The Real Reason People Fail At Intermittent Fasting | What You Must Know!


In this video, I’ll uncover the real reason
that so many people fail at intermittent fasting in order to help set you up for success. When it comes intermittent fasting, I’ve come
to realize that there’s a common theme out there as to why so many people fail at it.
When we look at intermittent fasting, it kills me to see people fail because it has so many
benefits, whether it’s anticancer, improving brain function, reversing a health condition,
fat loss. Whatever it is, it has all these different major benefits that a lot of people
are looking for, but they start it and they fail at it. So, what we’re going to talk about
in this video is the real reason people fail at intermittent fasting. We’re going to talk
about the not-so-commonly known reasons that people are failing and not getting the results
they desire. But before we get started, I’m Dr. Zyrowski
and welcome to the channel. If you new to the channel, it’s a pleasure to have you here.
Be sure to subscribe, hit that bell notification, and join our notification community so I can
help you excel your health and your life. Let’s go ahead and first talk about habits.
So, this is important and you might think to yourself, well, what do habits have to
do with intermittent fasting? Well, habits have everything to do with intermittent fasting
because essentially, look at it this way – if you’re someone who has been doing something
for 30, 40, 50 years and all of a sudden you just try to stop, that habit is really going
to come in and kind of wear away at you as you’re trying to change it. A lot of people
go into intermittent fasting, they just think to themselves, well, I’m just going to change
up these, you know, eating hours. It’s going to be no thing and nothing’s going to come
in the way of it. Well, there’s going to be a lot of things, especially a lot of different
mental things that come in and really block you from achieving your goals. Let’s talk about some different habits. How
about coffee with cream and sugar in the morning. If you’re someone who’s gotten up for the
past 50 years and you’ve had coffee with cream and sugar in the morning, that’s a pretty
devastating habit to try to break. How about breakfast? You wake up in the morning, have
that big breakfast, right? Because breakfast is the most important meal of the day so we’ve
been told. So you have that big breakfast – you sit down with your spouse, you sit down
with your kid, you have that breakfast. And once again, that’s a hard habit to just break
off. I mean, even for me like, sometimes I’ll sit down with the family, they’re having breakfast,
the kids are having breakfast and I just sit there and it’s like all the kids are going,
well dad, aren’t you going to have breakfast? And I’m thinking about, I’d really love to
have breakfast with you guys, but you know what, I’m trying to stay true to this. So,
I’m just going to sit here and socialize with you. So, it’s a hard thing to break. Maybe
it’s in the workplace. A lot of people are getting together around 10:00 AM and they’re
sitting down to have coffee and donut. That’s a hard thing to break if you’ve done it for
30 years and you’re trying to improve your health now. So, know that these habits are
a big deal, especially when you know you’ve done them for so long. There’s not too many
people out there who are doing intermittent fasting straight out of the gates, as in they’re
a teenager and they started intermittent fasting. There’s very few people doing that. It’s usually
people who are later on in life doing it when they’ve already created a lot of other habits
and they’re not necessarily bad. Like having a nice morning smoothie. It’s not a bad habit,
but it’s just a habit that you have to break if you want to find success with intermittent
fasting. Now let’s talk about habits in general. So,
the thing is about them, as a lot of people think that you can just break a habit in 21
days, right? They’ve been told 21 is all it takes. You break that habit and you move on
in life. But the truth is there’s actually some studies out there and we’re going to
talk about one in particular in the European journal of Social Psychology. In this journal,
what they did is they basically took 96 people and they looked at them over a 12-week period.
They’re looking at how long it would take for them to actually go in and break habits.
They all went and got habits, whether it was drinking more water at lunchtime to exercising
for 15 minutes a day. They all had to stick to a habit and we had to see how long they
would actually do that and how long it would take for it to just become something that
they didn’t even think about anymore. They just do. And so, it took on average two months
basically for these people to go and develop this habit. Now basically what they found
too is that the behavior became automatic at 66 days. So, they really went and monitor
these people for a long period of time. Even though the study was a shorter period, they’d
monitor them for a long period just to see what would happen. They wanted to offer that
continued support. And so, the behavior became automatic at 66 days. So that’s something,
like I said, they didn’t even have to think about it anymore. It just happened. And then
between 18 and 254 days is what it took. So, for the people who built habits very quickly,
they did it in 18 days. For the people who just took forever, it was 254 days. So once
again, setting realistic expectations in this whole intermittent fasting thing is so important.
So, you may be someone who is at the further end of the spectrum. It takes you a little
bit harder to develop habits. You may develop them fairly quick. Now, the other thing that
they realized from the study is it wasn’t an all or nothing approach. And so, if you
went and you fell off the intermittent fasting bandwagon for a couple of days, it wasn’t
a big deal. You jumped back on and you’re able to still form that healthy habit. The
thing is, a lot of people go and they mess up and they go, well, you know what? I screwed
it up. It’s over. I’m not going to do it anymore. So, we realize that it’s not all or nothing
realize that it’s going to take upwards of two months to go in and actually break these
habits. And so, we have to realize all these things we love, they’re going to wear on us
when we’re trying to practice intermittent fasting. Let’s talk about the next major thing that
messes people up. And that’s conventional wisdom. That is your social influencing group
that you’re hanging around with. It’s the people, your peer group that are just wearing
away on you by saying not only like more negative things, but things that really don’t hold
any realistic weight in science. And so, let’s talk about some of them. Here’s some of the
conventional wisdoms out there. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I’ve
heard that a million times and you know, I tell people I intermittent fast and I hear
this stuff all the time. I’m like, look, do you realize that this is something I’ve done
for years and I’ve read all the science on it? I understand it. It also is going to wreck
your metabolism. That’s something that a lot of people are going to tell you. You start
starving yourself, you’re wrecking your metabolism. If you truly want to lose weight,
you need to eat six small meals a day. And then when we look at conventional wisdom,
which is almost always wrong, there’s a million different permutations of it. People are going
to tell you, you’re too old or too young. Women shouldn’t fast. You’re too skinny, you
don’t look right. Whatever it is, there’s going to be a million people who come out
there and tell you that you shouldn’t do intermittent fasting because of all this conventional wisdom.
And the truth is, is that they have no understanding of it. So, you really shouldn’t follow their
advice. Now, the other thing about intermittent fasting is that I just tell people like, look,
if you want to do it, don’t go around telling everybody about it. Don’t go around trying
to psych yourself up by telling all your friends, your coworkers, and then hearing their negative
feedback and then trying to do it because essentially it’s going to cause you to fail.
Cause if you combine this and you combine the habit issue, then all of a sudden it gets
harder and harder. And then I’ll be able to give a couple of
other reasons why. It can become a little bit difficult as well. Now let’s talk about
unhealthy diet. This is a big reason that people fail. Now, I talk about intermittent
fasting all the time and say, look, you can’t use intermittent fasting as a crutch for an
unhealthy diet. A lot of people try to do that because you
can eat fairly unhealthy and do intermittent fasting and still have fat loss. You can still
get some pretty decent results. But the truth is, is that it causes intermittent fasting
to become very hard. And as a result, a lot of people just quit. So, one of the things
you’ll deal with is cravings. If you’re eating an unhealthy diet, you’re going to have a
lot more cravings. You’re in that fasting window. You’re finding that you’re just craving
food the whole time. You’re craving some sugar, and so it’s not a thing that you have to deal
with if you’re following a healthy diet. Blood sugar swings is another very uncomfortable
side effect of eating an unhealthy diet and trying to do intermittent fasting. You’re
going to have hyperglycemic patterns where you have a bunch of energy and feel that you’re
just your brain’s working well, and then you’re going to have the opposite. You’re going to
have hypoglycemic patterns where your brain just absolutely crashes. You have mental fatigue,
you feel terrible, you’re getting shakiness, you’re getting dizziness, and so you’re going
to have these highs and lows if you’re following an unhealthy diet. All the time, when people
tell me that they’re having a lot of these issues with intermittent fasting, I tell them,
okay, well like you know what’s going on with your diet. You need to make sure that you’re
straightening it up and typically when they start explaining how they’re eating, well
that’s the problem. So, in general, what we want to do is we want to follow a low carb
diet. We don’t want to be eating high carb because it once again creates that blood sugar
instability. High fat is really good, moderate protein. We want also want to make sure that
we’re cutting out the sugar and cutting out the processed foods. When we go and we make
these dietary changes, intermittent fasting becomes so much easier. I’ll even have people
who have done it for a while and they just fall off the bandwagon as far as eating a
healthy diet and all this, and they go, I don’t know what’s up with me, doc. There’s
intermittent fasting is just feeling terrible as of lately. It’s like, well, how is your
diet? And so, it’s a very important piece. That’s why in my intermittent fasting program,
I literally take a ton of effort into actually teaching on diet because it’s so important. Now let’s talk about expectations. This is
another thing that’s so important. Now, when we look at expectations, a lot of people,
they want results and they want it now, and unfortunately we live in a society when it
comes to just general healthcare, that that’s what people expect. You want to lower your
blood pressure. Well, don’t focus on exercise and eating healthy. Just take a pill. If you
want to lower your cholesterol, don’t focus on your diet, take the pill. If you want to
lose weight, well, there’s a pill for that too, right? So a lot of people go into intermittent
fasting and they want to lose weight. They want to have more energy, they want to build
lean muscle, they want to reverse a health condition, but in most cases, they want it
now. They’re going to give themselves a week. They’re going to give themselves two weeks
to get results. First of all, we have to realize is that when we look at intermittent fasting,
it’s a natural health technique. Now when we look at your overall health, true health
only comes naturally. So, we have to make sure that we realize it’s going to take time
and also that this is something that we’re doing in order to naturally improve our health.
And so, we have to realize that we don’t want to just give ourselves a short period of time
and we don’t want to just focus on these types of goals, but want to focus on more long-term
goals, right? How much weight do you want to lose over a one-year period? Maybe you
want to actually get the anticancer benefits that the intermittent fasting has to offer
because you know that you have genetic snips within your family line that basically is
saying that you’re going to get cancer one day. So, we want to make sure that if you
are someone who has cancer in your family, if you have disease in your family, that you’re
going in utilizing intermittent fasting for not only things like weight loss and reversing
a condition that you’re facing at the time, but as more of a bigger goal to just improve
your health and for longevity purposes. Now, if you’re not familiar with intermittent
fasting and all the details of it, I’ll put a link right up here to a complete guide that
I did on it. It’s going to tell you everything you need to know A to Z on intermittent fasting
because, like I said, there’s so many different variables. There’s different hours you can
do it within. I teach on everything there. So, make sure you’re sharing this video with
your friends because a lot of people are falling into these not so commonly known mistakes,
and it’s very frustrating. I mean, if you just walked in the intermittent fasting thing,
well, it’s just about not eating during this time and you weren’t mentally prepared for
all these other things that come up, well then essentially you are going to have a greater
chance at failing at it. So, give this video a thumbs up, share it
with your friends. If you have any questions, put it in the comments section right here
below. And also, be sure to subscribe to my channel. If you want to learn more about exercise,
nutrition, weight loss, things like water fasting, and of course reversing health conditions,
then hit that little bell notification so you’re locked in, you never miss a piece of
content. Lastly, check out my other videos over here that are going to help you improve
your health. And I’ll see you in the next video.

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Reader Comments

  1. Maxi Bake

    Unhealthy habits took time to get ingrained into us all, True. We just have to make swaps, change the foods from wrong ones to right ones, slowly, & before you know it, your hooked, on the healthier new thing. Never thought I could do it, but I have. Thank you for sharing this important information with us all, & take care of yourself to. ❤🙂🐶

  2. Whitney P

    Coffee Creamer has been the hardest thing for me to give up! I gave it up in January 2019 and I still miss it everyday!!! I've tried BPC, coconut milk, sugar-free syrups, nut milks, heavy whipping cream, NOTHING has stopped my craving for creamer 🙁

  3. Denise Angelino

    Is fasting in the afternoon ok? I stop eating at 2pm and eat breakfast the next day of 2 or 3 eggs with maybe some bacon or canadian bacon. Is this ok? I dont see the results from IF . Thank you for your videos

  4. sunny cal

    I love my black coffee but I was also someone that treated myself to a medium/large Hazelnut Ice coffee two/three times a month when running errands. I also use to purchase those Keurig pods that has cream and sugar in them. Yummy! I haven't had any of these since starting my weight loss journey 12 weeks ago. I'm also omad and I fast too. I'm 46 hours into fasting and will probably break it at 48. What do you consider low sugar and carbs, please? I'm not on keto but am keping my carbs and sugar intake low, hopefully. Thank you for your video's.

  5. Katherine Kwok

    Intermittent fasting has been the most effective and easy way for me to manage RA flares, so if my peers don’t like it, they can go pound sand. No amount of all day eating is worth the horrible pain I was experiencing.

  6. Dr. Nick Zyrowski

    I have a fasting playlist loaded with enormous amounts of fasting resources designed to answer all your questions. Here it is https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLE8KvEv74FLcAGn4z3Dix2O6gEqhanrrj

  7. dae soto

    New study: Take 2 people; one with high carb diet and the other one with keto diet. Make both of them fast for 24 hours and then arrange a 500 meter race for them.

  8. Emanuel Mayer

    my main reason are free days. On working days its simple. On free days when I am home, I start to get bored a little bit and think about eat something … and it quite often happens then. I still work to get a time window of 12h (not 16:8) … but it feels weak. The other thing is vacations. I am still working it out (and I am on IF for half a year (on only 5 times a week)…)

  9. Walker

    I have a question: All my life, 70 years, I get really irritable when I get hungry. It's like my stomach is on fire. Literally, I have friends that say "Oh gawd don't let her get hungry" I eat a low carb, moderate protein, moderate fat diet. What do you think is up with that?

    I am getting more and more intrigued with this intermittent fasting thing. More and more scientists are talking about fasting and epigenetics. But, I'm afraid I will alienate all of my friends?

  10. Ursula Ingram

    Thank you Dr. I've been subcribe to you for a while and have lost 60lbs following your guide. Thanks for all you've done to help millions of people with this channel

  11. CJ F

    Great info! I think the word “fasting” has a negative connotation for some people. What you are doing is shortening the time in which you eat. Maybe you could have breakfast and lunch and skip. dinner or some other combination of meals and time. Some people take an all or nothing approach. There are no hard and fast rules for IF so experiment.Tell your negative friends you are following your Dr’s advice – your doctor is Dr Nick of course.

  12. R T

    Dr. Can you lean down too much? I am 41 5'9" male. I weigh 175 I was in good shape, muscular build before I started IF 18/6 and omad once a week since March. I am pretty active. I was eating a whole food, no processed foods for years. I am really lean now and dont seem to have any fat anywhere I look very chiseled (not bragging more concerned) I feel good. I started this to help with allergies and it has. I also do acv and cold showers. I seem to stay focused better all day, energetic and in a good mood. I eat lots of meat, eggs, fat, milk, (raw from our grass fed cow, chickens are free range no pen too) and greens- salad. I own, live, and work on a farm and wish more people would. Sugar and carbs I would pass on for another helping of any of the above which I wouldn't have always done before. I read years ago bodybuilders that stayed too lean for too long shortened their life span. Is there such a thing as being too lean? I am not restricting calories per say. I eat as much as I want in the window of eating and feel satisfied for the most part till window opens again. I hope this gives you enough story to answer I really respect all you do. Thanks

  13. Barb Drake

    Where DOES the phrase ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ come from? I get told this all the time!
    Love your channel and great advice and information ❤️ x

  14. lee harlow

    Technically, BREAK-FAST is the most important meal of the day, because this is when you are most sensitive to food and will absorb the most of what you are putting in your mouth ( not for eating a bowl of genetically modified cereal first thing in the morning )

  15. Nutritional Logic

    Exactly right. Addictive food habits will indeed make your fast unpleasant! And using will power just won't work! The brain is wired to expect rewards, and it is easily conditioned; this has a benefit though, it works the other way e.g. when you want to reduce a food addiction. Successful intermittent fasting probably means that stimulants and even keto treat foods should be considerably reduced. It all depends what you goals are.

  16. Gay Preator

    True: Break – Fast “Is” the most important (Nutritional) meal of your day. ‘Break – Fast’: is 2 words ‘not’ 1. Fasting is amazing.

  17. No Big Diehl y’all

    This is so true!!!!! I had no idea how much my life was revolving around food and treats. Going to a movie is STILL difficult! The smell of popcorn 🍿. I’m on Keto (6 months) and fasting so double whammy habit breaking. I’m doing omad right now and making sure I get enough fat during my meal is important and getting in my electrolytes (including acv) during my fasting window really helps with hunger.

  18. Little Voice

    Please can you do a video on the truth about sugar. Does a high carb and added sugar diet really cause diabetes, cancer, inflammation, impaired immunity, mental health issues, skin issues, hormonal imbalance and risk of dementia? I believe it does, but some newspaper articles are saying otherwise, which is leading general public to think added sugar is fine

  19. Jeff Snowden

    Dr. Z,
    Question about Intermittent Fasting and Power Lifting… I stop eating at 7PM in the evening and don't eat again until noon the next day. I hit the gym at about 8:00 and work out for about 45 minutes. My question is about recovery drink without breaking the fast? I would think that "Muscle Milk" or similar drink wouldn't work… My problem is that I feel like I'm going to pass out a times post workout… any suggestions?

  20. Hells Heart

    1 negative habit out, 2 positive habits in. It makes it easier for me to get rid of the one if I am focused on the two positives. What a great video DR. I have been focused on my diet a lot more lately. I even started to track what I eat on a daily basis. Actually writing down everything I put in my pie hole. As I am doing the 16/8 with a two extended fast every other week. It's so true if we don't eat clean and good all the rest is just an waste of time and energy.

  21. Scott Huffman

    In my opinion this has been one of your best videos for those just looking into intermittent fasting.
    You have been a great influence to me and I have lost 23 lbs. in the last few months. Thanks you so very much for all the great videos you have done.

  22. vbarrto

    i start with Eat-Stop-Eat…and now i'm 3rd day on Alternate-Day Fasting and i feel freakin' awesome!
    And i agree with every word on this video. We have to lern right eat, nutrition then eat as we want it for joy, so many things in our lives we have to reconstruct from basics.

  23. Joey The Moose

    The hardest part about ADF for me is definitely my coworkers…. I have toxic people in my workplace that think it’s funny to buy me foods on my fasting days. They’ll bring it to me and tell me they were thinking about me and they hate that I’m starving myself. Then make me feel bad about declining the food or not eating it if they leave the plate of food at my desk. I know they’re not doing it with a kind heart cause they’ll smirk and laugh as they walk away.

  24. Cathy Le-Roux

    I used to work out 5-6 days a week and a few months ago,start having vertigo so working out regularly is challenging! Now my vertigo is better and slowing getting back to the gym 3-4 days a week, and started fasting 2 wks ago 14/10 and now 16/8, and have not lose even a pound?Also I have been feeling bloated all day, so frustrating!! Start my day with just black coffee & water, first meal is around 11 am, am I missing something?

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