Fasting for weight loss
Once considered as a religious practice, fasting has now become a way to lose weight. Of course, when you eat less, you ought to notice a tremendous decline in the weighing scale, but that’s just for a short duration.
A mere five years ago, skipping meals was a top diet taboo. Now it’s the core of an increasingly popular (and increasingly research-backed) weight-loss approach. Intermittent fasting—periodically eating very little—is not only not bad for you; it may lower blood glucose levels and insulin resistance and reduce inflammation and cardiovascular risk. Why? How? Theories abound, but some experts believe fasting puts your cells under mild stress, just as exercise taxes your muscles and heart, ultimately strengthening them and making them more resistant to disease.
Fasting for short periods helps people eat fewer calories, and also helps optimize some hormones related to weight control.
There are several different intermittent fasting methods. Three popular ones are:
- The 16/8 Method:Skip breakfast every day and eat during an 8-hour feeding window, such as from 12 noon to 8 pm.
- Eat-Stop-Eat:Do one or two 24-hour fasts each week, for example by not eating from dinner one day until dinner the next day.
- The 5:2 Diet:Only eat 500-600 calories on two days of the week, but eat normally the other 5 days.
How healthy is to lose weight through fasting?
According to health experts, taking drastic measures to lose weight is absolutely not a healthy way to lose weight. You may get rid of extra kilos, but it affects your body drastically. They also suggest that fasting for any period reduces your metabolism. When you come back to your normal routine of eating food, your body attempts to store every calorie you consume, which may also result in gaining weight.
Despite feeling hungry, you may feel dizzy and nauseous as your sugar and salt intake lessens. It may also lead to headaches. So, instead of shocking your body all of a sudden, go slow and reduce weight in a healthy way. Eat healthy and exercise regularly. This may take time but the results will be lasting.
Who should avoid fasting?
Pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, elderly and people who have physical illnesses should avoid fasting. For others, if you want to fast, fast for one or two days in a month, that too to cleanse your body. Fasting should not be your way to lose weight.
How to Succeed With an Intermittent Fasting Protocol
There are several things you need to keep in mind if you want to lose weight with intermittent fasting:
- Food quality:The foods you eat are still important. Try to eat mostly whole, single ingredient foods.
- Calories:Calories still count. Try to eat “normally” during the non-fasting periods, not so much that you compensate for the calories you missed by fasting.
- Consistency:Same as with any other weight loss method, you need to stick with it for an extended period of time if you want it to work.
- Patience:It can take your body some time to adapt to an intermittent fasting protocol. Try to be consistent with your meal schedule and it will get easier.
Most of the popular intermittent fasting protocols also recommend strength training. This is very important if you want to burn mostly body fat while holding on to muscle.
At the end of the day, intermittent fasting can be a useful tool to weight. This is caused primarily by a reduction in calorie intake, but there are also some beneficial effects on hormones that come into play. Intermittent fasting is not for everyone, but may be highly beneficial for some people.
Stay glued to know more about various kinds of fasting diets.