Intermittent Fasting Myths

Intermittent Fasting & The Rise of Lies 

The idea of skipping, pushing back, and temporarily rearranging meals to achieve a specific nutritional goal is known as intermittent fasting.  Recently, this way of eating has gained an immense presence in the fitness and health industry.

There is nothing new as to what intermittent fasting is, but the recognition of it as a proper lifestyle has risen remarkably.

Along with this surge of popularity, a great deal of misunderstanding has arrived.

Most of the miscommunication stems from the fact people prefer what they already believe in. In other words, they fancy what they know first, and do not want to accept seemingly far-fetched ideas. Or, false assumptions spread like wildfire – feeding on themselves to grow stronger. However, once the truth is heard, it is difficult to deny it.

Here are the top ten busted intermittent fasting myths. 

Myth #1: Muscle Loss

This is most likely the deepest entrenched myth on the list.  The ones stating this tend to forget that intermittent fasting is TEMPORARY. Of course, prolonged starvation will cause serious damage to muscle and overall health. But, periodic eating releases a meal’s amino acids at a slow, steady rate.

It is long enough to provide the muscle’s cells with the amino nourishment they need until the next sitting. This holds true even following a one meal a day regime.  Thus you can still gain muscle.

While maintaining or gaining weight, muscle will not be lost when properly fasting.

Build Muscle

As the daily macros as met, your body can do its duties when asleep at night. When cutting, however, it is expected and normal to lose a minute amount of muscle. Simply, that is the nature of shredding down and not related to this intermittent fasting myth. 

**Try It For Yourself**

Don’t knock something until you have a taste of what it really is like through your own experience. Muscle loss really does not occur when fasting correctly. If the proper total calories are met, through calculated macros, you can rest and repair fully at night. Feel free to share what happens!

Myth #2: Low Testosterone

The lie to ail many men. No, taking longer periods of abstained grubbing is not going to hinder your testosterone.

In fact, it has the direct opposite effect. Minor toxins and excess body fat are given the chance to be eliminated from the body. This, in turn, changes hormones – including an increased testosterone level

Human growth hormones, known as HGH, are another boosted level in taking an occasional fast.

The belief of testosterone levels being lowered because of fasting may be one of the lesser-known myths. However, that does not mean it is okay to keep spreading the mistruth. People have the tendency to take what they hear seriously, which prevents their own experience to unfold. Simply said, your testerone level will be positively affected from intermittent fasting.

Myth #3: Never Skip Breakfast

At the core of this myth, it is related to Myth #1.

It has become popularized because hearing ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ is so common. From a young age, many people can recall these words. Then, they start repeating them to others for health advice. Usually, they do not think if what they are saying applies to everyone. It’s just a parroting of what they once heard.

It can be easily thought that not enough amino acids or calories are being taken by skipping this meal.

Skip Breakfast

Surely, after sleeping all night long, the training body will start going into atrophy without food, right? Wrong. As in number one, it does not matter when you complete your daily target intake of calories.

All that matters is that they are in your system and being metabolized by the time of repair. And, repair happens at night in deep sleep.

**Consider It**

There’s absolutely nothing wrong about loving breakfast. Many people have a healthy habit of eating breakfast, and that is great. Missing this meal is just something to consider being okay if those days do happen. When you’re busy or in the middle of an emergency, your body will be okay and not start degrading. Missing breakfast, in this context, only comes down to a preference of a personalized lifestyle. 

Myth #4: You Can Lose Fat With A Caloric Surplus

Just saying this myth out loud beats me to how it stuck in the first place. When the human body is in a caloric deficit, it WILL LOSE WEIGHT. Done.

There is nothing more to it. Without a calorie deficit, you cannot lose unwanted fat.  And vice versa, gaining weight – fat, muscle, or both – comes down to being in a surplus of calories. It cannot go the other way around and magically lose fat without a caloric deficit. 

Myth #5: Willpower Doesn’t Exist Against Hunger

Not only in fitness, but this ill-hearted idea is thrown around all over the place. ‘There is no such thing as willpower’, or ‘ you can’t overcome’.

When something is hard, that happens – it’s life. That doesn’t mean you will become savage and deranged because you’re ‘hangry’. Yes, it may be said jokingly sometimes, but this can certainly be overcome.

When new to intermittent fasting, life seems to pop you in the face during the first 72 hours. Feeling the lack of food can really get to the brain. It is a part of doing something for the first time. It’s no excuse to give up because it became difficult. You do have the capability to prevail – no doubt. 

Myth #6: Snacking Is Superior

As stated before, the timing of meals is not so much of a concern of need. It is a topic of preference.

Does eating more in the morning work better because of working late? Do you have the most time in the afternoon to eat because of certain responsibilities? Whatever the case may be, it comes down to the your personal demands.

As long as your sticking to your calorie count for the day, with an emphasis on macros, you can do it.

Timing

There is not the need to feel pressured or obligated by this myth to be deathly religious to a schedule. If you do have an eating schedule that makes sense for you, commit to getting the calories in. Be okay with leaving the notion of beating yourself up for missing a time of the day you usually eat.

**There Are Many Ways to Go About It**

If one way of separating meals works for someone, it doesn’t mean it’s more superior than another. In other words, eating six meals versus eating one meal comes down to a personal choice based on a plethora of factors. Taking consideration of all avenues is wise because everyone is different. 

Myth #7: You Will Store Fat Because of Starvation

Tricks and games are the favorite tools of falsehood creators. There is no trickery when it comes to periodic fasting.

While fasting to maintain or bulk, this is impossible. The only way this argument can come close to being coherent is with cutting.

With continued training, even simple movements, muscles will not come close to atrophy. The body understands that these parts are still in high demand and being used. So, the active muscles are a greater need for survival.

Extra fat turns into the victim to generate energy, which is desired while in a seasonal cut.

Myth #8: Don’t Fast While Training

Most of the myths on this list scream people who haven’t tried what their knocking down. Especially this one – don’t fast while training?

In this argument, lack of carbohydrates and amino acids is usually brought to the table. As we have seen before, amino acids are not a problem when obtaining your unique amount of protein. It is slowly metabolized throughout the day from the last time eating.

Carbohydrates are secure as well when properly intermittent fasting.

This myth definitely can go wrong if you do not intermittent fast correctly. Yes, expect to faint on the floor under a barbell if you do not eat enough when you do eat.

Done correctly, and your body has enough stored energy in the form of carbohydrates and fats while training.

This comes right back to eating enough macros during your designated meals. If you haven’t noticed already, these meals will typically be much bigger than ‘usual’. Fasting, or skipping meals, results in the same meals being stacked on top of each other.

**Put It to the Test**

Go ahead and train during a fast. Feel confident in yourself that know how to calculate your macros and obtain the nutrients you need. As long as you do that, test it out – watch as you perform with real vigor.

Myth #9: Metabolism Slows Down

The word ‘starvation’ is not-so-graciously tossed around with this sad myth. When all the other myths fail, this one is somehow supposed to pick up the slack. Yet, it doesn’t even come close. 

Burn Fat

It states how if our bodies do not receive enough constant food daily, our metabolism suffers as well. This could not be any more of a misunderstanding. Hopping aboard the theme of daily caloric intake, this myth is dispelled.

Once again, it does not matter how many meals are consumed throughout the course of the day. As long as your macro intake adds up for the day, you’re good to go. By all means, don’t buy into this sort of hype.

Myth #10: Negative Overall Health (Overall health is impacted in a negative way)

This sounds ludicrous. The myth gods threw all they had, and this one somehow stuck by the smallest sliver. Right after Myth #9, when that didn’t work, this one was the last chance at spreading rumors.

To be honest, there is nothing really to even go off with this argument. It pretty much adds up all the myths together in one vague, mushy statement. Intermittent fasting does not deserve this, but hey, everyone can’t be pleased.

It Comes Down To What You Prefer

For a moment, aside from the myths, realize it comes down to what works for your daily routine.

Does intermittent fasting sound like something you could keep up? Maybe you could eventually make into a lifestyle after a few roadblocks?

Really, intermittent fasting, a traditional three meals, or six meals a day, they are all after the same results.

Maintaining, cutting, and gaining weight in the form of muscle and or fat is what it comes down to. Whatever floats your boat, take it and run with it. At least you can tell a bit more fact from fiction on this incredible journey.


Tony G
Tony G

Anthony is a fan of all things gym related. Growing up very overweight and out of shape, Anthony whipped himself into shape and stunned his entire community becoming a "fitness guru". Tony then set his sights on strength sports (Weightlifting/Powerlifting/Strongman) and learned all about body mechanics, mobility work and injury prevention. Tony found his true love in the strength sports, particularly Olympic Weightlifting. He earned a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree from Fitchburg State University in Exercise and Sports Science. He is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA.

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