At some point in time or another, we have all looked to fasting to help us lose the unwanted weight. It can be an equation that makes sense in theory—the less that we eat, the easier it is to lose weight. Makes sense, right?
Not all Fasting is Created Equal
Fasting needs to be done with a very specific long-term strategy in mind if you want to be able to safely gain health and weight loss benefits from doing it. Haphazardly deciding not to eat or to eat far too few calories for a certain span of time can have the opposite impact on your goals.
The problem is that your body doesn’t recognize that you are trying to lose weight, and in fact just the opposite may happen in the process. So, for far too many of us that have turned to fasting in hopes of trying to contribute to weight loss, when the truth is that this can be true and certain diet sabotage. It’s time to know the facts!
Risking Health Problems When Done Wrong
The first and most important thing to recognize about fasting is that it will cause or lead to health problems. You can’t go without food for a significant amount of time, and that’s the key point to remember here. In the short-term fasting can cause you to faint, can cause you to feel nauseous, and may make you lightheaded. This sort of terrible weight loss philosophy can lead to bigger problems and even eating disorders. Just because it’s a trend to drink nothing but juice or skip out on food, doesn’t mean that it’s good for you.
When You Are Hurting Yourself and Not Helping Yourself
The more that you deprive yourself or eat less than you really need, the more that your body starts to go after reserves of fat in the body. This can cause you to lose muscle and may even cause you to gain weight as well. When you are fasting, your brain sends signals to the rest of your body that you are going into starvation mode. When this happens, the body prepares for this by building up and preparing fat reserves, and you can actually gain weight as you move forward. So, when you try to deprive yourself of food in order to lose weight, you may very well gain weight and end up worse than you were before.
One final negative but true thing to remember about fasting is that this is a short-term method. Any weight that you lose by this method will only be water weight. As soon as you begin to eat normally again, which you will have to at some point, you will gain the weight back almost instantly. You will never be able to keep up with fasting as a weight loss method, nor should you. So, try to be mindful of what you eat and make good choices, but don’t ever use fasting to lose weight—it will only ever hurt you and leave you worse than before!
On the Other Hand, When Can Fasting Help?
From all that negative information about fasting, it can sound as though it is never good for you. This isn’t true, either. The body is a complex combination of systems and processes. Some research has indicated that when intermittent fasting is done properly and regularly over the long term, some people may actually improve their longevity.
Not only can the right type of fasting help you to lose weight, but it can help you to live longer, too. The key is to know how to do it properly, commit to doing it not just until you hit your weight goal, but permanently, and to talk to your doctor to know it’s safe for you in the first place.
Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for You?
Intermittent fasting has exploded in popularity in recent years. Some people absolutely love the way it makes their weight management more straight forward. It may be challenging to set all new eating timing habits, but when they decide to stick with it, it can be very worthwhile.
That said, as much as this can be a healthy practice for many people, and it can lead to great results, no single eating strategy is appropriate for everyone. There are people who risk illness or worsening conditions if they don’t eat in a different pattern from that required by intermittent fasting.
It’s for this reason that you need to speak with your doctor to be sure you are keeping yourself safe. Among those who should not use this type of eating pattern include those with low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), those with eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, or anyone under the age of 18 years old. There are also people with certain common medical conditions who should not try intermittent fasting.