Is Fasting an Effective Diet?

Since fasting involves reducing food intake and less food usually equals weight loss, many people wouldn’t think twice before calling fasting a diet, but is that true? And, if so, is it an effective way to lose weight?

Fasting habits around the globe

Fasting can be defined as “voluntarily not eating food for varying lengths of time.”

Many people fast for religious reasons. For Christians, for instance, the fasting period lasts seven weeks. It begins on Ash Wednesday and ends at Easter. Similarly, Muslims observe the Ramadan, which is their month of fasting, when they fast from dawn to sunset. Some followers of both religions also refrain from other things, such as smoking, sweets, alcohol, fast food and sex.

water, one of the very few things people are allowed to have when fasting

There are also those who only consume liquids during the fasting period. In this case, it is important to drink about 2.5 liters per day and not to consume any sugary drinks, but water and tea instead. However, fruit and vegetable juices or vegetable broth can also be consumed (the equivalent to up to 500 calories per day if necessary).

During fast, it is recommended to exercise regularly in spite of the low calory intake (which is normally about 2000 calories per day). Moreover, you should return to your regular diet in stages — and not make a giant leap from water to fast food!

Why people fast

There are millions of people worldwide who refrain from eating for some time religious reasons. But it is becoming more popular outside of religious traditions. Losing weight is not the most important thing for many people. For them, it is rather a matter of bringing body and soul into harmony.

girl fasting and meditating at beach

Regardless of what the motives are, fast always means a shift for the body because it has to get used to the reduced calorie intake. But not every person reacts to it in the same way. For this reason, you should consult a doctor beforehand in order to discuss possible health risks.

Fasting and losing weight

Fasting as a weight-loss method usually turns out to be unsuccessful. The reason is simple: usually, people tend to fall back into the old patterns right after. If you are aiming for long-lasting effects, you should try a well-planned, less radical disciplined approach.

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