Fasting For Weight Loss
How Fasting Can Be A Permanent Weight Loss Strategy
Fasting for weight loss is possible and safe if you are doing it properly. It may not be for everyone, but for those people who do embrace fasting a few days a week experience more and sooner weight loss results than people who don't. With many positive side effects like longer life and body cleansing, fasting for weight loss may not be a bad idea after all.
I checked this method of losing weight mainly because of the positive side effects of longer life and body cleansing. Even though fasting gets a bad reputation of using it as a tool for political protests and religious devotion, it made me more curious I guess.
A WARNING: before doing any diet program or strategy like this, make sure you do not suffer from any disease and genetic history of insulin sensitivity, just to be on the safe side.
One More Thing: Especially for teenagers. do not go into extremes with anything. It may be easier to go overboard with fasting for weight loss and may lead to other eating disorders. This is not an excuse to use fasting to starve yourself. Life first, weight loss can come later.
I would like to emphasize the benefits of short term fasting for weight loss in this article because this has the most maximum benefits of reducing calorie intake without going too crazy. It also refrains one from going into fasting extremes because of the simple guidelines of short-term fasting for weight loss.
The Benefits of Fasting According to Experts
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in their study: Alternate-day Fasting and Chronic Disease Prevention, calorie restriction regimens such as fasting has proven to reduce the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. This study alone is quite heavy in proving such points; here is a link to it.
© 2007 American Society for Nutrition Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials by: Krista A Varady and Marc K Hellerstein
But what I want to emphasize though is this part of the study where in trials in both humans and animals have shown a significant effect of fat oxidation during the study:
"The authors also observed a positive correlation between fat oxidation and weight loss, which suggested that those subjects with a greater ability to oxidize fat may have lost more weight."
It has also shown that people who practice a life long habit of cutting calories like short term fasts have additional benefits like increased life span, insulin sensitivity and it is easier to cope up with stress.
Sidenote: hmmmm, so that means exercising can relieve us of stress, and so is calorie restriction like fasting for weight loss or weight management? Getting happy, healthy and lean are the benefits of having consistent fitness habits?
Wouldn't we all want that?
How Fasting Works
As short and sweet as I can put it, fasting works through "forcing" our body to use stored body fats as a source of energy and not through the food we eat. This defies the method most popular fitness magazines have of eating often (5-6 small meals a day) to "maintain" metabolism and avoid the body from using muscle as a source of fuel.
To quote the same study shown above:
"The effect of short-term ADF regimens on other metabolic variables, such as body temperature, resting metabolic rate (RMR), and various hormone and cytokine concentrations, has also been examined in human subjects (36, 37). In the study by Heilbronn et al (37), neither body temperature nor RMR was affected by 3 wk of treatment.."
Meaning there are no significant effects in body temperature, metabolism and our hormones while practicing short term fasting for weight loss.
Based from experience and other fitness enthusiast, it is much harder to eat 5-6 small meals a day with weight loss in mind. It is much simpler to cut calories by not taking in anything at all in the first place.
Two Methods of Fasting for Weight Loss
There are two ways of fasting for weight loss that most might be comfortable in doing for any fitness level or eating habits. First is the alternate-day-fasting is when you restrain yourself from any form of calorie in 24 intervals. Another is the Intermittent Style of Fasting when you also restrain yourself of any form of calorie for 24-hours, but this time you will do this once or twice a week.
If you would like to read more about using intermittent fasting as a permanent weight loss strategy, click here
Fasting for Weight Loss- The How and When
If done properly, fasting for weight loss promotes also a sense of well being, and an increase of concentration.
I have personally lost 50 plus pounds using the intermittent style of fasting or what would Brad Pilon would like to call it, Eat Stop Eat. This is simpler and easier to do than alternate day fasts because you will only have a 24-hour break from food once or twice a week. Days of non- fasting have no specific guidelines but common sensibility of portions should also be practiced.
I love this strategy because of its simplistic nature; eat sensibly during non-fast days and have 24-hour breaks from food once or twice a week. It's so simple you need not complex diagrams and calorie counting for that. The simpler the diet guidelines are, the more doable it is. Plus it is easier to get consistent.
Fasting as a Lifestyle?
With all the benefits of short-term fasts like intermittent fasting for weight loss, it's no wonder that some of the people embrace this strategy not only for weight loss and general fitness improvements but also for the health benefits as well.
Hunger pangs may come and go, but based on a very active lifestyle, I have proven myself that fasting doesn't affect my performance in the gym or with other things in life. Because I do not like to be a slave of food like before, fasting has given me a chance to stay sharp and get things done.
Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect with fasting, especially when I was trying it out. When I get hungry or an event comes up, I eat. Fasting in my opinion should come at a comfortable time for us that don’t get in the way of special events in our lives where food is mostly the means of celebration.
Who would have thought of fasting for weight loss? If you have known fasting as more of a spiritual or religious method of practicing faith, you might change the bad image of fasting if you have discovered that it can be used for weight loss based on a little science as discussed above.. Before you go fasting away blindly though, you might want start slow and not get obsessive with it.
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