Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment
You’ve thought about intermittent fasting. You heard it has all kinds of health benefits: weight loss, better energy, improved mental clarity. And you’re excited about the possibilities for your health.
But when you mention it to a couple of people, they voice their objections.
“You’ll starve yourself without enough calories! Your hunger will be off the charts! That’s so bad for you!”
“You’ll wreck your metabolism and never be able to keep weight off no matter how few calories you eat.”
Fair enough; they care about you, and they’re concerned for you.
But let’s make sure those objections are factual rather than based on one (or more) of these 7 common myths of intermittent fasting.
Myth #1 Intermittent Fasting Isn’t For Everyone
I disagree. Some form of intermittent fasting is good no matter what the circumstances.
Let’s say you’re pregnant. Your version of fasting could include eliminating all snacks and sticking to three healthy meals a day. Your fasted states will be relatively short but you'll still gain some of fasting's benefits.
Sticking to only three meals a day is still fasting because you’re following a conscious pattern of alternating periods of eating with periods of not eating. And because so many people eat all day long, cutting out snacks is a first major step toward fasting success.
The same thing could be done for a young child. No snacks, just three meals a day of healthy food. This would be a tremendous improvement for many kids in our society who currently graze on sub-standard food all day long, and risk obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.
Myth #2 Fasting Isn’t Good For People Who Are Hypoglycemic
Actually, fasting is one thing you should do to correct low blood sugar! Here’s why:
Often, hypoglycemia is caused by excessive amounts of insulin. One of insulin’s main jobs is to regulate blood sugar. Thus, when you’re blood sugar level is high, your insulin spikes to try to lower your blood sugar.
Over time, what often happens is that you become hypoglycemic because there’s so much insulin in your body, it keeps your blood sugar chronically low.
So you need to reduce your insulin levels to correct hypoglycemia. One excellent way to lower insulin is fasting. The other is to lower your carbohydrate intake.
Sure, when you’re hypoglycemic you’ll feel better temporarily if you eat carbs, but you’ll never actually correct the low blood sugar condition.
Myth #3 Fasting Isn’t Good For Hormones
This argument goes like this: fasting is bad for your hormones, especially those produced by your thyroid and adrenal glands.
This is false. Fasting is actually good for them. You aren’t starving your body of nutrients needed by your thyroid and adrenals, especially when you eat a healthy diet.
Fasting puts your body into a state whereby it conserves and recycles nutrients and proteins. This state, known as autophagy, supports your thyroid and adrenal health.
Myth #4 Fasting Is Starvation!
Completely false. Starvation is when you deprive yourself of nutrients to the point where your health suffers.
By contrast, with fasting you’re eating healthy food during your feasting periods, and abstaining from food during your fasting periods. So you alternate feast and fast, whereas when you starve yourself you’re abstaining from food altogether.
Myth #5 Fasting Makes You Feel Bad
Sometimes you may feel bad when you’re fasting, but it doesn’t have to make you feel bad. You just need to make sure you’re fasting correctly - which comes down to what it is you’re eating when you do eat.
Healthy KetoTM emphasizes eating a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb diet of nutrient-dense food that nourishes you and supports your overall health. But if you forego healthy food and choose to eat more junk food, you’ll deprive your body of key nutrients and consequently feel bad.
The key is to switch your body from burning sugar for fuel to burning fat for fuel. When you become fat-adapted, you can comfortably fast for longer periods of time in addition to feeling good over the long term. You'll be in what's called ketosis, in which your body is producing ketones as the fuel your body was designed to prefer and function optimally on.
Myth #6 Fasting Will Ruin My Metabolism
This myth is so far off base!
What really ruins your metabolism is chronically high levels of insulin.
High insulin keeps your set point - the weight you struggle to get below - higher than it should be. It causes insulin resistance, a pre-diabetic state in which your cells become numb to insulin, tricking your body into thinking it needs to produce even more, driving up your insulin levels even higher to the detriment of your health.
In the presence of too much insulin, you can’t lose weight because insulin blocks fat burning and tells your body to store fat.
Once again the answer is to lower your insulin levels. And fasting is one of the most powerful ways to lower it and support a suitable metabolic rate for your body.
Myth #7 Fasting Is Stressful On The Body
Exactly the opposite of what really happens. When you fast, your body goes into a stress-countering state and protects your cells. Fasting helps your body counter oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage and put you at higher risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Although it sounds counterintuitive, because it seems that fasting would stress your body, in fact as I’ve shown it’s the opposite. As well, fat is a much cleaner burning fuel, producing far less oxidative waste in your body than sugar.
Now That These Myths Are Busted, You Can Confidently Fast
I want to applaud you for seriously considering intermittent fasting to improve your health. Many people have had fantastic results by adopting the significant lifestyle changes of intermittent fasting along with the keto diet.
They’ve lost weight, gained energy, and even reversed their insulin resistance.
These benefits can be yours too, when you commit yourself to intermittent fasting and keto.
And when your well-meaning friends respond with their concerns that are founded on myth rather than fact, you can thank them for their concern yet feel confident you’re making the right choice for your health.
I encourage you to get started now, because the sooner you start the more quickly you’ll reap the rewards.
- The Downside of Keto and Intermittent Fasting
- The Best Pattern of Intermittent Fasting
- The 3 Huge IF Mistakes
Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.