Fasting for Weight Loss

 

Fasting for Weight Loss

Fasting has been used by many religions for penitence, to show their faith, or a chance for spiritual contemplation. It has also been used historically in politics to convey their views or as a kind of protest. Fasting involves abstaining from food or drink for a specified period of time. Nowadays a lot of people used fasting to cleanse the body of harmful toxins, as a way to lose weight, and for other medical reasons.

 

Fasting has become a popular weight loss program and differs with each diet. Certain fasting diets only allow liquids like water, juice, or tea, or eating raw foods for a certain length of time; others restrict food on alternating days; and there are some that significantly reduce calorie intake without doing away with food. However, due to certain health risks, fasting for weight loss should be done by following several steps to make sure that it will be effective and healthy for your body. Below are some of the basics steps to safely lose weight while fasting:

 

  • Use intermittent fasting which involves fasting for a certain length of time (like fasting for 20 hours in a day and then eating food for the remaining 4 hours), or eating normally in alternate days.
  • Pay careful attention to the calories you will be consuming during off times when fasting. Make sure that every calorie counts by eating lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats in order to give your body the energy it needs to support you during fasting periods.
  • Limit your exercises to light physical activities during fasting. Intense workouts might only cause you injury, making it harder for you t maintain your fast.
  • Tune in to your body and look for another weight loss program suitable for you than going on a fast.
  • Fasting might not work for you if you are having a headache, get sick, fatigued, or have trouble concentrating.
  • Set a definite time period for fasting to make it easier for you to maintain it while on a diet.
  • Consult your doctor first to make sure there are no medical issues that will prevent you from fasting.

 

Another effective way to get the most of fasting for weight loss is by including some light exercises regularly to at least 30 minutes. Light exercises may be walking, swimming, biking, and even stretching. These activities should be easy and enjoyable for you to do. It is not recommended that you engage in strenuous exercises while fasting.

 

 

Various Reasons Why People Fast:

 

  • For detoxifying the body – the body goes into ketosis when you abstain from eating for a day or two. Ketosis happens when the body burns fat instead because there is not enough carbohydrates to burn for energy. This helps in detoxification since most of the toxins in the body are stored in fats.
  • For fast weight loss
  • For religious or spiritual reasons
  • For medical reasons – fasting is necessary before surgery and for accurate readings of medical laboratory tests like blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • For treating disease – fasting is an effective way to treat medical issues like depression, arthritis, heart disease, lupus, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, eczema, and lowers blood pressure.
  • For longer life – fasting and calorie-restricted diet helps to extend the lifespan of individuals by delaying the onset of age-related diseases. Healthy eating habits and periodic fasting can help people live longer.
  • For psychological reasons – fasting is also often used to help people deal with stress and depression.

 

 

Two Major Types of Fasting:

 

There are 2 methods of fasting and each one complement the other and can be combined to achieve the ideal weight you desire in addition to improving your health.

 

1. Water or Juice Fasting – This method involves consuming only water or liquid juices, most preferably those made from fresh fruits and vegetables. This type of fasting is also safer because it gives the body the nutrients it needs for proper functioning.

 

2. Intermittent Fasting – This second method of fasting involves eating and fasting on alternate days.

 

 

How Fasting Works:

 

During fasting, the metabolic rate slows down to preserve energy and the body will make the adjustments by reducing your appetite. On the first day of fasting, the body will make use of glycogen (small quantities of glucose stored in the liver and muscles) to keep it functioning properly. When the body runs out of carbohydrates to convert to energy, it burns fat instead. After fasting for several days, protein is broken down and converted to glucose.

 

 

How Safe Is Fasting for Weight Loss?

 

  • A day or two of fasting is generally safe for healthy people as long as they maintain sufficient intake of liquids.
  • Fasting is not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women and for people who have health issues like malnutrition, liver or kidney problems, diabetics, cardiac arrhythmia, and those with compromised immune functioning.
  • Individuals who are on medications are also advised to refrain from fasting.

 

 

Advantages of Fasting:

 

  • Helps control hunger and
  • Provides anti-aging effect
  • Improves concentration and might even help in building new brain cells
  • Promotes healthy change in diet and lifestyle

 

 

Disadvantages of Fasting:

 

  • Sudden decrease in BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) due to severe restriction in calorie intake
  • Fasting for long periods come with certain health risks because the body the body might not be getting the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
  • Taking fasting seriously can lead to severe health problems that might need immediate medical attention.

 

 

Potential Side Effects of Fasting:

 

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Gall stones
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Lightheadedness
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness

 

 

Summary:

 

Fasting is a safe alternative for weight loss when done correctly and moderately. The main benefit of fasting is that it helps you control your appetite, and managing your appetite is the real problem when it comes to losing weight. It gives you the power of self-control and makes you differentiate real hunger from mere desire to eat more food. And the only way to effectively maintain a permanent weight loss is by learning to eat only when you are physically hungry. Fasting helps you make a change in your thought pattern to a healthier lifestyle.