Fasting to lose weight, also known as a dietary fast, can take various forms, and last for a short term or even a longer term, depending on how much weight the dieter needs to lose. Individuals who fast are not only more likely to lose weight, but they are also able to increase their energy levels, while reducing their risks for heart disease and diabetes. Read on to find out more about how to fast for quicker weight loss.
Fasting & Weight Loss
Fasting to lose weight in its strictest form will involve only consuming water, although certain variations allow you to also drink herbal tea, fruit or vegetable juice. Other fasts combine eating with fasting on alternate days, or even mix fasting for a period of a couple of days or even weeks, which is followed by a return to eating solid foods.
In one study, patients were required to alternate fasting and non-fasting days for a period of 8 weeks. Thereafter, an average weight loss of 12 lbs. was observed amongst the study participants. In another scientific study, obese patients were required to fast for a period of 3 weeks. The patients thereafter experienced a body weight decrease of 290-250 lbs. after the fast, as well as a body mass index decrease of 100 to 90.
If you find fasting too difficult for any period of time, you could try fasting just a single day a week. Because it takes the body 10-14 days to recover the tissue it loses from a one-day fast, when you go without food for 1 day per week, this can enable you to lose a significant amount of body weight with time. In fact, research studies have found that when you fast for one day, you are not likely to resort to overeating afterwards.
Who Shouldn’t Fast
Certain individuals such as children and pregnant or nursing women should not follow a fasting to lose weight regimen. In addition, dietary fasting should be avoided by people with diabetes, weakened immunity, congestive heart failure, those undergoing radiation treatments or chemotherapy, and those just about to have or who have just had surgery. There are certain potential side effects to fasting as this could lead to:
- Low blood sugar
- Digestion problems.
It is therefore wise to first consult your doctor before you embark on your fasting regimen.