Today I was inspired to write this article because of the overwhelming amount of bad information I have seen as of late in regards to Intermittent Fasting. Some of it is a little funny, others are simply dangerous. (But that can be said for most of the "health" information on the internet).
My mission with Autumn Elle Nutrition is to not just TELL you that something is "good" or "bad" for you. I mean, ultimately this doesn't help you at all. If you don't know WHY you're doing something, then you won't stick with it for very long. I want to help you make lasting changes that also make you feel awesome.
So today, I'm sharing the top 10 Intermittent Fasting myths I've seen on social media and various articles and explaining exactly why these don't make sense.
Gear up for some nutrition nerd rants 🤓
#1 Women shouldn't use Intermittent Fasting
I can definitely type out why this is false... but I'll let you watch me rant on this in-person instead ;) See the vid below!
#2 You can eat whatever you want, as long as it's within your window
THIS myth is particularly AWFUL for your health, wellness and goals. By eating whatever you want during your eating window, this can really confuse your body. You're going from a state of balanced blood glucose levels and fat burning during your fasting period to, all of the sudden, a spike in blood glucose and a rush of insulin. You're basically undoing all of the awesome work you just put in. Plus, you'll feel terrible as a result. Eating "whatever you want" during your eating window can lead to hormone imbalance, weight gain and mood swings. Instead, utilizing the proper nutrient timing laid out in The 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program, you'll feel energized, experience natural weight loss and feel GOOD.
Does this mean that you can't ever have your pasta/pizza/whatever you love to eat ever again? Absolutely not. In fact, this strict "clean eating" mentality can work against your health goals. Learn more HERE.
#3 You'll get HUNGRY
Short answer - no. Especially once you become metabolically flexible. Intermittent Fasting helps to transition your body from a state of carbohydrate burning (fast burn) to fat burning (slow burn). This switch to a fat burning state provides the energy we need, even though we aren't eating during the fast.
Learn more about the science behind IF and hunger HERE.
#4 You can't use Intermittent Fasting if you're a runner
Completely false! In fact, if you're a long distance runner and have had the horrible experience of "hitting the wall" (I've been there with the 2013 LA marathon) or having to strategically gulp down those truly disgusting energy gels, then the idea of having increased energy levels is actually quite intriguing. I know it's a weird concept of having MORE energy by "fasting", but this trains your body to use your fat as fuel more efficiently which can reduce your reliance on having to constantly eat throughout the day (or your race) to keep your energy level up. I go into specific guidelines on how runners/athletes can use Intermittent Fasting with The Athlete Protocol in The Level Up Guide HERE.
#5 You can have collagen/protein during your fast
Nope. Collagen or protein powders consist of amino acids. In the absence of carbohydrates, these amino acids can be converted to carbohydrates which breaks your fast. So if you're a collagen-in-your-coffee person, then definitely switch your collagen to your water or smoothie once you have broken your fast.
#6 Intermittent Fasting messes up your hormones
You know what can actually really mess up your hormones? Calorie restriction + working out. More often than not, the clients that come to me have been restricting their calories for years while also working out 5-6 days per week... but still gaining weight and also not getting great sleep. There's a LOT that I can nutrition rant about on this topic, but one thing I want to point out: giving your GI tract and your cells a brief rest each day will NOT mess up your hormones (unless you're restricting your calories, working out excessively and/or eating whatever you want during your eating window). It's not the Intermittent Fasting, rather what you're doing alongside the fasting that matters.
See myth #1 for more examples.
P.S. This is the main reason why I created The 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program ~ there are SO. MANY. amazing health benefits to giving your gut a daily rest, but you also need to make sure you do it the RIGHT way. Get the deets HERE.
#7 Intermittent Fasting is a form of calorie restriction
Contrary to popular belief, intermittent fasting isn't simply just skipping your breakfast. There are some protocols you can find online that will tell you to do this - but as you know with myth #1, this isn't great advice. You're still eating everything you need in order to satiate your body, balance your hormones and feel good with the 21 Day IF protocols. The biggest change is that you're eating less often. This results in a more stable blood glucose level, improved insulin sensitivity and more efficient fat burning.
If you haven't already watched my Intermittent Fasting 101 Workshop, I highly advise you do so. Check it out below.
#8 Keto Coffee breaks your fast
It's important to take a look at what your goal is with Intermittent Fasting. If it's for religious purposes where the rules state you can ONLY have water, then yeah, having Keto Coffee will break that fast. But if you're looking to achieve the fat burning, de-bloating benefits of IF, then no, Keto Coffee does not.
How can this be?! Get the science-y deets HERE.
#9 You have to use Intermittent Fasting EVERY DAY
Any amount of time that you use Intermittent Fasting will benefit your body. Does it mean you NEED to use it everyday? No - especially if there are certain days of the week where it simply doesn't make sense for your schedule. If you can only fit in 2 days of IF per week right now, then that's totally fine! That's 2 days a week that you're giving your cells and GI tract a break!
In fact, you may even want to start off with Crescendo Fasting as your body gets used to the transition. This is a form of every other day fasting that I discuss in The 21 Day Intermittent Fasting Program.
#10 Intermittent Fasting makes you lose muscle
Any type of calorie restriction will make you lose muscle. Bust as you've learned with myth #7, Intermittent Fasting is not necessarily a form of calorie restriction. Get the details on how to use exercise with Intermittent Fasting HERE.
Xiomara balanced her hormones, Heather reduced her eczema, Lane achieved over 20 pounds of weight loss, Kitty improved her GERD and Elizabeth said bye to bloating... all with the tools and strategies from The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle.
These are REAL people who decided to take control of their health and wellness and feel GOOD again.
My dad has always told me that knowledge is power. Empowering your mind with the tools you need to optimize your health and feel AWESOME is exactly what I want for you! Understanding what is going on in your body and how you can control your health is immensely powerful.
Nerd out with me on the science, understand the why, test out over 100 DE-LISH recipes and equip yourself for SUCCESS with The Complete Intermittent Fasting Bundle!
Get started HERE.
Autumn Elle Nutrition
DISCLAIMER: The author is not a doctor. The advice given in this article is from the author's own research and implementation and should not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor and nutritionist before making any changes to your lifestyle/diet.