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Intermittent Fasting: Is It For You?

Updated: Apr 10




What you eat is key to any weight loss program. You simply can’t lose weight without creating a caloric deficit (burning more calories than you consume). But, how important is ‘when’ you eat?


That’s the question regarding Intermittent Fasting, the process of restricting your daily eating to (typically) a 6 - 8 window, and fasting the rest of the day. IF has become an incredibly popular practice in recent years. I’ve done it, I have clients who do it, and TikTok is full of people singing its praises.


But, is it actually an effective way to lose weight and is it right for you? Let’s take a look at a few of the myths surrounding Intermittent Fasting!




MYTH#1 : You Lose More Weight Than A Non-Time Based Diet


ANSWER …


FALSE. There is no evidence that you lose more weight with IF than you would just by eating regularly throughout the day. As stated above and roughly 5 million other times throughout my PT career, weight loss comes from creating a caloric deficit over a sustainable period of time. When you eat isn’t nearly as important as what you eat.




MYTH #2: Food Quality Doesn’t Matter


ANSWER …


FALSE. Some proponents of IF make the claim that, once your eating window is open, you can literally eat whatever you want and not gain weight. This is nonsense and can actually lead to weight gain. IF is not a magic potion that takes the calories out of food. If you binge eat on junk food, you’re likely to gain weight regardless of when you eat it and probably feel like garbage because that’s all you’re consuming. It is totally fine to fast, but you still need to eat high quality, nutrient dense foods that keep you within your caloric limit when your eating window is open.



MYTH #3: It’s Easy To Sustain


ANSWER …


DEPENDS. The answer to this claim will change on a person to person basis. Some will have no problem existing on water and black coffee throughout the day until their window opens, while others will spend their day feeling weak, irritable, and HANGRY. The only diets that actually work are diets that are sustainable for the long haul and that’s no guarantee with IF. Some will be able to do it, others will give up after a few days. You can try it, but don’t be surprised if you find your daily routine completely thrown off by a sudden lack of energy.



MYTH # 4: IF Leads To Increased Cognitive Ability


ANSWER ..


DEPENDS: This is another myth that varies person to person. Some people claim to experience increased mental clarity and higher functionality while fasting. Others say they feel like lethargic zombies stumbling through a low calorie fog. This will entirely depend on how you as an individual respond to fasting, so don’t expect anything extraordinary to happen if you skip breakfast.


Intermittent Fasting can be a useful tool for some. For others, it will be another diet they try and quickly fall off. The key factor will be your ability to function throughout the day without food and sustain that routine over a long period of time, typically a minimum of 12 weeks. There’s nothing wrong with trying it, you may have amazing results! But, personally, I always recommend a balanced diet that keeps you in a caloric deficit, regardless of the time you eating.



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