When it comes to fasting for weight loss, there are many misconceptions and a lot of confusion. I listed below the top 6 myths that I see spread around the web and gyms, feel free to comment with some of your own or add your thoughts on the subject. Keep in mind that the type of fasting that I am talking about is intermittent fasting, done a few times a week.
Top 6 Myths
- Fasting will cause your metabolism to slow down to a screeching halt: In reality there is no evidence that proves that your metabolism will slow down when fasting for weight loss, in fact the evidence actually proves that this doesn’t happen. There are numerous studies that show that intermittent fasting does not cause any significant changes in your metabolism. There was one printed in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition that had a group on very low calorie diets and on a resistance exercise program. The calories were cut to 800 per day for 12 weeks and the participants did not see a decrease in resting metabolic rate. 800 calories a day for 12 weeks and no significant change in the resting metabolic rate, so much for that myth!
- The weight lost while fasting is from muscle loss: This is completely false if you are fasting the way that I recommend and also performing a type of resistance training. If you are doing intermittent fasting to lose weight than you should be doing resistance training also. It will help you to lose fat and also maintain the muscle that you have. If you fast or severely cut your calories another way and do not perform resistance training, you will lose muscle in the long run. This is why if you are sick or injured and bedridden for an extended period, you will experience weight loss from losing muscle. Obviously, I am talking about fasting as part of your overhaul plan to lose fat, which will include resistance training.
- The weight lost from fasting is just water weight: This isn’t accurate because reducing calories to the point that you are burning more than you are taking in will cause you to lose fat. Fasting will decrease the amount of calories that you normally take in weekly. Weight loss and more importantly fat loss will not occur unless your calories are decreased over a period of time. You can and should continue to drink water even during the days that you are fasting. You will always be hydrated and no matter how you look at it, if you are taking in less calories while performing resistance training for an extended period, your body will lose fat.
- Fasting deprives your body of nutrients: Intermittent fasting will not deprive your body of nutrients as you will still be eating every day. You will simply be eating less than what you normally would. Of course, the times that you are not fasting, you should try and eat a balanced and healthy diet. If you eat an unhealthy diet and are not getting the nutrients that you should from your diet, this has nothing to do with fasting, but rather your diet as a whole.
- Fasting adversely affects you blood sugar levels: There is no research that I have found to show this to be true as long as you are not hypoglycemic and are otherwise healthy. In a study performed to determine how fasting affects healthy young adults that have symptoms of hypoglycemia during the absence of food, the results did not support this myth. It was concluded that there is no doubt that some people find eating less to be more stressful than others. It also showed though, that as long as no other metabolic disease is present, the ability to maintain blood glucose in the normal range does not seem to be affected during a 24 hour fast.
- Fasting is only a religious tradition and is useless for weight loss: Fasting has many advantages and uses that have nothing to do with any type of religious tradition. People have used fasting for thousands of years and for many different reasons. In my mind and personal experience, intermittent fasting is an incredibly easy way to decrease your caloric intake and as a result, lose fat.
Whenever I read or learn about something new, I usually try it out for myself and see how it works for me. This is what I did with intermittent fasting and I suggest that you do the same. Don’t take my word on this and how great it is. You need to see for yourself and I know that you will be amazed at your results. I am always saddened at the people that have no experience or knowledge with something, although feel the need to comment on it or bash it. Be careful of who you listen to or follow, not everyone is the expert that they try to be on the forums or blogs across the internet. Take whatever you read with a grain of salt until you try it out for yourself. Please let me know what your thoughts are on weight loss and getting in shape. I will continue to try and post the most useful and helpful stuff that I know to get you the body that you deserve!
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