The Fasting Metabolism Myth

Popular diets suggest many benefits of fasting. But cutting down on calories won't jumpstart your metabolism the way you've been told.

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Today’s Health Upgrade

  • In case you missed it

  • The fasting metabolism myth

  • Breakthroughs

  • Weekend challenge

Arnold’s Podcast

Motivation every day. Want Arnold to help you start your day? Each morning, we post a new podcast with tips you’ll find in the daily email and bonus stories, wisdom, and motivation from Arnold. Listen to Arnold's Pump Club podcast. It's like the daily newsletter but with additional narration and thoughts from Arnold. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

In Case You Missed It

Two more great interviews came out that I think you’ll enjoy. Thanks again for all of your support of Be Useful.

The Fasting Metabolism Myth

Many popular diet plans suggest having a feast (or cheat day) followed by a fast. The idea is that the fast will offset the overeating and spike your metabolism.

But science suggests that fasting doesn’t give your body much of a metabolic boost.

When people fasted for two days, researchers found that it only boosted metabolism by 3.8 percent. That means you could go 48 hours without eating, and the extra metabolic lift could be just a few calories and certainly not enough to make a difference.

If you enjoy fasting, that’s fine, and no need to stop. But, if you do it for a metabolic boost, you’ve been misled. More importantly, the research shows you don't need to punish yourself when you eat a lot of food. That mindset does far more harm than good. It creates a bad relationship with food, can make you unnecessarily avoid things you love, and take drastic steps to undo the “damage” that didn’t even occur in the first place.

And there’s no need to be strict 100 percent of the time, either. Earlier this year, we shared research that suggests occasionally eating more doesn’t have much of an impact on your overall weight. In the study, participants ate a relatively healthy diet and ate twice as many calories once per week. Despite the calorie bump, they experienced very little difference in weight compared to those who stayed strict the entire time. And more importantly, they had an easier time sticking to their diet for longer because of the freedom and flexibility.


It didn’t make headlines, but advancements like this are worthy of the news.

Scientists developed the first-ever nerve-based prosthetic hand that allowed a man with an above-elbow amputation to control every finger of a robotic hand.

Usually, when an amputation occurs above the elbow, the muscles can’t control every joint. However, scientists discovered how to send signals from the brain to the upper arm and then wired the prosthesis to work with the skeletal and neuromuscular systems.

You can read here to learn more about this fascinating breakthrough.

Weekend Challenge

This week, I talked about my path into public service. In Be Useful, it’s the whole last chapter.

There is one thing I dislike hearing from people just as much as, “Arnold, I don’t have time to train/learn/work on myself.” It is “Arnold, what can I do? I’m not rich like you.”

That is bogus. You can do something! And this weekend, I’m challenging you to prove it.

If you have money, you can donate to a good cause — After-School All-Stars is a fantastic option!

But what I really want you to give is something all of you have: an hour of your time. I donate a lot of money, but I have never felt better than after spending TIME, whether it is with Special Olympics athletes, or after-school kids, or homeless vets.

So this weekend, the challenge is to give back. Prove to yourself that you have the power. Because no matter who you are, there are always sports teams and after-school programs and homeless shelters that need your time. It’s the best thing you have to give, and we all have it.

Get out there, be a public servant for an hour, and tell me how it feels.

Thank you all for another week of welcoming us into your inbox. We hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell