You Can't Live A Full Life On An Empty Stomach

It never fails. I'll give a talk about the harms of dieting and someone at the end will raise their hand and say “but what do you think about intermittent fasting (IF)?”

This gets me thinking. 🤔 Why would someone think that something like IF is any different than dieting? Is it the sexy name? Perhaps a health professional recommended it? Maybe it’s the anecdotal stories all over the internet?

I personally don’t really care if IF improves blood sugar or anything else in the short term, because based on clinical experience as well as research looking at food restriction (see previous post) it’s not likely to be helpful, and certainly not enjoyable, in the long run. IF suggests that we follow rules that dictate when we can eat, essentially disconnecting us from our body (in stark opposition to intuitive eating). How can we live full lives on empty stomachs?  Where will we get the energy needed to accomplish our goals in parenthood, careers, and life without adequate fuel?

What clinical experience and research demonstrates is that when we restrict food, primal and intense hunger kicks in and we overeat. It’s not a flaw; it’s a survival mechanism built into our genetic code. In addition, rules-based eating disconnects us from our body cues that tell us when, what, and how to eat.

Bottom line: Intermittent Fasting is just another diet. Diets cause harm - metabolically, physically and mentally. Let’s not be fooled by the guise of new, swanky titles with the same promises. Who’s with me in rejecting this and other diets?