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14 Of The Biggest Lies And Myths Told About Fasting (Even We Didn’t Know #9!)
2. Skipping Breakfast Makes You Fat
Another popular saying is “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” There does appear to be an ongoing myth that breakfast is somehow mysteriously important. Most people believe that if you skip breakfast, you will be ravenous come mid-morning and overeat, thus prompting weight gain. The truth is that in a randomized controlled study done in 2014 on more than 283 obese subjects, which looked at those who ate breakfast and those who skipped it, there was absolutely no difference between the two groups. Of course there have been a few studies which found that people who ate breakfast lost weight compared to those who did not eat breakfast. It appears to boil down to personal preference. If you are not a fan of breakfast, feel free to skip it.
3. Fasting Stresses the Body, Increasing Cortisol Levels
Cortisol is a stress hormone that regulates the immune system and maintains blood pressure. It also is important for breaking down glucose and protein. Although this hormone is demonized by many, it serves an important purpose. It’s cortisol that makes you get up out of bed and get moving. Those who have low or irregular levels of cortisol often have depression. Cortisol is at elevated levels when we exercise, which helps to mobilize fats in the body. Short term fasting has no effect on your cortisol levels. This has been widely studied. In one important study, the exact opposite was found to be true. The group that was fasting had significant decreases in their cortisol levels. So rest assured, fasting will not increase your cortisol levels and might even decrease them.
4. Eating Frequently Increases the Metabolism
Many people erroneously believe that eating smaller, more frequent meals will keep their metabolic fire burning, which helps you to burn more calories overall. Although it is true that your body expends some energy in the digestion process, it isn’t that much. This is called the thermic effect. The body spends about 10 percent of all calories digesting them. The thing to pay attention to is that the body will expend that same 10 percent regardless of whether you eat all your calories in two or three meals or 6 meals. Studies have shown that eating six 500 calorie meals will have the exact same effect on the body as eating three 1000 calorie meals. So eat as often or as infrequent as you like, it won’t make any difference.
5. Eating Small Meals Helps Keep Blood Sugar Level
You have probably seen this one a hundred times. If you eat small meals, you will avoid being hungry and keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. Believe it or not, this isn’t true. The body keeps blood sugar levels very stable and well maintained for healthy people. Your blood sugar won’t plummet if you go without eating for a few hours, or even an entire day. It would take at least 3 days of not eating a thing before your body would be forced to lower blood sugar levels. Our bodies have evolved considerably as a matter of survival. Cavemen didn’t always get to eat every day, but somehow they lived just fine. Unless you are diabetic or have some other health problem, for normal, healthy people, you will not experience lethargy or brain fog if you don’t eat for several hours or even all day.
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