Can fasting help you lose weight in the long term?

Posted by Rene Harwood on

Can fasting help you lose weight in the long term?

As they say, women will always be women, you know why? Because we as women always indulge in new trendy activities and yes, that includes everything we can do to lose weight.

We'll try every kind of dietary advice, regardless of where it came from. One new trend which seems to be taking over almost every woman is fasting. While fasting has been proven to help a person lose weight, it needs to be done in a controlled manner. Fasting doesn't mean that you should starve yourself to the point of exhaustion or falling ill.

Different Kinds of Fasts

Just to give you a bit of background regarding fasting, you will see some people doing it as a religious practice or under medical supervision. Keep in mind that all 'fasts' are not created equal. Some can be massively safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician.

Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotedness for your religion and last for more than 13 hours. Such kind of fasting is not intended to promote weight loss.

It is All Water Weight

Many people tend not to know that initial weight lost on a fast it mostly fluid or what we call as water weight which does not contribute to fat loss hence when you start consuming again everything is restored back to the way it was.

According to recent research (focused on short-term studies), it was learned that people who happen to fast for a day and then eat about 10 to 15% more calories once they broke their day-long fasts were able to slight weight loss.

But the important thing to note here is that for such people, the initial weight loss that they see is all water weight. After a few days, instead of the initial weight loss occurring, such people again start to see a gain in weight.

A lot of people talk about fasting as means to cleanse the body of toxic and harmful substances. This seems to hold true for people who eat a lot of processed food. If you fast and only break your fast with organic food, then yes, your body will start to get rid of toxins from inside it.

However, the same result can also be obtained if you simply change your diet to a healthier one without fasting.  A healthy diet provides a minimum of 1,300 calories and includes a variety of organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, some low-fat dairy, even lean protein, and healthy fats. Pair that with regular exercise and you're all set to lose unwanted weight.

Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to jeopardize the health of a normal adult. But there is high-risk for the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children. That is why they are advised against any type of fasting. People who seem to be losing weight quickly due to fasting are at risk of falling ill. Our bodies need the proper amount of nourishment to remain healthy. Fasting for days at an end and only drinking water isn't helping it one bit.

Side effects of fasting

  • Frequent headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle aches
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Low blood sugar level

Prolonged fasting can also lead to anemia, a weakened immune system, even certain liver and kidney problems, and an irregular heartbeat. Take not that fasting can also result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. You can also experience muscle breakdown, and diarrhea, which can result in different types of underlying diseases.

So, if someone asks you to fast to lose weight, don't listen to them. You might see weight loss during the first few days, but after that, you'll make your body vulnerable to numerous diseases. Remember, eating a healthy diet and exercising is far better that not eating anything at all.