If you want to lose weight or simply improve your health, well-being, and fitness levels in general, you might have heard about intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting (IF) refers to a type of diet regimen where you either fast completely or restrict your calorie intake for a certain period of time.
There is no right or wrong way to do it, and how long you want to fast is up to you. There are some popular options to follow, however, such as the 5:2 diet, which involves restricting your calories for two out of the seven days of the week, or the 16:8 pattern, which involves an 8-hour eating window daily, among others.
But before you get started, there are some myths about intermittent fasting you should be aware of. We’re here to clear those misconceptions so you’re set on the right path.
You Can Eat as Much as You Want
Being able to eat as much as you want when you are not fasting is a common misconception about this type of diet. While IF doesn’t restrict what you eat rather than when you eat, eating too much when you are not fasting means that you are probably not going to see the results you want.
Once you move to your eating window, make sure to follow a healthy, balanced, and nutritious diet for optimal results.
You’ll Be Hungry
It is partially true that you are going to feel hungry when fasting to begin with, especially right at the end of your fasting period. However, over time, the body will get used to this due to the release of cortisol, a hormone that helps curb hunger and control appetite.
Drinking enough fluids throughout your fasting period will help control the cravings since most people mistake hunger for thirst. You can also incorporate more healthy fats and protein into your diet as these foods digest slower, providing you with a source of energy for longer.
Fasting is Better for Weight Loss
While intermittent fasting can certainly be an effective way to lose weight when done right, it’s important to remember that it is not the only way to achieve weight loss and what works for one person might not work as well for another. There is no evidence to suggest that fasting is a better option for weight loss compared to other diet options.
Your Body Will Go into Starvation Mode
Some people wrongly believe that fasting is dangerous because it pushes the body into starvation mode. While starvation is not healthy, the human body is designed to handle short periods of fasting.
There is even scientific research that indicates fasting can have positive health effects, such as reducing the risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and improving blood pressure.
While there is a lot of buzz around intermittent fasting as a way to get healthy and lose weight, it’s important to know what’s true and what’s a misconception before you start this type of diet. In addition, fasting is not for everyone and for some people, it can cause health issues like gallstones. If in doubt, consult a doctor to check whether intermittent fasting is appropriate for you.