Fasting to lose weight has become more popular of a trend as of late especially in light of new benefits that have been discovered.
To fast means to voluntarily stop eating food for a specified length of time. There are several reasons people fast which include religion, health and weight loss. Fasting for weight loss is practiced by millions of men and women around the world. Basically, fasting to lose weight involves drastically reducing the number of calories eaten in order to burn stored calories.
Background of Fasting
Fasting was used ancient times as a means to heal ailments, detoxify the body and religious expression. The medicinal benefits of fasting was recognized many fathers of western medicine such as Hippocrates and Paracelsus. In the religious sector fasting was, and still is, a demonstration of faith and a time to reflect on spirituality. Today, it is sometimes used to convey a political statement as well as for medical and spiritual reasons.
Why Some People Choose Fasting to Lose Weight
Today, people have started fasting for weight loss to help shed unwanted pounds just as much as fasting for religious and political reasons. There reasons include that a fasting diet helps them to lose weight more quickly than conventional dieting. Fasting shrinks the stomach; which makes gives a feeling of fullness even though a very small portion of food is eaten. Many who fast report they have increased energy after fasting since they have eliminated many of the toxins in their bodies. The increased energy causes them to be more active and burn even more calories.
Potential Risks of Fasting for Weight Loss
Although fasting can cleanse certain toxins from the body and probably one of the quickest diet plans to lose weight fast, some doctors argue that it may not be a practical nor safe method of losing weight. They point out that certain organs, such as the kidneys and liver, work to get rid of pollutants in our bodies naturally. Some doctors believe that fasting can result in weight gain rather than weight loss. Fasting to lose weight severely restricts calories, which decreases the body’s metabolic rate by 22 percent. This natural occurrence is the body’s defense against starvation and can cause a person to pick weight back up that was lost, or even more, as soon as they stop the fast. The weight gain could result in a higher percentage of body fat than before the fast began.
Types of Fasts
Whatever the reason, there are many different methods for fasting. Some fasts modify the time of day or type of food eaten. Dieters who are fasting to lose weight follow weight loss plans that can include the following categories:
- Water fast. A water fast restricts the dieter to ingesting water only. It can not only be a health concern but is obviously very difficult maintain.
- Juice fast. Dieters are allowed to drink water, fruit and vegetable juices. They also take extra vitamins for weight loss goals and to stay healthy.
- Intermittent fast. This fast has become popular for people who are fasting for weight loss since it allows the dieter to take breaks from fasting to eat normal meals; which makes it easier to stick to the diet. Also, this is probably one of the most healthy fast’s around that is responsible for the recently discovered health benefits of fasting.
The ancient practice of fasting will most likely continue to grow as the years pass. Some studies indicate that controlled fasting may prevent certain diseases if monitored properly. Because fasting could potentially pose health risks, anyone who is thinking about fasting to lose weight, or for any other reason, should check with a doctor before beginning, especially if you are thinking of considering the more strict types of fast such as water or juice.