The Advantages, Disadvantages and Science of Fasting to Lose Weight

Fasting to lose weight is a time honored method of losing a few pounds. There are advantages and disadvantages of this weight loss method, and there are risks you should know before trying it.

The Science of Fasting

Regular fasting yields some of the benefits of permanent caloric restriction, something researchers found extended the life of insects dramatically as long as they received sufficient nutrition.
The founder of the Weight Loss Management Center at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center says that fasting creates the illusion of weight loss, because most of what is lost is fluid. That comes back quickly after you resume eating.

fasting to lose weightConversely, Mark P. Mattson at the National Institute on Aging says that fasting generates mild stress that generates the production of proteins that protect the body from even greater stresses. This in turn slowed the cognitive decline of animals in his studies.
Studies of Mormons who regularly fast for 30 hours every month reduced their risk of clogged arteries.

Advantages of Fasting to Lose Weight

The National Institute on Aging found that moderate fasting, either with fewer calories consumed or total fasting, one day a week or so has health benefits for many people. In many people, fasting improved blood sugar control.
Fasting as a weight loss technique is popular because it is so straightforward. There is no debate of what to eat and not to eat, simply don’t eat anything at all. Many fad diets are variations of fasting to lose weight, such as only drinking cabbage soup or no-calorie lemonade.

Fasting is popular in some areas because it is religiously acceptable. Whether fasting for specific holy days or in penance, fasting is far more acceptable for some people than using weight loss pills. Another advantage of fasting for weight loss is the cost; it’s free. And you do not have to pay to join a weight loss association to fast. If you don’t like the side effects, fasting is reversible by simply sitting down and eating a meal. That makes it more attractive than an herbal remedy that could cause heart palpitations until it wears off.

fasting to lose weight

Disadvantages of Fasting to Lose Weight

Fasting will not work as a long term weight loss technique. Dieters need to shift to a lower calorie, higher fiber and more nutritious diet laden with vegetables, fruit and whole grains to maintain weight loss and sustain a healthy weight. Those who rely on regular fasting to lower their average calorie count may not develop the healthy dietary patterns they need to sustain their ideal weight.
Fasting to lose weight can cause people to feel as if they are starving, though one day of food will not kill you. That would actually take ten days or more without food for those of a healthy body weight. However, the sensation of starvation can cause people to overeat the next day, wiping out any gains of the calories burned the prior day.
While diabetics tend to be overweight, fasting is not recommended for those who rely on insulin injections.
You should not engage in heavy exercise or sustained hard work while fasting. Regularly relying on fasting to lose weight may result in a sedentary lifestyle that interferes with the healthy activity levels necessary to burn off unwanted pounds.

Risks of Fasting to Lose Weight

Fasting causes your blood sugar to drop. This can cause fatigue, lightheadedness and irritability. In extreme cases, it can evolve from dizziness to unconsciousness. Fasting for more than a day can cause an altered metabolic state. The body shifts its metabolic gears to burn as little food as possible. It does so even more severely after regular fasting than a severe diet in which someone is still eating food. When this occurs, dieters will gain weight when they return to their prior diet, because the body is now more efficient with its calories. The rest is transformed into fat.

Fasting means that you are not taking in critical nutrients. Fasting should involve at least water to prevent dehydration, which can kill you in a day if you are out in the hot sun. Fasting over a longer term can cause problems for those with iron deficiencies and other problems. Fasting to lose weight is dangerous if you have kidney or liver problems. These organs, when impaired, cannot function properly without enough water and nutrients. Fasting can be dangerous if you are taking medication that requires food. Continuing with the medication without food to dilute it can cause it to be taken into the body too quickly.

Summary

Fasting to lose weight is acceptable if it is done occasionally and not to long. Fasting is a fair weight loss method if it doesn’t result in over-eating the next day and doesn’t worsen other health conditions.

Will the Paleo Diet Help With Diabetes?

The paleo diet is one of the best ways of combating diabetes and keeping it under control. There is absolutely no doubt about this. Thousands of people who were suffering from diabetes reported benefits after adopting the paleo diet. The paleo diet focuses mostly on eating meat, healthy fats and whole vegetables that are beneficial … Continue reading

Non-Fasting Days – Not An Excuse to Binge

Whilst following the 5:2 Diet, it is important to understand that on the unrestricted days you should still try to follow a healthy eating plan. Do not consume more than four times the recommended amount of calories that you use on your fasting days. Try to still include foods that are as whole and unprocessed … Continue reading

Controlling Cravings While On the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is considered one of the healthiest diets on the planets. It is extremely popular among fitness fanatics who swear by its effectiveness. Unlike most other fad diets on the market, the paleo diet does not overly concern itself with calories or detoxing or even macronutrients. The paleo diet is more about making … Continue reading

Is it Difficult to Adopt a Paleo Diet Lifestyle?

This is a difficult question to answer because it’s all relative. What may seem easy to one person may be difficult to answer. That being said, the paleo diet is slightly more difficult to follow than other diets. Don’t let that discourage you though. The paleo diet is also more effective than most other diets. … Continue reading

Is the Paleo Diet As Healthy As It Claims To Be?

In one word… Yes. It really is. We live in a world that is surrounded by hype, slick marketing, misleading ads, fads, crazes and short term fixes. It is easy and even understandable if you feel that the paleo diet could be all hype. Like the saying goes, all foam and no beer. However, you … Continue reading

Fasting to Detox Versus Fasting to Lose Weight

Fasting may involve consuming nothing at all, drinking only water, limiting oneself to only juice and tea, restricting the diet to raw foods, avoiding foods other that bread and water or depriving oneself of meat and luxury foods. Whether fasting to lose weight or detox, the body pulls on its fat stores to fuel itself. … Continue reading

Is the Paleo Lifestyle Sustainable?

The paleo lifestyle often refers to adopting a paleo diet for life. This is often referred to as the ‘cavemen’ diet because it is how our early ancestors ate and lived. Several questions will come to people’s minds when they first hear of the paleo diet. Is it healthy? Is it expensive? Why do I … Continue reading

The Pros and Cons of the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet is an awesome diet that has thousands of fans all over the world. Books on this subject have become bestsellers. People have lost weight, reduced allergies, gained control of their health issues like diabetes, cholesterol, etc. and much more with the paleo diet. In fact, it is considered one of the best … Continue reading

The Real Truth about the Paleo Diet

The paleo diet has its fair share of fans and detractors. The diet itself has gained massive popularity over the years and thousands of people swear by it. They often claim to feel much better and healthier as a result of adopting this diet. Thousands of people have also lost weight by adopting the paleo … Continue reading