Can Fasting Help to Lose Weight?

Fasting is quite common in our culture; it is an age old religious practice which is done to please the God. With the changing times, people have started associating this religious practice of fasting as a motive to lose weight. So now days people abstain themselves from food purposely to shed weight and term it as fasting. Fasting which means eating too less to nothing has positive results and helps in weight loss but in the long run its positive results can outweigh the number of health risks that fasting can cause.

Except for the actual fasts, the religious ones other fasts that people keep in order to lose weight are:

  • Juice fast- This means living on liquids which are fruit and vegetable juices only. In a juice fast nothing solid is eaten for a certain period of time which can be a day or two or even a week. This kind of a fast is simple but then one needs to keep taking certain amount of vitamins and minerals required by the body.
  • Water only fast- This is a very stringent fast so it has to be properly supervised by a medical expert. Living on water for a few days is not a joke, but there are people who follow this fast to see faster results.
  • Partial fasting- In this kind of a fast certain foods are excluded from the diet like rice, meat or wheat. It also involves restricting of meals from three to one.
  • Liquid protein fast- This is a kind of fast for obese people, but again this has to be done only after the consultation of a doctor.
  • Cleansing fast- This fast is done to cleanse the body of toxins and food, in this liquid like lemon juice and other health drinks are taken 6 to 12 times a day.

Fasting, in reality is an extreme way of dieting. Abstaining from food for a period of time is not easy neither is it a healthy way of losing weight. It has its benefits but then in the long run it has a lot of side effects.

Side Effects of fasting

Short term

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart beat
  • It becomes difficult for those who are fasting to drive a vehicle or to operate a machine.
  • Gallstones

Long term effects

Fasting can be dangerous in the long term and can have the following side effects:

  • It can damage the immune system.
  • The organs in the body can get affected if rigorous fasting is done.
  • Those who are malnourished should abstain from fasting as it can deteriorate one’s health.

Fasting may look attractive and an easy way to lose weight but depriving oneself from essential nutrients and minerals is not a healthy way of losing weight. So one can fast but under proper medical supervision, otherwise it can cause a lot of damage to the body from inside.