Cranky when fasting

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 11, 2011 at 1:44 AM

So, I've been doing a more consistent IF for the last three weeks, eating my last meal around 6:00 or 7:00 and eating again the next day around noon or 12:30. Usually 16 - 18 hours. I had done that previously about three times a week and had no problems. The first week was fine, but lately I just get really, really cranky around 10 am and I can only seem to attribute it to the fasting. I exercise while fasting and also feel weaker than I used to Even at night, when I'm waiting for the supper hour to come around, I just get edgy wanting to eat. Do you think that I should just stop this fasting for awhile and try something else? Or is it something I should work through and just trust that it will get better in time? I've been trying to work off some lingering belly fat and thought IFing might do the trick. Don't want to give up if I don't have to, but I'm worried I might be doing more harm than good.


on October 11, 2011
at 02:04 AM

+1 as I think this is a confusing thing for alot of people that also has the potential to be destructive healthwise if done robotically without regard for individual variation.



on October 11, 2011
at 01:56 AM

It sounds like you may not be well adapted to de novo gluconeogenesis right now. Are you VLCing? If not, it might be a good time to try.

  • 3960d381831b80ad96164f34e2ab6030

    asked by

  • Views
  • Last Activity
    1433D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers


on October 11, 2011
at 02:01 AM

I think you've answered your own question. From my perspective, you need to work out a schedule that works for you. This may mean that you IF, say, 3 days a week. Or, maybe you IF ever other day. Or, maybe you IF two back-to -back days perweek, or 3. And maybe it means you take a break from it now, get to feeling better, and then make a plan for yourself and see how it works...

I think there are just about infinite variations....IF 3 days one week and none the next...and on and on the variations can go...

Right now, I'd strongly suggest a substantial time break...and then as you get to feeling better/stabilized/regularized...think about a different schedule and try it out!

I'm sure you will find your answer. :)


on October 11, 2011
at 12:41 PM

What you may want to try is a tablespoon or so of coconut butter or oil at 10A. Yes, you're technically breaking the fast, but you're doing so without protein or carbs, so you'll still be getting some of the benefits of fasting, while those MCTs may help the crankiness and get you to being able to tolerate IFing better.

One question: when you do eat, are you eating enough carbs to top off your glycogen stores? If not, then you may just be experiencing what J Stanton calls a "multi-week rut of keto-adaptation."


on October 11, 2011
at 02:42 PM

My experience with IF was that I adapted to it rather quickly when I first tried it in Summer 2009. It was like autopilot for me, (Fast 5). Then I tried something different that fall and could never really adapt to a regular IF schedule again. I found I was eating too much (because I was eating too fast) and feeling out of sync. Every day I would say "I'm starting today" and would feel like a failure if I broke down by 10am and ate something. I stopped forcing the issue.

It seems to me that if you're cranky you are stressing your body needlessly. It may be worth giving it a bit more time just to see if you somehow adapt, but otherwise, it sounds like it's not for you.


on October 11, 2011
at 02:11 AM

I wouldn't rule it out so quickly. It's going to be hard while you adjust.

  • What are you typically doing at 10am? Are you sitting at a desk, or on the couch, are you moving around, do you work out? My "peak" hunger is also around 10 am, but I keep myself busy and power through. Usually the hunger only last about 30 minutes and then I'm fine until I eat around noon.
  • Are you drinking a lot of water. No really, a LOT of water. I drink a ton during my fast, this really helps the moaning and groaning of hunger pains.
  • What is your workout schedule like?

Answer Question

Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!