“Fasting is purposely going without food for a chosen period of time.”
Many people, worldwide, fast for health benefits as well as for weight loss.
There are several variations of fasting, with some including juice or certain drinks (like the lemon detox diet for example) for several days on end to lose weight and detoxify. Some types of fasts have no food or drink at all, even water. Some like the popular 5:2 Diet allow a certain amount of calories on fast days.
The most effective way of fasting is by abstaining from all calories in any form for the duration of the fast so you get maximum health and weight loss benefits.
This means no food or drink that contain any calories whatsoever, but you can drink as much water, calorie free drinks , and tea or coffee (with no milk) as you like. However because this type of fasting is not easy for everyone we will talk about some of the other ways of fasting that allow some food/calories as well.
Once you’ve done some research you can just decide what kind of fasting you think you can manage (and stick to in the long term). Don’t worry, everyone is different!
Fasting or the ‘fasted state’ begins the moment you stop eating your last meal until the moment you eat (or drink) again after that.
It’s been used for centuries for religious reasons and for health reasons because it allows your body to use the fuel that it has already stored from your previous meals, so your body can repair itself (a process called autophagy) instead of digesting more food.
Your body also frantically burns fat when in the ‘fasted state’ even when you’re asleep, which means it’s an excellent way to lose weight.
Why Intermittent Fasting is Better that Dieting
Intermittent fasting involves fasting for short durations, usually only between 16 and 24 hours, so they are easier to do and are done intermittently, every few days or once a week, and can start at any time of the day that suits you best. Alternate day fasts can be every other day or two days in a row (the 5 2 Diet).
Intermittent fasting is designed to fit into your lifestyle and has the same (or in most cases better) weight loss benefits than long periods of dieting and restricting calories.
Studies have shown that because each fast is short intermittent fasting doesn’t slow down your metabolism at all so won’t and cause your weight loss efforts to plateau like most diets.
Fasting also has so many health benefits as an added bonus, like giving you more energy, clearer skin, and regulating your blood insulin levels to reduce your appetite, keep your weight stable and reduce the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Studies have also shown that fasting intermittently has no negative effects on concentration or physical performance whatsoever, so you can easily fit it into your day to day life and don’t need to change from your normal routine during your fasts.