Does Fasting Work for Weight Loss, or Is It Dangerous?
Over the last while, many people have been asking “does fasting work?” when it comes to healthy dieting that will lead to long term weight loss. This is not a new question but it is one that has worked its way back into regular circulation as certain new weight loss strategies have started using this technique.
When it all comes down to it, “does fasting work?” seems to be a very simple question with a very complex answer. It also comes with a lot of controversy and opinions that have varied widely over the years. Taking on a fast is a concept that has been around for thousands of years. Originally, this wasn’t a voluntary thing, as most fasts were the result of a lack of food. However, there are many other reasons that can cause people to choose to stop eating for a span of time, such as to try to detoxify the body or due to religious practices.
For the purposes of answering the “does fasting work?” question in this article, the focus will be on weight loss. Many people like the idea of taking on a fast to try to shed the excess pounds. It’s easy to see why. It looks as though it makes sense – after all, if you stop eating, your body will be forced to burn stored fat, right? It also brings about fast results, which is appealing to just about anyone who has ever tried to shed the pounds.
However, before you decide you’re not going to eat today, you might want to think twice. Fasting can also cause weight loss to backfire. The body can slip into a kind of starvation phase during a fast. The reason is that by dramatically cutting back on what you’re eating – or by stopping your food intake altogether – your body will receive signals that it might be entering into a period in which food is scarce. Therefore, it automatically slows its metabolism in order to conserve energy in the form of its stored body fat.
True, at first you may lose excess fluids and you might even burn through some body fat, but after that, your metabolic changes will not only make it even harder to lose weight than it was before you fasted, it will also become easier for you to gain weight, so every little slip and cheat from your dieting strategy – even if it’s a healthful one – will have a larger impact on your waistline.