Fasting is an age-old practice followed by millions of people all over the world to reduce weight rapidly. Few consider fasting as the most effective way to reduce those stubborn fats. There is another set of people who consider fasting as a severe and a dangerous process to lose weight – that causes various health problems in future. Fasting is also followed as a religious practice in many parts of the world, and those who fast assert that it helps them stay healthy. Fasting is also carried out to remove toxins from the body, and this type of fasting is known as detox fasting.
However, when it comes to weight loss, many consider fasting is the easiest process to follow. It does not require one to cook, control appetite to overeat, etc., thus, many choose this path to shed their weight. Is fasting really a good option to lose weight? Read on to know more.
How Fasting Works?
During fasting, one can dramatically reduce his/her calories intake to lose weight. This reduces the appetite of the person resulting in lesser consumption of food. Hence, weight gain in future can also be avoided. Fasting without food and with fruit juice and water can also support substantial weight loss without affecting the energy level of the body.
Advantages of Fasting
Fasting is an advantageous process for many. To reduce weight and achieve metabolism balance, fasting is a right choice. Few other advantages are as follows:
- The most notable advantage of fasting is that, it helps in keeping the system clean.
- Fasting also helps reduce unwanted fat from the body that makes you look thinner.
- Fasting offers countless medical advantages like offering rest to the digestive system, detoxification of the body, inner stillness to the body, physical lightness and more.
- One can achieve mental stability through fasting.
- For many, fasting enhances spiritual connection that rejuvenates their entire mental health.
- Digestive disorders and problems like constipation can be treated well by observing fast.
- One can lose up to 20 pounds in a month by following a steadfast diet.
- Few fasting plans like five fruits fasting, juice fasting, vegetable broth fasting and more can enhance good health in people.
Disadvantages of Fasting
Fasting has to be done with maximum care; otherwise, it results in serious health problems. Here are a few disadvantages of fasting:
- Prolonged fasting can cause slow growth in kids and teenagers, as it may result in malnutrition.
- At times, wrong fasting can slow down the metabolism of the body. This results in unwanted weight gain in people.
- Few types of fasting can even cause anemia, obesity, lungs and kidney failure and more.
- Fasting also causes dehydration in people because they intake very less amount of water. This results in renal problems, early signs of ageing, multi organ failure and also sudden death at times.
- For those who are looking forward to healthy weight loss in the name of fasting, it causes mineral deficiencies, muscle breakdown and even vitamin deficiency.
- At the initial stages of fasting, weight loss may be quicker, but the weight gain process once the person discontinues fasting may be even more rapid than weight loss.
Recommended Fasting Methods to Lose Weight
Dieticians all over the world recommend certain types of fasting that are beneficial to lose weight. These fasting methods do not pose any threat to your health, if you follow them with care.
1. Complete Fasting
Complete fasting is a process in which one can have nothing but water in a day. This fasting can prolong for about 24 hours and doing this once in a month can extend the life span of a person.
2. Intermittent Fasting
This is an exclusive fasting method that follows 5:2 schedule, i.e., you eat normally 5 days a week. The remaining 2 days are for dieting. Your calorie consumption for these 2 days cut to a ¼ of their normal level. It will improve your insulin sensitivity, cholesterol level and blood pressure.
3. Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day fasting is a good way to increase balance in health. You are allowed to eat whatever you want one day, but the next day, you will have to restrict your diet. Consuming 300 calories in a day and not consuming more than 500 calories the next day helps improve digestion.
4. Transition Fasting
Transition fasting is a process in which one can become a vegetarian or a vegan slowly with the help of alternate day fasting. Avoiding non-vegetarian food entirely may not work out well for all, but transition fasting is a good choice.
How much weight one can lose through fasting?
With the help of fasting, one can reduce a maximum of 1lb. every day. Putting off more than 1lb. in a day is not a good fasting process. Be it any type of fasting, it is always advisable for you to take the help of your fitness expert, dietician or your family doctor. Instead of cooking instant soups, it is good to have boiled vegetables or the water after straining the boiled vegetables.
- Strictly follow a vegetarian diet, if you wish to reduce weight by fasting. One can also consume white meat that is fat-free.
- Combine fasting with simpler exercises like walking, jogging, treadmill and more. This helps you lose weight in a short time span.
- Take help of a dietician before following any type of fasting, so as to ensure that the path you are going to choose is safe for weight loss.
- Eat enough fresh fruits and boiled vegetables before starting your fast for the day. This keeps you hydrated and energetic.
- One can drink fruit juice without ice and sugar to stay hydrated when observing fasting.
- One can rely on weight loss supplements that reduce appetite but they may have adverse effect on health in long run. So, avoid consuming them excessively.
- Fasting is believed as the best procedure to cleanse your body, but this is not true. Do not follow any detox diet.
- It is a myth that fasting can reduce your belly fat or post-pregnancy fat accumulated near the tummy area. Try not to follow strict fasting to reduce only tummy fat or post-pregnancy fat.
- Fasting does not mean reducing the calories intake to a considerable level. Say for example, one cannot just eat 1000-1500 calories in a day to reduce weight. This process causes nutrition deficiency in people.