‘30 Day Fasting Challenge’
‘Lose 10 Pounds with this Super Effective 15 Day Fasting Plan’
‘Flush All Your Body Toxins Out with Fasting’
These are some of the headings that we often come across on the internet. To fit into the current trends and obtain the ideal weight or figure, many take up more intense measures like fasting. No matter how lucrative losing weight through fasting sounds, you should be aware of the consequences. In this blog, you will learn the truth about losing weight through fasting.
What is Fasting?
Fasting is basically eating from very little to no food. While fasting, you might stop eating almost completely or for a particular period of time. Fasting may last from twelve to twenty-four hours. However, some types of fasting might last for days. While fasting, you may be allowed to have only water, coffee, tea, juice, etc. In some diet plans, a very small amount of solid food is allowed.
Fasting for Weight Loss
Many people choose to fast in order to lose weight. It is known as intermittent fasting. It includes alternating cycles of fasting and eating. It is an eating pattern where you alternate between eating and fasting; for example, you can fast for a day only by living on fluids and next day, you eat normally. Alternately, you can do fasting in the first half of a day and eat regular food in the second half of the day. There are many methods of intermittent fasting.
You can do the intermittent fasting by skipping breakfast, having your first meal in the afternoon and your last meal at like 8 p.m.
It is quite easy to do intermittent fasting. Moreover, many people state that they feel better and have more energy while fasting.
There are also various ways of doing fasting:
In this method of fasting, you fast for just a few days and eat regularly for the rest of the days in the week. This type of fasting includes consuming very little amount of food on the days of fasting. There are different methods of doing it. In one version, the amount of calories to be consumed is restricted to 20% to 25% of the total needed calories (for the number of fasting days).
Suppose a person is fasting for two days and the total required calories for two days are 2400 (1200*2), he or she should consume 20%-25% of 2400 calories, i.e., 480-600 calories, on the fasting days.
There is also another version which is known as 5:2 fast. In this version, an individual fasts for two days a week. The individual continues with their usual eating pattern for the rest of the five days a week.
Full alternate-day fasting
This type of fasting includes rotating days of fasting and eating. Here, an individual practices fasting in every alternate day, where he/she does not consume calorie-containing food or beverages for maximum twenty-four hours. In this type of fasting, only calorie-free drinks, like black coffee, water and tea are allowed on the fasting days. On the days of eating, an individual can eat regular food. However, it is recommended to follow healthy eating guidelines.
In this fasting method, a person eats for a restricted period of time in a day. Usually, the people eat for an 8-12 hrs, and fast for the rest of the 12-16 hrs. Time-restricted eating aims at making most of the fasting when one is asleep. In this type of fasting, one can eat as much as he/she wants in the eating hours. This fasting is ideal for people who do not have a habit of eating snacks after dinner or eat breakfast right after waking up.
Is Fasting Safe?
It depends on what kind of plan you are following. Fasting, which is monitored by a physician, can be completely safe. The main issue lies in doing the fasting for a long period of time (from three days to a month).
Older people, who are at higher risk of developing diseases. Children, pregnant women, or anyone who has a chronic disease should refrain from practicing any type of fasting.
There are possible dangers of fasting.
- When you reduce your calorie intake drastically, you lose weight. But, it can also bring different health problems, like muscle loss. Muscle loss can affect your cardiovascular health, enhance the risk of insulin resistance, lead to breathing problem, etc.
- While fasting, your body enters the conservation mode, which means the calories burn more slowly. This also slows down your weight loss process.
- When you are fasting, the initial weight lost is mainly fluid or ‘water weight’, and not fat. When you start eating again after fasting, the weight you lost usually returns. Not just this, you may also put on some extra weight if you practice long-term fasting.
- Fasting also has many side effects, including:
- Low blood sugar
- Muscle aches
- Long-term fasting can give birth to irregular heartbeat, anemia, liver and kidney problems, and a weakened immune system. Other than this, diarrhea, muscle breakdown, and vitamin and mineral deficiencies are what can result from fasting.
- Some people consume some kind of laxative concoctions while fasting. You will develop an enhanced risk of dehydration and fluid imbalance if you drink laxative concoctions while fasting.
Despite these problems, you can benefit from fasting if you take the right approach towards it.
A Better Approach to Weight Loss
The effectiveness of fasting only depends on how your body responds to it and what approach you take regarding fasting. It is not safe to go without eating for a long period of time.
You must go for a healthy eating plan that you can continue for the long term. Mary Hawkins, a nutritionist, and assignment writing service provider suggests that you have to consume at least1200 calories every day, which includes many vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, etc. Other than this, you also need to exercise or include physical activity in your everyday routine.
If you still want to go for the fasting route, you should consult a qualified physician before making up your mind.