Intermittent Fasting: Terrible Idea

By Milos Sarcev

For those who have substantial body fat to lose, I recommend doing cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I guarantee you will lose fat.

Q: I’m curious to think what you think about intermittent fasting. People claim it has numerous benefits, but I wonder if it’s a good idea.

It’s a terrible idea, but let me back that statement up with some data. A Johns Hopkins study found that intermittent fasting boosted working memory in animals and verbal memory in adult humans. What is work for animals, looking for food? Of course they will look harder if they’re hungry! Another showed a young man who fasted for 16 hours lost fat and maintained muscle mass. For how long? One day, one week? Mice who were fed on alternate days showed better endurance in running. Are they serious with these studies? Some claim intermittent fasting regulates type 2 diabetes. So you are restricted from eating for a large part of the day, then you have a window to eat whatever you want. Type 2 diabetes is caused by frequent high elevation of blood sugar levels. When you eat large amounts of sugar, your blood sugar levels soar. Fasting is another word for not eating, or starving. Intermittent fasting is like abstaining from sex 10 months out of the year and then having as much as you want for two months.

Several brief studies showed that obese people lost weight using intermittent fasting. Wow! So you’re saying that if someone who normally eats all day and night suddenly only eats for a few hours every day, they will lose weight? Give them a Nobel Prize! Why would you want to restrict yourself like this? People who allowed themselves to gain a lot of body fat will look for a simple way to lose it, but there is nothing magical or even advantageous about intermittent fasting over simple caloric restriction.

The scientific/medical community rarely gives physique athletes credit for the methods we use to achieve the results we do. I stayed very lean for 30 years even though I was constantly eating every day. Why? I regulated my metabolism by eating the right foods at regularly timed intervals every day. If you take in the right nutrients your body needs at the right times, everything works perfectly.

Intermittent fasting advocates like to preach that it promotes greater longevity. Is it worth it to live an extra 17 minutes if I spent most of my time constantly hungry? You would also be dealing with irritability, sleep disturbance and digestive issues.

The silliest claim for intermittent fasting is that it increases your metabolism. Give me a break! The reason we eat so frequently when we want to build muscle is so we don’t shut down our metabolism. If I put you on a diet with a 2,000-calorie deficit, your body will slow down and shut down as many functions as it can to survive, and it will also drop lean muscle tissue – so you will lose muscle.

Start thinking for yourself and stop blindly accepting claims made for any type of diet. Be especially skeptical when someone is trying to sell you something! People need nutrients 24 hours a day, not just for four to eight hours.

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