Myth #1: You’ll lose X-number of pounds a week
It’s not really possible to know this. Your body is not a calculator; it’s complex. It’s amazing. And it’s not that predictable.
Instead of a straight trip down, you can picture progress as something more like a rollercoaster. You start at the top with a high number on the scale. That number goes down a bit, then up a bit. You adjust your fast or what you’re eating and it goes down a bit more. You gain muscle and it goes up again.
In the end, though, you wind up at the lowest point of the entire journey and stay safely on the ground–unless you choose to climb the stairs for another ride.
Since we’re all different, you’ll probably need to try a few different fast/eating window ratios and experiment with what you’re eating to get the results you’re looking for. You’ll also need to give it some time so you can adjust to any changes you make.
Because short-term fasting spikes human growth hormone (HGH) production, you may build more muscle than you otherwise would. It helps you recover faster if you’re working out, so you can push yourself a little harder. It also helps turn ordinary movement into muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat, you may see the scale go up as you get stronger.
Invest in a tape measure and measure yourself when you start out. That way, when (not if) the scale goes up, you’ll know if you should celebrate new muscles or tweak what you’re eating.
Myth #2: You can eat whatever you want
Many seasoned IF veterans claim that over time, their tastes have shifted and they gravitate towards nutrient-dense whole foods. Giving your taste buds and digestion a rest each day may make them more sensitive when you do eat, getting you in tune with what you need to feel your best.
If this happens for you, if you start to want things that actually are good for you, then you really will be able to eat whatever you want during your window. It is tough to overeat whole foods!
Myth #3: You’ll never feel hungry
The nice thing is that with IF, hunger is occasional, mild, and short. It happens every morning, but take another couple of sips of coffee and forget about it. It’s not an emergency anymore.
In the end, you have to choose what type of discomfort you’re willing to put up with. Decide that five minutes or less of mild hunger is something you can definitely live with.
It’s not magic, but probably still worth it
Even though some of the claims about the effectiveness and ease of IF can seem a little exaggerated, good things really do happen.
It’s important to have realistic expectations about what’s possible with an IF lifestyle. Fortunately, a lot of very positive changes are realistically possible.