Fasting for weight loss – This idea is simple, but how effective is it. Weight loss, simply put, depends on plain mathematics. The positive deficit between ‘Calories burnt’ and ‘Calories consumed’ marks your weight loss. If your calories burnt are higher, you will start to lose weight. However, if the reverse is true, you will gain weight. The concept of fasting is a little different. Most fasting diets I’ve reviewed include the following:
• Restricted calorie intake.
• Long periods of time where you are suppose to lay off all kinds of foods (Except for fluids).
• Some diet plans tell you to ‘Eat what you want’ in the phase you’re not fasting.
• The fasting phase varies diet to diet. 12 – 24 hour fast are usually recommended.
• Some diet plans eve tell you to stop consuming water!
• Most fasting diets don’t tell you to exercise.
From the very first look, you can see how difficult the diet looks. Eating followed by long fasting periods? How can you actually support such a diet? The first downside of such fasting diets is that they are very impractical. You can’t fast for long periods of time without compromising on your ability. Your brain is a sugar hungry freak! It consumes Carbohydrates (Simple sugars) and when you’re fasting, these levels go low. So, even if you’re not doing anything physical, fasting for long periods of time will compromise your daily work and judgment. Another downside to these diets is that you’ll constantly feel listless. You’ll feel drained out of energy and even the simplest of daily task will seem like a big struggle. Another serious downside to these diets is the breaking of the fast. Ravenous appetite and eating sprees! What should be done? Even 12 hours without food can turn you into a hungry tiger. One you break your fast, chances are, you won’t be able to stop eating and you’ll eat whatever is in front of you. This negates the whole idea behind fasting diets.
The ‘no exercise part’ of the diet is another worry. It doesn’t come with a surprise though. You’re low on glycogen and blood sugar. You’re insulin level is down in the dumps; there’s no way you’ll be able to exercise efficiently. In this regard, fasting diets hinder any physical activity. This is again in direct contradiction to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. Another aspect of impracticality is that fasting can’t possibly be incorporated into our daily lives without some serious changes. What if you’re at a wedding or on a family picnic? You can’t possibly say no to every food item. What about the dinner table when everyone sits down to eat and have a quality time? You can’t possibly sacrifice that after a long day of work/study. The bottom line is that when you’re on a fasting diet, you have to sacrifice a lot more than just eating food. The funny thing is that most of it just doesn’t make sense.
My suggestion is to go for a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, whole grains along with lean meat. Try to stay off processed, packaged food as much as you can and try to do something physical 5 times each week. These few words of advice are better than any fasting diet that claims ‘it can do wonders’.