Intermittent fasting. The fitness industry jumped all over it quickly when the early research showed subjects losing weight, because you know, that is ALL THAT MATTERS in the world of fitness.
Intermittent fasting (or IF so I don’t have to keep typing that over and over again) was quickly lauded as the new weight loss strategy THAT ACTUALLY WORKS! The split began and soon we had religious adherents to IF and the diametrically opposed group trashing it by espousing the dangers to it.
The fact that IF is not a weight loss protocol but a MAKE YOUR HEALTH BETTER protocol got lost in the fight.
And this is really too bad because the honest truth is that IF is BETTER for your body and health then you probably understand!
I am not talking about weight loss, even though that is a frequent outcome.
No. 16 hour or longer fasts daily, weekly, or even monthly are not just good for you but necessary. Our bodies evolved to handle food scarcity and a plethora of systems in our body ONLY function properly when we have long periods of not eating.
The science is unanimous on this.
Here are two videos to START you into the ACTUAL science!!!!!!
Check out this video on fasting and the brain:
Now you need to learn about AUTOPHAGY – this is a super brief explanation. Search it on youtube and get ready to learn! Oh, did I mention that the discovery of this process earned the researcher a Nobel prize?
Now that we have that cleared up….back to my article….
The ONLY negative research on IF is on weight loss and the only negative that has been found is that for weight loss, it isn’t always more effective than other dietary strategies. But the research on aging, metabolic health, diabetics, cancer patients, AIDS patients, neurological health, cardiovascular health, and many other avenues is pretty fucking definitive. Fasting periods make our health better.
The morally opposed – and let me emphasize the word morally – because there is no actual evidence to support the negative assertions levelled at IF by those trashing the concept. Because there isn’t any. Because it is good for us. Because it is how our bodies work.
Let’s take a quick peak at the three most common arguments against IF.
1) It is not a good Weight Loss Tool
First, it can be. But who cares? Maybe instead of always trying to force the narrative to weight loss we could instead talk about HEALTH GAIN. Some people lose weight, some people don’t. Any diet can allow people to lose weight.
But this misses the point.
IF improves so many aspects of your health that focusing on weight loss is completely the wrong train of thought and demonstrates a lack of understanding the protocol and all the research being done.
Don’t use IF for weight loss. Use IF to improve the health of your body and live longer and healthier.
2) It will slow your metabolism
No. It won’t.
The idea that long periods without food will slow your metabolic rate has been thoroughly debunked. It is a holdover from decades old ideologies and all I can really say is that it is patently untrue.
The ‘gym bros’ of the world will attack this vehemently because it strikes at the core of their beliefs about, well, everything. But it is time for them to do a little actual research, outside of Musclemag and adherent deference to the other gym bro’s at their local fitness centre, and understand that eating every three hours doesn’t increase your metabolic rate, it just makes you eat more calories.
Here is a great article form Scientific American on the real science behind your metabolism…..I recommend finding the cover story they talk about!
3) It will crash your blood sugar
Nope. It doesn’t. In fact all the research is demonstrating that IF protocols improve blood sugar regulation.
No, I am not going to provide you a citation list. I read all the research, I have found nothing in opposition to my above statement. If you disagree, go out, find me that actual research, and send me a link. Prove me wrong.
Can’t? Too lazy to actually look into it? That’s what I thought……
The truth is that it won’t crash your blood sugar. That light headed and hungry feeling people get when they start IF or just for some reason have to go longer than an hour without eating is the result of cognitive conditioning, not physiological issues.
There you go.
The truth is that intermittent fasting is the way your body was designed to consume sustenance.
I mean, I even hate the term intermittent fasting and only use it so people know what the fuck I am talking about.
It shouldn’t be called anything. It just is the way the body is supposed to eat. Once or twice a day. That is how we evolved and that is how we ate right up to the end of the 19th century. Constant eating is a product of fancy marketing by companies to sell us more food. That is the true history.