A Clinical Nutritionist Debunks the Intermittent Fasting Myths You Should Stop Believing.
Myth #1 Intermittent fasting essentially means skipping breakfast.
No, absolutely not. Breakfast is breaking the fast, and whether that is first thing in the morning or later in the morning it is still breakfast. One of the most popular intermittent fasting types is the 16:8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours overnight and eating within an 8-hour window during the day. The eating window is not a time to restrict calories so therefore you would still have your three main meals as you would on a regular day, the timing of these is just slightly altered to allow for a longer overnight fast.
Myth #2 Intermittent fasting is the miracle cure for weight loss.
There is no such thing as a miracle cure for sustainable weight loss. There are some ridiculous calorie-restricted diets that will help you lose weight quickly, but these are not sustainable. Whilst intermittent fasting does show promise as an intervention for weight loss, further research is needed to understand the long-term sustainability.
Myth #3 All intermittent fasting is the same.
No, there are several different types of intermittent fasting, and it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you and your lifestyle. Some people can abstain from food for longer than others, if you’re wanting to give intermittent fasting a go but are unsure if it is right for you, have a chat with your healthcare provider about the best option.
Myth #4 You should eat anything you want during the eating window.
Absolutely not. Just because you have fasted for an extended period does not mean you can eat anything and everything during your eating window. It is not a time to overindulge, when implementing a practice to support your overall health and well-being there are no shortcuts. Nutrition and the quality of the food you eat during your eating window are extremely important. Think fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables, wholegrains, oily fish, organic meats, eggs, nuts, and seeds.
Written by Alex Kingston - Alex is a degree qualified clinical nutritionist based in Sydney, Australia. To find out more about Alex click this link to view her website.
Welton, S., Minty, R., O'Driscoll, T., Willms, H., Poirier, D., Madden, S., & Kelly, L. (2020). Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review. Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien, 66(2), 117–125.