Despite all of the scientific jargon you may have heard about intermittent fasting (or IF as I will now refer to it from here on out), the actual benefits you inherit are far simpler and more practical. Yes, some studies show that mice live longer, but what does that mean for you and your goals? By and far, the most real and immediate benefits from IF are that it makes dieting EASIER. I’ll explain why: You and I both know that to lose weight, you have to eat less or move more, or both at the same time. This has been the case since the beginning of time. Virtually all diets achieve this in some way. The paleo diet, for example: eliminate all pro- cessed food and grains. When it comes down to it, most weight lost on this diet is simply because you are eating less (you have practically eliminated an entire food group). How does intermittent fasting help you eat less? Well, you are eliminating break- fast! By refraining from food until lunch, you have a smaller window of time to eat for the day, making it much easier to eat less than normal and thereby lose weight! Now, I know what you are thinking: But…breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
This is a statement that has probably been ingrained into your head your entire life but, as nutrition science has grown over the years, this one has become relegated to the book of myths. The only studies that show breakfast as beneficial are correl- ative, not causative, which basically means that it was shown that healthy people tend to eat breakfast, so perhaps breakfast is what makes them healthy. The real truth to this study is simply that people who eat breakfast have stabler, less stress- ful, scheduled lives, so they are healthier because of their ability to manage them- selves. It’s also a statement that has grown so large because of the marketing ef- forts of cereal companies, rather than its usefulness to you and me. Okay, so you’re going to start skipping breakfast, and you’re probably wondering, Won’t I be starving? How will I go about my day without being a hot mess at work? Okay, here’s the deal: the reason you wake up hungry is mostly due to a hormone response. Now, it’s possible you don’t wake up hungry, since many people aren’t hungry in the morning naturally. If that’s not you, then you probably tend to eat breakfast around the same time every morning, so your body sends a signal every morning to keep this pattern going. In order to start practicing intermittent fasting, you’ll have to adjust. That means about 1 to 2 weeks where you’ll feel hungry and you’ll have to push through it. Don’t worry; it’s not that bad, and later in this book
I’ll offer some strategies that make it a breeze. You’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this your whole life. Once you’ve grown accustomed to breakfast skipping, and pushing your usual eat- ing to later in the day, making it easier to eat LESS, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your weight loss goals. All that’s left is consistency. In subsequent chap- ters I’ll discuss a typical diet setup and what you can expect over time. Fortunately though, the benefits are not only about weight. The reason intermittent fasting has been such a hit these past couple years is because the benefits go beyond the scale and into the realm of psychology, productivity, and even saving you a few bucks.