What Is fasting?
Fasting is simple not eating. Intermittent fasting is choosing not to eat for several hours per day or for several days. Fasting is considered by some people to be the simplest and easiest way to lose weight. Fasting is not a diet, rather a temporary change.
There are several different fasting methods. One method is the 5:2 method, which involves two days of fasting per week. This method is the basis of the 5:2 Diet or the Fast Diet.
The 5:2 Diet by Dr. Michael Mosely has two days of 'fasting'. On the two 'fast days', your caloric intake is very limited.
Other methods include fasting for so many hours per day (time restricted fasting), fasting on alternate days, and fasting for one or more days at a time.
Time restricted fasting usually means not eating for 12 hours or more during the day. Examples are eating between 7AM and 7PM (12 hour fast) and between Noon and 8PM (16 hour fast).
Why Fasting Works!
Fasting is certainly an option for losing weight. The amount of calories we burn in a day depends on our age, gender, size, and activity level. We should range from about 1800 calories to 3000+ calories per day. A pound is about 3500 calories, so a day of fasting should help us lose about 1/2 pound to nearly one pound for that day.
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Fasting does NOT mean Fast Food.
Is It Safe?
According to the experts, fasting is safe. Naturally, you should be in good health and need to lose weight (see your health care provider before making an changes that may affect your health).
Other Fasting Questions:
What can I drink while fasting?
Coffee and water. Coffee must be black.
Can I exercise while fasting?
Yes. You should exercise for its health and weight loss benefits.
Fasting has been found to have numerous health benefits.
Weight loss...fasting helps you to lose weight
Lowers insulin levels
Improves insulin sensitivity
Lengthens life span
Improves cholesterol levels
Lowers blood pressure
Increased energy (probably not for the first few days)
Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Hunger...the good news is that studies have shown that people on a 12 hour and a 16 hour daily fast will 'adjust'. In other words, they will no longer be hungry over time.
'Starvation Mode"...when your body goes without food, experts agree that your body goes into starvation mode, which means that it thinks you have no food to eat. What this means is that, in starvation mode, your body does everything it can to hold on to its fat. Your metabolism will slow and you body will strive to retain fat, this working against your weight loss efforts. Many diets will have you eating more often (at least 5 to 6 times daily) rather than less often in order to maximize your metabolism.
"Mood Swings"...In most cases of 16/8 fasting, mood was affected for the first few days. Mood changes were all over the place for about the first 72 hours, then stabilizing in a good way.
Brain fog and weakness are also experienced by most people for the first few days of 16/8 fasting. This condition seems to go away as your circadian rhythm adjusts to your eating pattern changes.
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People who have diabetes, advanced diabetes, or who are taking diabetes medication, people with eating disorders, or pregnant women should NOT use intermittent fasting, or use it only when working closely with their doctor.
Fasting may cause initial fatigue, loss of energy, light headedness.
I am not a fan of intermittent fasting and I feel that goes against weight loss principles. For some people, fasting of nay kind does not work, and I am one of those people.
In my late 20's, I was financially destitute for about six months. During those six months I missed many meals and have gone as long as three days without food. I learned that hunger subsides, but I also learned that I never wanted to experience that kind of hunger again. Thus, I have my 'personal' reasons for not endorsing fasting. These reasons are personal and NOT based on science, but they may unknowingly be clouding my judgement.
I share this information to be fair to you. I want to remind you that you that in your search for weight loss options, you want you want to find what works for YOU, not me or the celebrity or athlete, it is all about what works for YOU.
Based on my research, the 16/8 version seems to work for some people...it may work for you. You will need to allow a few days to allow your body to adjust. For those people that are having success with this option, they are exercising and eating healthy along with the 16 hour fast.
Another bit of information that may be of help you is that this kind of weight loss does not seem to work so well for people in high stress jobs or situations. You may need to 'eat' breakfast on high stress days or skip this option altogether.
Since this form of weight loss does seem to work well for some folks, you may want to consider adding it to your list of weight loss options.
TIP: If you are used to eating big meals, consider reducing your portions for a short while before fasting.
Thanks for reading, my friends.
Much success on your weight loss journey.
Founder of Win at Losing Weight
I am George Pierce, founder of Win At Losing Weight, and I am NOT a proponent of intermittent fasting. (see My Story)
The following is strictly my opinion and is not medical advice.
I love to eat, so 'not eating' as a weight loss option does not spark my interest. In addition, I do not like being hungry. Although these reasons are based on my personal opinion, I believe that many others may feel the same.
What they do not tell us!
Most fasting sites and reviews seem to skim over the negatives of fasting and highlight the benefits.
Let's NOT skim over the fact that the benefits of fasting should also be realized by choosing any healthy diet option.
A plant based diet such as the Mediterranean Diet will also improve your health, energy, and longevity as well as lower your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, insulin levels, and improve heart and cardiovascular health. In other words, any healthy diet will provide you with the same benefits as fasting.
There are two kinds of hunger. There is real hunger or 'body hunger' and there is 'mental hunger'. Mental hunger can often be curbed by drinking some water or engaging in an activity for several minutes or longer. Activity will distract your mind.
About Cleansing and detoxification:
Body 'cleanses' and 'detoxes' do not have scientific evidence that they work. The fact is that the body is designed to cleanse or detox itself. Fasting stops you and I from eating foods that are not healthy and thus allows our body to cleanse itself. A healthy diet will also stop us from eating unhealthy foods and allow our bodies to cleanse itself.
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