Fasting For Weight Loss: Benefits and Risks
Fasting has been in practice from the ancient times for religious reasons. During some festivals also people fast. But nowadays people are so concerned about their weight that they often fast in the hope that they can lose weight this way. When they fast, they have little or no food. So it ultimately leads to weight loss. But along with its advantages, fasting also has many disadvantages. Now people who are weight conscious are advised not to fast because it is not the correct way to lose weight.
If you fast for one or two days, it cannot cause any harm to your body. But those who suffer from chronic diseases are at a risk of getting into serous trouble if they fast. It is also harmful for the children and pregnant women. However you can do medical fast under the supervision of physicians. This will not cause you any harm. Fasting differ from person to person. But the basic rule is to consume fresh juices and any laxative concoction. You also have to drink water. In some cases during fasting people also consume solid food that provides low calories.
Benefits or Advantages of Fasting for Weight Loss:
- When you fast, it helps in releasing growth hormones in the body. This hormone is very beneficial for burning fat and thus helps you in losing weight.
- Lipolysis, which is the breakdown of fat and lipids to release fatty acids through hydrolysis, is increased when you fast. As a result, the excess fat in your body is burnt. Fasting also decreases the level of insulin in the body.
- When you fast, you must take care to take-in as little of calorie and fat as possible. try to avoid adding sugar when you drink fruit and vegetable juices. This way you can lose weight effectively.
- During fasting you can drink lots of water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices. Herbal juices are also consumed when you fast. These help in removing all the impurities and other harmful elements from your body. As a result, your body becomes healthy and cleansed. So, fasting is an easy way to rejuvenate your body.
- Fasting is an excellent way to increase catecholamines in the body. These burn the excess fat in your body and provide you with some energy.
So, you can see that fasting has many benefits. Fasting for at least one day every month is an excellent way to detoxify your body and increase the functioning of all the organs in your body. But when you fast for weight loss, there are also some dangers connected with it. So, if you plan to undergo fasting for losing weight, it is important that you are well aware about the negative effects of fasting as well.
Risks or Dangers of Fasting for Weight Loss:
- It is true that fasting helps in reducing the intake of calorie and is therefore good for losing weight. But it can also lead to some health problems such as muscle loss.
- When you fast, your body gets in to a conservation mode. As a result, calories are burnt more slowly and gradually.
- When you fast, there is a loss of weight. But the initial loss of weight is only the water weight. The fluids in your body decease and lead to loss of weight. There is no burning of fat and loss of fat. So, once you get back to your regular diet after one or two days of fasting, you will regain the weight you have lost.
- The weight that your gain after you fast is usually the fat. This is because the slower metabolism during fasting makes it easy for you to get back the lost weight.
- Fasting also causes some other side effects like dizziness, headache, fatigue, muscular ache, weakness, light headedness, low blood sugar, diarrhoea and so on. Some people undergoing fasting even find it difficult to conduct certain tasks like driving, operating machineries and so on. It can also reduce the ability of the body to absorb certain medicines.
- Long term fasting is always more harmful for the body. It can lead to various health hazards like anaemia, weak immune system, irregular heart beat and so on. It can also cause liver and kidney problems.
- When you fast to lose weight, your body may become deficient in minerals and vitamins, which are essential for the health of the body. When your body is short of essential vitamins and minerals, you may fall sick and also contact many other diseases. It can lead to many health problems.
- Sometimes, when you fast to lose weight, the reverse takes place. You start to gain more weight. This is because when you fast, you become extremely hungry. So, when you consume food afterwards, you tend to take in more amount of food than normal. This result in your body getting more calories than that is normal. As a result, there is a gain in weight.
Many people lose weight when they fast, but regain it later on. But some succeed in losing weight by fasting. So, you can say that it varies from person to person.
Prolonged or long term fasting is not at all healthy for your body. Eating for one or two days is safe for you. But even then, you must consume adequate amounts of water and juices. This will prevent you from falling sick and ensures that your body gets the minerals and vitamins that are necessary. Similarly dry fasting, which is fasting without food or fluid, is also very dangerous. This can lead to dehydration of the body and in some extreme cases, even death. If you are making plans to fast for losing weight, you must first consult your doctor. This way you can prevent any harmful effects of fasting that may arise.