There is a lot of confusion around intermittent fasting, how to do it, and whether it is healthy to do in general. And if you do not know much about it, you may initially consider the idea of not eating for an extended period of time to be bad. But the truth is, hundreds of research studies show that intermittent fasting is a healthy and effective weight loss option.
That said, do not let these intermittent fasting myths and rumors stop you from accomplishing your personal heath and weight loss goals. Continue reading as we debunk the 6 most common intermittent fasting myths.
- INTERMITTENT FASTING IS BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH
Many people think that intermittent fasting is unhealthy for your body or that its is an unhealthy way to lose weight in general. To add to that, there’s a thought that you won’t consume enough calories to generate a solid energy source for your body to use. But on the contrary, various research studies have found that fasting triggers the body to switch its source of energy from glucose stored in the liver, to ketones (which is used to burn fat for fuel).
Additionally, ketones or the process of ketogenesis has been known to initiate special pathways that positively impact your health and slows down aging. Ketosis also aids in the removal or repair of damaged molecules. Too add to that, the impact of ketogenesis can carry over into your non-fasting windows. In turn, this improves glucose regulation, increases stress resistance, and suppresses inflammation.
2. YOU’LL END UP EATING MORE WHEN YOU FINALLY EAT (Binge Eating)
There are claims that intermittent fasting causes you to overeat when you to finally reach your eating window. While it is true that you may compensate for calories lost during a fast by eating a little more afterwards, that extra eating usually isn’t enough to make up for the times you didn’t eat.
To support this claim, there was a research study published in the National Library of Medicine & National Center for Biotechnology Information. The study consisted of subjects that fasted for extended periods or up to 36 hours without eating food. At the conclusion of the study, their data suggested that even a 36 hour fast did not induce a powerful or unconditioned stimulus to compensate calories on the subsequent day (1).
So, once you reach you finally reach your eating window, although you might end up eating a few more calories than normal for that meal, it will be a lot less than a full day’s worth of standard eating. Believe or not, It is actually difficult to make up for the 16-24hrs of not eating, in one or two meals if you’re eating healthy nutrient-dense food.
3. INTERMITTENT FASTING STARVES YOU – PUTS YOU IN STARVATION MODE
There is a thought that you are starving yourself when you fast intermittently, which can cause your body to slow down metabolism and cause you to retain more fat once you begin eating. But the truth is, there is no evidence that intermittent fasting causes this to occur any more than other weight loss strategies. So, if you believe that intermittent fasting puts your body into starvation mode – what about all of the other weightless methods out there?
When it comes down to it, it is simply about calories in vs. calories out. Some people find it easier to eat more of what they like for several hours and not eating for longer hours as opposed keeping a hawk eye on the foods you eat while counting calories throughout the day. It’s all about preference – do what you prefer. In either case, you will not starve yourself unless you truly do not eat at all.
4. YOU SHOULDN’T DRINK WATER WHILE YOU FAST
Yes, we know of certain religious fast such as Ramadan fasting where people do not eat food or water for a period of time. In my opinion, that’s probably where people get this “water is forbidden or else you aren’t really fasting” thought from. However, this is not true.
When intermittent fasting, you can drink as much water as you would like. This is especially important for those of you who are new to intermittent fasting. While there is a variant of fasting called “Dry Fasting”, that is not the same as an intermittent fasting. So, drink all the water you want and keep it simple. Keep in mind that you can also drink tea or black coffee (with nothing added of course, keep it plain).
5. INTERMITTENT FASTING DRAINS YOUR ENERGY
Many people think that you will feel very week and tired all day if you do not eat food to fuel your body and brain. There is a thought that you will become lethargic and will not want to do anything but rest, which is not true.
This is because, when you do intermittent fasting, your cells tap into an alternate energy source – your body fat. And many of us have body fat to spare, even if you consider yourself to be relative lean. Your body has more-fat to spare that you’d expect. Plus, have you tried intermittent fasting yet? I ask that because many people (include myself) sometimes feel more energetic when they exercise in a fasted state. Give intermittent fasting a fair shot to see if how you will feel.
6. IT IS BAD TO SKIP BREAKFAST.
Here are the first thoughts that come up around breakfast: Oh, wait, I can skip Breakfast? I can’t because it is the most important meal of the day! Or, if you skip breakfast, you will just end up having a larger lunch. Or, if you do not eat breakfast, you cannot focus. I’ve heard it all.
But, the truth is – research shows that most people can skip breakfast without any negative side effects. Plus, understand that breakfast is consisted of two words – Break & Fast. Think of it like this – if your feeding window starts at 1:00PM after a 16hour fast, then you can consider your 1:00PM meal as breakfast because that’s when you break your fast – hope that makes sense for you.
Long story short, breakfast or eating food first thing in the morning when you wake up is not essential to your health. Additionally, breakfast is whenever you decide to break you fast. Plus, if you really want breakfast first thing when you wake up, you can adjust your feeding window to begin when you wake up in the morning. You will just have to begin your fasting around the early-evening time frame.
TO CLOSE – LAST WORDS
When it comes down to it, most intermittent fasting myths are not based on factual science or backed up by research. Instead, they are based on rumors or confusion from people who likely have never fasted before. Truth is, fasting can be hard to understand because everyone is used to standard diets that has been engrained in our brains via images of food pyramid since we were children. So, keep doing research and learn more about different eating regimens, methods, or approaches for weight loss overall.
I hope you found this blog post informative and helpful. Be sure to like, comment, and subscribe to our email list to be keep up with future posts from YAstrength.com.
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