Q: Can fasting help me lose weight?
A. Yes, it can. But, you probably won’t keep the weight off.
Inevitably a client will bring this question up. And here's what I share: Fasting helps you lose weight if you're eating less and not giving your body enough calories, it uses its own stored fat for fuel.
But unlike the way gradually reducing calories and working out burns stored fat, fasting throws your body into starvation mode - which can slow down your metabolism and make you more ravenous than ever.
Even so, there’s a place for fasting. So let’s explore how it can work for you.
“Different strokes for different folks”– the same applies for how to fast. Some regimens involve only liquids, while others have you eating just one meal a day, or eating only raw foods. The latest trend is intermittent fasting - where you restrict your calorie intake but only at certain times. One method like this is called “5:2 Dieting,” where you eat normally for five days but seriously restrict calories on the other two days. That can help combat binge-eating and upending your metabolism.
Fasting isn’t something to try carelessly or as trend. Make sure your doc approves, especially if you have health complications. And seriously consider why you want to do it. Some people fast as a part of their spiritual practice. Some fast for a more earthly reason, like fitting into an outfit for high school reunion. A good reason to fast, in my book? As a way to ready your body for a healthier lifestyle.
Aside from weight loss, fasting can be a preventative health tool - a way to detoxify and give your digestive system a break, while allowing you to get in touch with your taste buds and appetite again.
Still, you don’t want to go on a seven-day juice cleanse only to pop open that bag of chips on Day 8. Make sure you commit to easing into a healthier lifestyle by not only planning for the fast itself but also for what happens afterward.
Ideally, a health consultant or nutritionist can help you determine whether fasting is even appropriate for you, and if so, how to start – and finish – the best regime for you.
Want to know if fasting might be right for you? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.