanced eating without any specific food restrictions. In other words: simply prioritize healthy foods but consciously give yourself a treat every once in a while.

There is no shame in eating pancakes, a chocolate bar, or a huge pizza. You shouldn’t feel guilty for including the foods you love in your diet to attain significant results. Not focusing on calories might help you stay motivated when you start intermittent fasting.

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2. Have a Realistic End Goal

Having a realistic, well-defined end goal is crucial for maintaining motivation with intermittent fasting and losing weight.

Setting a vague or overly broad goal, such as “lose weight,” can lead to a lack of motivation, as it lacks reinforcement and is poorly defined. In addition, focusing solely on physical appearance has been linked to a lack of commitment.

Instead, try setting a realistic goal that considers the numerous health benefits of fasting, such as improving metabolism, losing body weight, and increasing energy levels.

Visualize what it will be like when you reach your goal, such as losing 10 pounds or completing your first fasting routine. Make sure to give yourself enough time to achieve your goal and to define it clearly.

Your goal, or your WHY, should be something you can refer to whenever you feel unmotivated. Write it down and keep it in a place where you can see it easily throughout the day. Imagine how amazing it will feel and how much it will be worth the effort to reach your goal.

3. Plan Your Journey in Small, Achievable Steps

Your goal for intermittent fasting may be something big, such as becoming fit, adopting a healthy lifestyle, or losing fat. However, it is crucial to break this goal down into smaller, achievable steps to stay motivated.

If you don’t plan your journey, the end goal may seem unattainable, leading to burnout and a loss of motivation.

If your primary goal is to lose weight, consider setting a weekly weight loss goal of 1 to 2 pounds, or 5% of your current weight. It is also helpful to define both the process and the result when setting goals. For example, your process goal could be “do 10 push-ups every day,” with the result being “drop 5 pounds.” Remember that small steps can lead to big changes.

4. Create a Reward System

Creating a reward system is a well-known way to stay motivated. This technique is popular among students and individuals trying to change their daily habits, as it offers something to look forward to after completing challenging tasks.

A reward system works hand in hand with breaking your goal down into smaller, achievable steps, and it has been shown to encourage creative thinking and productivity.

To implement a reward system, set an achievable goal and reward yourself for reaching it. For example, if you go for a 30-minute walk as intended, you might reward yourself with an episode of your favorite TV show, a cup of hot chocolate, or something else. You could even go as far as buying yourself new workout clothes or a holiday!

The rewards and goals are up to you, but if you want to lose weight, it may be best to avoid rewarding yourself with unhealthy foods.

5. Visualize Your Success and Focus on the Positive

It is natural to feel that intermittent fasting is becoming too difficult, that it is no longer worthwhile at times, or to crave high-processed foods when you are hungry.

In these moments, it is essential to remind yourself of the benefits of intermittent fasting and to focus on the positive rather than the negative aspects. Visualizing your success and imagining what it will be like to have a completely new lifestyle can be a powerful tool for increasing motivation.

To do this, try to picture what your life will be like when you reach your goal. How will you look and feel, and how will others perceive you? Will your self-esteem improve? Will you feel less stressed or unhealthy?

Ask yourself these questions and develop your own to help you visualize your intermittent fasting journey. Remember to always focus on the positive side of things and to imagine your success in third person to encourage a sense of abstract interpretation and significance.

6. Always Track Your Progress, but Don’t Rely on the Scale

As you plan your intermittent fasting journey, it is vital to track your progress to see the changes and stay motivated to make healthy choices.

There are various ways to do this, such as tracking your diet, fasting windows, completed fasting routines, body measurements, or weight. You can use a fasting app like DoFasting to help you track everything and provide professional guidance if needed.

Remember to focus on how you feel rather than just how you look. While tracking your weight can be helpful, relying solely on the scale can be demotivating, as weight loss may only sometimes be visible.

It may take some time to see changes in your weight, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are not making progress. In fact, changes in body composition, such as losing fat and building muscle, may not be reflected on the scale.

Weight can also fluctuate due to hormones, water intake, and salt consumption. Obsessing over the number on the scale can damage your mental health, and weight does not necessarily indicate overall health.

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7. Give Yourself Plenty of Rest and Create Healthy Habits

Intermittent fasting can help prevent nighttime awakenings, and good sleep and a healthy diet can make your fasting experience easier. This is because these habits can reduce food cravings, allowing you to stick to your fasting schedule and stay motivated.

Getting enough sleep is essential for your overall well-being, so avoiding large meals and caffeine before bedtime is important. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day and aim for at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

By developing healthy habits such as eating earlier before bed and prioritizing sleep hygiene, you can improve your chances of success with intermittent fasting.

8. Don’t Compare Your Progress With Others

It is common for people to compare their goals, progress, and even their meals with their friends’. However, every case is different, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Comparing yourself to others can be demotivating, as you may feel like you are falling behind or that your progress is not worth the effort if someone else is having better results.

It is important to remember that your well-being is the most important thing and to focus on your unique path. Don’t worry about what others are doing—concentrate on how you feel and your changes.

9. Get Moving

Regular physical activity can be a great way to improve concentration, motivation, memory, and mood. Exercise has been shown to enhance overall health and to be of great help in preventing mental and physical diseases. And yes, you can work out while practicing intermittent fasting.

Physical activity can also help take your mind off your growling stomach and give you more energy to continue fasting. Nevertheless, you don’t need to do heavy exercises to feel better—you can start with light movements to see what works for you.

You may go for a daily 30-minute walk, do yoga, swim, stretch in the morning, or do a few home workouts from the DoFasting appthe key is to keep moving, as staying active is crucial for living a healthy life.

10. Don’t Do Fasting Alone

Starting out with intermittent fasting may be challenging, and having someone to guide you and keep you motivated can be helpful. This is why having an accountability buddy is helpful—someone who can check in with you to keep you committed to your goals without judging you.

If you don’t have anyone close to be your buddy, you can also join a fasting community. For example, the DoFasting community on Reddit and Facebook offers success stories, answers to questions, and a range of other resources. Others in the community may have had similar experiences and can provide motivation or serve as accountability partners.

To join these groups, however, you must first download the DoFasting app, which can also help you determine the best type of fasting for you and remind you when to fast and eat. Using an app like this can be a helpful way to stay consistent and motivated as you begin your intermittent fasting journey.

11. Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

It is essential not to be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes or break your fast earlier than planned, as this can lead to a loss of motivation or even make you give up on intermittent fasting. Remember that fasting can be difficult, and it is normal to encounter challenges along the way.

One way to overcome these challenges is to practice mindfulness, which means paying attention to your feelings, eating mindfully, and slowing down in general.

You can meditate for 5 minutes each day by focusing on your breath, as mindfulness can help manage hunger pangs and reduce stress. In addition, mindfulness has been shown to increase self-control, rationality, and calmness, as well as to improve focus, mental clarity, and emotional intelligence.

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Motivation is a key factor in achieving success with intermittent fasting. As we have discussed, it is crucial to set a realistic end goal, take small steps, track your progress, and reward yourself for your efforts. And if you ever feel stuck, you can reach out to an accountability partner for support.

Ultimately, the most important thing is how you feel—if you are motivated and focused on your goals, you are more likely to succeed with intermittent fasting and improve your overall health and well-being.


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This is an evidence-based article that includes scientific citations. DoFasting’s professional writers and editors prepared the content, which a team of medical experts verified to be accurate.

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