It seems pretty obvious if you want to lose a few pounds all you have to do is stop eating, right? If you’re considering fasting to lose weight, there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to go about it.
If you aren’t careful, you run the risk of gaining additional weight in the subsequent days once you resume eating normally.
Common Fasting Mistakes
Making Up Calories
Fasting can be tough, especially if you’ve never done it before. Many make the mistake of thinking of the day after the fast as a reward day. Eating extra calories after going long periods without food negates the benefits of fasting.
All you’re doing is shifting when you’re eating your calories from one day to the next, without going into a deficit. You’ll endure physical and mental fatigue without losing any weight when you “make up” calories the next day.
More Than 24 Hours
While it’s entirely possible to go several days and weeks without food, without long term health complications, it’s very hard on your body. Your metabolism takes a while to make significant changes, but staying in an extreme calorie restriction for several weeks can influence the efficiency of how your body burns calories.
It will become harder and harder to lose weight when this happens.
You can function without food for long periods of time, but you won’t do very well without water. The complications of dehydration are pretty unpleasant but something you also need to consider during a fast is how much of your water actually comes from food.
When you aren’t getting water from food, and you aren’t drinking enough water throughout the day you’re going to be miserable. Headaches, dizziness, and extreme fatigue would be expected.
Your hunger cravings will also be exaggerated, as your body tries to influence you to consume more water (from food).
See Also: Weight Watchers for beginners
All Day Fasting
A one day, 24 hour fast, is a common practice for personal, religious, and health reasons. The key to a successful 24 hour fast, for weight loss, is to eat normally the rest of the week. If you only fast once per week, and don’t overeat on the other days, you can create a weekly calorie deficit of up to 15%.
That’s a huge calorie deficit, especially since you’re only dieting once per week and eating normally the other six days.
Who’s This For
If you’re able to follow a diet for several weeks, but you have that one bad day of cheating that wrecks everything this may be for you. You’ll get to enjoy the foods you truly enjoy for six days, and only have one day of dieting.
A more popular, and manageable, form of fasting is intermittent fasting. It’s a daily fast lasting from 12-16 hours each day. Studies have shown an increase in growth hormone secrection, insulin sensitivity, as well as other metabolic changes during short term fasts.
Who’s This For
If you struggle with diets because the meals are too small, and you feel unsatisified, this may be for you. The meals on an intermittent fast are usually quite big, but the tradeoff is you’ll have to avoid late night snacks.
If you’d like to give it a try read this: Intermittent Fasting Weight Loss Plan
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