Intermittent Fasting:What To Do If You Fail To Eat Within Your Feeding Window
Last Updated on November 16, 2019 by Paula
Let’s get real. Even the best laid plans fall apart. As the old saying goes, life is what happens when you are making other plans. You may be thinking that after reading the introduction all the way to chapter 3 of this book that you have everything you need to know about intermittent fasting.
You can’t wait to start. You’re all pumped up and its inner reasons and mechanics for working highly motivate you. I congratulate you if you have this mindset. I wish you the best and I know you will do well if you follow the advice I gave you in this book.
But I also know that you, like everybody else, are human. We all have our weaknesses. We all fail at one point in time or other. That’s okay. There will be times where you will fail to eat within your feeding window. I know this full well because it happened to me all the time when I first started with intermittent fasting.
It felt like I was trying to hit a moving target. I couldn’t quite get all my meals within that 8 hour window. But when I followed the steps below, things started to turn. Previously, I would eat maybe 3 to 5 hours outside my window.
But sooner or later, I got closer and closer to my window until all my snacks and full meals were eaten within that 8 hour time frame. How did I do it? Here’s how.
Adopt the right mindset
When you fail to eat within your feeding window, it’s very easy to think that you’re the biggest loser in the world. It’s tempting to think that you have somehow let yourself down and that you have embarrassed yourself.
Listen. You’re not doing yourself any favors when you think these thoughts. You’re just beating yourself up. Believe it or not, it’s not the end of the world. It really isn’t. Let’s be honest here. This is probably not the first weight loss book or lifestyle modification guide that you have ever read.
If you’re like most people, you probably have read other diet books before. You probably have tried to follow them. Just as it wasn’t the end of the world when you failed with those diets, it’s not the end of the world that you failed to eat within your feeding window trying to follow the tips of this book.
I want you to wrap your mind around this concept. It’s not the end of the world. So, stop overreacting. Stop looking at it from this perspective. You’re not letting yourself down. You’re not betraying your ideals. You’re not a bad person. It happens. Get over it quickly.
Next, just because you messed up doesn’t mean you have to mess up the whole day. I play this little game with myself when I first started intermittent fasting. I would fail to eat within my feeding window so I would give myself permission to eat throughout the day.
I consoled myself with the thinking that “I’ll make it up to myself tomorrow.” Don’t do this. When you allow yourself to mess up for the rest of the day, what you’re really doing is you’re training yourself to completely ignore your feeding schedule.
You’re basically saying to yourself “It’s okay to eat whenever you want.” You are completely reversing the whole point of intermittent fasting. Just as it’s okay and completely expected for people to get knocked down as they try to do something in life, it doesn’t mean that they have the license to just lay there.
Make no mistake. Whenever you’re confronting life’s challenges, you will get knocked down. That’s a guarantee. But what separates successful from less successful people is the amount of time it takes successful people to get back up after they got knocked down.
This is all a choice. So when you mess up eating outside of your feeding window, make it a choice to not repeat it. Acknowledge what happened and resolve not to let it happen again. That’s how you make progress. That’s how you get ahead.
The worst thing you can do is to think “I already messed up. So I might as well just take a pass for the rest of the day.” You’re setting yourself up to go back to your old habits when you do that. Remember, whenever you’re trying to make some positive change in your life whether it’s emotional, psychological, physical or spiritual, your body and mind will always put up a fight.
Consciously, you know that this is the right way to go. But certain parts of your body and mind have other ideas. We’re all creatures of comfort. There’s always a part of us that is just so used to doing things the old way.
This conflict between the habitual you and the new you is constantly raging. Don’t give in to the old you by resolving to mess up the rest of the day. You made a bad move. That’s okay. Own up to it, acknowledge it, understand its impact and then resolve not to do it again.
When it happens again, go through the same process. As long as you’re conscious about why you’re doing this and what the consequences are, things fall into perspective and you’re less likely to do it again. Before you know it, you’re less likely to mess up.
Focus on the fact that you are able to mess up and stop
I want you to understand that just because you messed up doesn’t mean that you have to keep messing up. You can stop messing up. What’s important here is self education and acknowledgment.
Just as when a kid does something bad, it’s really important for the parent to say “What did you do?” It’s obvious that the parent knows what the kid did. That’s why the parent is disciplining the kid in the first place.
It’s crucial, however, for the kid to understand what they did because this is the beginning of them getting a clear idea of the consequences of their action.
You have to do the same with yourself. When you eat out of your feeding window, remind yourself why intermittent fasting is so powerful and how it can benefit you and the new life that you want for yourself.
Also understand what you did wrong. Finally, resolve to stop. When you do this, you’re able to mess up and stop. This makes it all that much harder for you to mess up the whole day or mess up in a big way. If you do this right, you keep reprogramming yourself regarding the right way to look at hunger pangs.
If anything, it prepares you for the next step.
Prepare and get ready to try again. The whole point of acknowledging your mistake is to try again. It’s not an intellectual exercise. It definitely isn’t something you do to beat yourself up emotionally. It serves a purpose.
You have to try again. You have to understand that just like working out at the gym, doing well at work, moving up the corporate ladder, you have to keep working and keep moving forward to achieve momentum.
This is that point in time where it’s harder to stop than it is to begin. In other words, it’s the precise opposite of your beginning. When you’re just starting out with anything, maybe it’s a relationship or career or business or even working at a gym, it’s hard to start. You have a million and one reasons not to start.
Then once you get started, it’s hard for you to keep going. When you achieve momentum, it’s the opposite. It’s easy to start and keep going. It’s harder to stop. The best way to trigger momentum is to prepare to try again and again and again.
This is mostly mental because ultimately, the belly serves the mind. If you get your mind right and prepare to try again regardless of how badly you slipped up, eventually, you will achieve victory.