Before you read…check out my NEW 12-Day Intermittent Fasting series on YouTube! First video below:
I really wanted to address an issue that’s certainly not unique to IF, but seems to affect anyone who makes lifestyle or dietary changes.
Yep. Personally, I’m a pretty big introvert, so I’ve never understood people who are bold enough to question someone’s diet to their face.
But a lot of you have asked me, “Melissa, what do I do when somebody tells me that intermittent fasting is unhealthy? Or that I need to be eating carbs for energy? Or that I shouldn’t be using butter in my cooking?” So apparently, there are a lot of you dealing with people who…aren’t afraid to “speak their mind,” let’s say.
Time to get rid of those intermittent fasting myths!!
“You’re Starving Yourself”
I wanted to put this first, because it’s what people write to me the most about — their friends and family see them skipping breakfast and/or lunch, and automatically assume that IF has to be a dangerous fad diet or even the symptom of an eating disorder!
It’s true, one awkward part of IF is getting your loved ones on board with your new lifestyle, and having to explain yourself when they ask, “Why aren’t you eating?”
Is there a better way to answer that question than, “I’m fasting”…?
Personally, I’d go with this instead: “Well, why do you eat 3 meals a day? Because you grew up thinking that’s what you’re supposed to do, and you never questioned it? You know, ancient Romans only ate one meal a day, and they were still pretty good at winning wars and building an Empire! Breakfast was only invented during the Industrial Revolution, and made more popular in the early 1900s when Kellogg’s started promoting it so they could sell cornflakes!
I’ll bet you didn’t know any of that, huh??”
…OK, I’m just kidding. (Although it’s all true!)
On a serious note, when you’re first introducing the concept to a new person, don’t use a word like “fasting” or “diet” in your first sentence, since that sounds “extreme” to the uninitiated…who might believe false intermittent fasting myths!
Instead, put the benefits first: “Well, there’s this thing that:
They might say, “Oh, that doesn’t sound healthy. That couldn’t be true.”
Even as you’re midway through explaining to them how the benefits — from lowered cholesterol and blood sugar/pressure to boosts in human growth hormone for exercising — of fasting come from your insulin dropping, and using stored fat for fuel, so you can lose weight!
After all, the best way to get rid of those pesky intermittent fasting myths is by spreading science and research.
But, Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day!
Ugh! Is there anyone who does intermittent fasting who HASN’T heard this one from family/friends?
No matter what science and evidence you have on your side, even if that evidence is the weight you’ve lost, or gained in the gym…Some people simply will not believe you or support your journey.
They think they know more than neuroscientists and geneticists…or they have the false impression that intermittent fasting for women is unsafe!!
So, there’s not much else you can do, other than repeat yourself, or, if needed, agree to disagree and disengage from the conversation. After all, if neither side can be convinced, arguing over it isn’t going to do much good.
Just politely make it clear that them trying to shove their morning oatmeal and toast down your throat isn’t going to happen. Another good piece of advice is not to tell people if it’s not necessary to tell them; not that you have anything to “hide,” but it’s a surefire way to avoid the argument!
If someone is worried that you’re not getting enough to eat, you can opt to show them your One Meal a Day of three eggs, four pieces of bacon, an avocado, a big kale salad with all the veggies and chicken and nuts humanly possible to put on a plate, and your Shakeology…
It’s certainly a silly intermittent fasting myth that we aren’t eating!
(Click on that picture to order the M.A.D.E. Diet e-book!)
Have you ever had to deal with intermittent fasting “haters”?
OR, have you ever changed a naysayer’s mind, and got them on the IF train? Let me know in the comments!