Fasting for Weight Loss

One way that some people attempt to lose weight is fasting. Going without food, reducing your overall calorie intake, can help you lose weight, but it is not always the healthiest option. Keep reading for information on fasting, and the pros and cons of fasting for weight loss.


Fasting is a part of many world religions. It is common in many parts of the world to have specific, dedicated times that adherents go without food for some prescribed period. However, in the religious sense of fasting, the goal is to learn how to use the spirit to conquer the body, and achieve a greater spirituality. The religious are not the only people who fast, however. Fasting is becoming an increasingly popular method of weight loss. This is for somewhat obvious reasons. When you are fasting, you are not bringing in any calories, yet you are burning calories. The resulting deficit then leads to weight loss. Like all techniques that rely on one main method for weight loss, though, it is important to temper your efforts of weight loss through fasting.

Arguments in favor of fasting for weight loss

There are some interesting arguments in favor of fasting for weight loss, beyond the argument that reducing your food intake will help you lose weight faster. Some of the arguments in favor of fasting include:

  • Detoxification: There are those that suggest that fasting allows the body to get rid of toxins that can harm the body. Fasting provides a chance for the body to cleanse itself before adding more food to the body. In some cases, fasting only refers to solid foods, and a special liquid diet, designed for detoxification, is used.
  • Fasting teaches self control: With the help of fasting for weight loss, some supporters say, the dieter can learn true self control. This will get the person used to the idea that he or she can use will power to deny harmful foods.
  • Fasting breaks an unhealthy cycle of reliance on food: Some believe that too much reliance on food for comfort is unhealthy. Fasting is meant to help break an unhealthy relationship with food, and replace it with a better relationship in which the person is more in control.

Problems with fasting for weight loss

It is important not to overly influenced by the claims that fasting for weight loss is a good idea. Indeed, while occasional fasting may be part of a healthy and spiritual lifestyle, using fasting as a method of weight control is not recommended by medical experts. One of the issues with fasting for weight loss is that the weight you lose can return quite quickly. If you start eating again, you will see the pounds pack back on. You will be tempted to fast again, and you could find yourself in an unhealthy cycle of weight gain and loss.

Some of the other issues associated with using fasting as a way to lose weight include:

  • Fasting slows your metabolism: As you fast, your metabolism slows. Your body is getting signals that it won't be getting food anytime soon and goes into storage mode. Once your metabolism slows, you will find that when you start eating a regular diet again, it will result in faster weight gain.
  • Enhance health problems: If you have immune problems, or issues with your kidneys or other vital organs, fasting can be a problem. Indeed, if you are not already healthy, fasting can worsen the health problems that you have.
  • Gets rid of good bacteria: Using some sort of liquid "cleanser" as part of your fast for weight loss can eliminate the good bacteria in your intestines.
  • Can lead to loss of muscle and dehydration: Fasting can lead to loss of muscle, especially if you are not as active as a result of lost energy because of your fast. Additionally, dehydration can be an issue if you are not taking in liquids, or if you are abstaining from solids while using some sort of enema.

There are some known health benefits due to fasting. Occasional fasting can be good for the body and the mind, and many people feel a spiritual connection that can help them relax and feel an increased sense of well being. These are benefits that should not be taken lightly. However, there is no need to get carried away. While fasting does have benefits, it is best to practice in moderation, and follow the rules of good diet and exercise for healthy weight loss.

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