Experiencing an intermittent fasting weight loss stall can be frustrating! I mean, any type of weight loss plateau may cause you to believe that you are on the wrong path and need to try something different. Hold up! There are a few tweaks that you can try to successfully overcome your intermittent fasting weight loss plateau. Don’t give up just yet. Intermittent fasting is the most sustainable weight-loss method, it is absolutely worth figuring out how to get the results you want.
How to Define a Weight Loss Stall
Before we troubleshoot your intermittent fasting weight loss stall, let’s just make sure that you are in fact experiencing one. Many women expect to lose at least 5 lbs a month or more. If they don’t lose weight one month, they think they hit a “plateau.”
However, it is perfectly normal to not lose any weight in one month. Weight loss won’t look like a straight downward line. Instead, you will see ups and downs with an overall downward trend. One month you may lose 4 lbs, another 2 lbs, and another 0 lbs. As a rule of thumb, if you don’t lose any weight for two months in a row. Then, you can start troubleshooting your intermittent fasting approach. Otherwise, try not to worry about it and trust the process!
Troubleshoot Your Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Stall
Whether you are experiencing a weight-loss stall or not, I recommend you consider monitoring your ketone level to define your intermittent fasting window. This will be helpful to set your intermittent fasting window as you get started and as you troubleshoot.
I use the KetoMojo and you can receive a 15 percent discount if you use my affiliate link.
Learn more by reading How Much Intermittent Fasting Should You Do for Weight Loss.
Can I use Urine Strips to Measure My Ketones?
I personally didn’t like using urine strips to measure my ketones because the color differentiation was difficult to make. Moreover, it turns out that urine strips measure acetoacetate. There are three ketone bodies (all created in your liver using fatty acids): acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and acetone. Acetoacetate is created first when fat is metabolized and then converted into beta-hydroxybutyrate (which you measure with your ketone monitor). The excess is excreted in your urine (and measured with urine strips). Acetone is a side product of acetoacetate and it is measured with your breath.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the primary ketone body. It has a significant molecular mass. It is the molecule that will give you energy and make you feel amazing. That’s why you should use a ketone monitor.
How to Use Your Ketone Monitor to Troubleshoot
Your ketone monitor will increase your chance of weight loss success with intermittent fasting by enabling you to check that you have switched to fat-burning mode. You want a ketone reading of at least 1 mmol/L for at least 2-3 hours. Fast long enough at least 4 times a week to reach that level of ketosis.
Change Your Fasting Window
If you have been measuring at least 1 mmol/L for a few hours each time a few times a week and still not losing weight. Consider finding ways to increase your reading to 1.5 mmol/L as most health experts recommend at least 1.5 mmol/L for optimal weight loss ketosis. I found that 1 mmol/L was sufficient for me and I could feel the switch. If you don’t feel the switch (more on that later) and are not losing weight, you may want to try decreasing your carb consumption or a longer and less frequent fasting window.
Temporarily Decrease Your Carb Consumption
I don’t typically recommend that women in perimenopause fast and eat low carbs to reach their weight loss goals. However, it may be a helpful temporary measure to overcome an intermittent fasting weight loss stall. For example, you could try a 7-day keto cycle before getting back into experimenting with your intermittent fasting windows.
I created a 7-Day Meal Plan you can use.
How to Troubleshoot By Listening to Your Body
Learning to listen to your body is an essential element of your intermittent fasting success.
When You Feel Great
How do you feel when you fast? Do you feel energetic and content or do you feel deprived and fatigued? How is your sleep? Are you getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night? If your sleep and your energy level are excellent, troubleshooting should be pretty easy. My first recommendation would be to plan two 5-day modified fast, two months in a row.
How to Plan Your Two 5-Day Modified Fasts
Pick the first or second week of your menstrual cycle to plan your modified fasts. As women enter the second phase of their menstrual cycle (the luteal phase) their bodies need enough calories and carbs to ensure optimal hormonal function. Consequently, most women will notice that fasting or eating low-carb is way more difficult during the last week of their cycle. Hence my recommendation is to plan your modified fasts during the first or second week of your cycle.
For more information about how to do a 5-Day Modified Fast read Modified Fasting: How You Can Benefit From Fasting Without Starving.
Moreover, check out my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation, which includes more tools and meal plans to help you succeed.
When You Don’t Feel So Good
If fasting is still a struggle, you feel low on energy, or your sleep isn’t optimal, there are many options when it comes to troubleshooting. Start by checking your ketones on your fasting days.
When Your Ketones Are Below 1.0 mmol/L
If your ketones are below 1.0 mmol/L, an option is to go on a 7-day keto cycle (check the Free Resources page for your free meal plan). Another option would be to play with different intermittent fasting windows as you read your ketone levels. What about a 24-hour fast two times a week? That may be enough to get you into that optimal fat-burning zone.
When Your Ketones Are Above 1.0 mmol/L
Are you feeling crappy even when in the “optimal fat-burning ketosis”? Then, I would look into tweaking your diet and supplementation regimen. Even though one of the main benefits of intermittent fasting is food freedom and the ability to enjoy your favorite foods, know that if you feed your body crap, you are going to feel like crap.
Read What to Eat on Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and My 7-Day Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss Meal Plan for more guidance.
Each one of us is very unique. One type of diet may work well for one person and not so well for another. That’s why sometimes an individualized approach is necessary.
Sleep is critical to your overall health. Lack of sleep can interfere with your weight loss efforts not only because it will cause you to snack endlessly on high-carb foods and eat more overall, but also because it will interfere with your hormonal function.
Do what you can to ensure you get 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night. Some tips you can try to improve sleep:
- Regular bedtime
- No screen time before bed
- No caffeine in the afternoon
- Dark bedroom
- Fresh air every day
- Intermittent fasting
- Limiting alcohol consumption
You may find it challenging to get a good night’s sleep, particularly in perimenopause. Learning some meditation techniques may help when you are finding it particularly hard to go to sleep or fall back asleep.
Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Stall Video
If you haven’t been able to lose weight for over two months, it may be time to adjust your intermittent fasting method. Use a ketone monitor to determine your optimal fasting window, check how you feel, consider a 5-day modified fast, make sure your nutritional needs are being met, and that you are getting adequate sleep. Follow these basic measures and you will overcome your weight loss stall.