Myths behind Intermittent Fasting
Like most diets, some myths can ruin the experience of the diet and cause people not to get the most benefits from it. Lets look at a few of these myths, but lets also remember that your doctor or a nutritionist is the best source of information regarding your diet, based on your health concerns.
You Must Eat Breakfast
There are no studies that show eating breakfast is beneficial to anyone on any type of diet. However, having said that, some studies show making your eating window earlier in the day assists with weight loss. That doesnt mean it has to be breakfast. If youre more comfortable starting at lunch, that might be “breakfast” for you.
Small Meals Boost Metabolism
For many years weve listened to this myth without realizing its just not true. There are no studies that show eating smaller and more frequent meals is helpful for anything, although there are studies that show it can be bad on your digestion. People need to be hungry to eat so that their body can break down the food with the right stomach acid.
Youll Feel Like Youre Starving
Yes, youll be hungry on fasting days, and you may even get hungry (or think you are) on non-fasting days. However, hunger isnt even bad for you. You cannot starve by not eating for 16 hours, and your body is never going to think its staving either. When you become accustomed to it, you will learn what real hunger should feel like.
You Can Eat All You Want
While you can eat a good amount during your eating windows, you cannot eat “all you want” because that could mean all sorts of things. Dr. Atkins once stated on an interview on a talk show that he had no idea that people would think he meant you could eat “unlimited food” when he said “eat all you want” of these foods. So, to be clear, you can eat what you want but make it healthy, and do not eat more than your maximum calorie needs or less than the minimum caloric needs you have.
Youll Decrease Your Metabolism
This myth comes from the idea of starvation mode setting in and making your body hold on to calories. This really doesnt happen, unless youre engaging in yo-yo dieting which involves losing a lot, then gaining it back. However, even then if you eat fewer calories than your body uses you will not hang on to weight. Its science.
Youll Lose Muscle
Yes, if you fast for a long period of time, youd lose muscle, but the truth is you really only need to eat when you are truly hungry, and people are not truly hungry every four hours; its more like 8 to 16 hours. Knowing this, it makes no sense to think this plan will make you lose muscle.
Youll Overeat When Intermittent Fasting
Some people do, but overall most people understand how the diet works and do not overeat. One study of 33 women and men on the 16:8 plan after being told to eat “all you want” tended to eat about 350 calories less each day.
Youll Be Malnourished
Its impossible to be malnourished if youre eating healthy food on an intermittent fasting plan. Youre going to get plenty of food and nutrition, so this will not be an issue at all. If you are losing weight too fast, you can adjust your plan and the food that you eat.
The thing to take away here is that you need to avoid making up your own diet when following the intermittent diet. Find an expert to follow or hire a coach to help you stick to everything in the right way.