Fasting is defined as the act of willing fully abstaining or reducing consumption of certain foods or drinks for a specific period of time. Fasting can be voluntary with the target of achieving something or it may be according to a religious practice.
What entails fasting?
During a fasting period to lose weight, people only drink water, juice or in other cases laxatives which is not recommended. Food is fuel for the body and by fasting you deny your body the necessary nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins among others which are essential for the overall health of the body. Fasting makes an individual weak but in some cases people are allowed to consume solid foods which are low in calories in order to give the body the much needed energy.
Is Fasting for Weight Loss safe?
Many medical experts around the world agree that fasting is not an effective tool for losing weight. Fasting concentrates on the reduction of water weight rather than fat burning. By reducing water weight during fasting, the body will be dehydrated which is why there is need for one to drink fluids to replace those lost.
Dehydration lowers metabolism. Low metabolism rate means the body will reduce the energy consumed by organs in order to accomplish their functions. Low metabolism rate has been found to contribute to various diseases such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol among others.
After the fasting period and an individual returns to the normal eating schedule, the lost water weight will be regained quickly making the whole point of fasting for weight loss pointless.
Are there health risks to fasting?
Fasting for a day or two while you are healthy will not subject your body to any immediate danger. Religious fasting is not discouraged as it is practiced for a short period of time and doesn't subject any individual to danger.
If you have any health complications with your body organs such as the kidneys and liver, it is highly advisable not to engage in fasting. Low immune system and if an individual is under any medication are some of the situations that might prove dangerous to the body if one fasts.
Pregnant women, sick people, the elderly and children are highly advised not to engage in fasting as their bodies require food constantly in order to help supply the necessary energy.
When fasting is done for more than 3 days, the body is subjected through various dangers such as body weakness, renal failure, electrolyte imbalances, hair thinning, anorexia nervosa and cardiac arrhythmias among others.
What methods are safe and effective for losing fat?
Start by drinking water and eliminate taking concentrated juices and energy drinks. Water has no calories therefore it will contribute none. It acts as an appetite suppressor therefore it tricks your body into feeling full. By doing so it eliminates the need of you snacking on unhealthy foods.
Join a gym and start exercising as this will help burn the excess calories which are converted into energy to be used for various body functions. Squats, running on the treadmill, sit ups and aerobics are some of the exercises that can help you lose weight.
If joining a gym is a little expensive, you can try taking 30 minutes walks at the park or run around the park or cycle around the neighborhood or swim. This activities are affordable and don't require you to spend a lot of money.
You can also purchase or download free yoga training videos and perform the exercises in the comfort of your home. Yoga is highly recommended by health experts and can help burn 200 calories per hour.
Eating unhealthy foods is one of the contributors of gaining weight. Replace all junk food with fruits and vegetables which help contribute nutrients and anti-oxidants beneficial to the body. They also act as appetite suppressors therefore prevent overeating.
In conclusion, fasting is not recommended in helping to lose weight as it doesn't help in fat burning but in reducing water weight only. Water weight can be regained quickly once an individual starts eating normally again.
Fasting is dangerous especially to the sick, pregnant women, children and the elderly. It has been found to cause a series of complications such as body weakness, renal failure, hair thinning, anorexia nervosa and cardiac arrhythmias.