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Should you try fasting for weight loss?

Fasting is a popular method for weight loss. But there are downsides to fasting. In this article I’ll look at the different types of fasting, the effectiveness of fasting, and the downsides to fasting for weight loss.



Fasting for weight loss


The different types of fasting


People often choose methods of fasting for weight loss. This might be following a strict protocol like intermittent fasting, or it may mean not eating prior to an event so you can indulge at the event.



Types of fasting for weight loss


Here are some of the most common methods of fasting:


Intermittent fasting


Intermittent fasting involves having intermittent periods where you are allowed to eat, and periods where you are not. Some common types of intermittent fasting allow for an 8 hour feeding window and 16 hours of fasting every 24 hours or a 12 hour feeding/ fasting cycle.


Juice Fasting


Sometimes known as a juice cleanse, a juice fast allows you to only have juices of fruits or vegetables for a period of time. They usually last for several days.


Water Fasting


The most extreme of the fasting types is a water fast. In this type of fast you consume only water for several days.


Does fasting result in long-term weight loss?


Although it is not marketed that way, fasting works by restricting calories. When you are limiting the time you eat, you are limiting the amount of food that you can eat. Fasting does usually result in short term weight loss, but especially for the more extreme types of fasting, long term weight loss is rare. And while fasting can lead to short term weight loss, the initial weight loss is from muscle loss and water loss.


Why fasting doesn't work for long term weight loss

  • Fasting doesn’t help you to develop healthy eating habits. In fact, it can result in worse eating habits than you started

  • Fasting can cause your body to slow your metabolism as it tries to store energy.

  • Especially with fasting that lasts several days (including juice fasts), you will have difficulty getting enough protein. This means that you can lose muscle mass and slow your metabolism

  • Many people have issues with maintaining their exercise program when fasting, which results in further muscle loss and slowing metabolism

  • During fasting you’ll likely limit non exercise physical activity

  • Fasting, even intermittent fasting, can be difficult to maintain and can lead to binging, overeating and other disordered eating patterns

  • Fasting can disrupt the hormones that control hunger and satiety


Hormone guide



Other downsides of fasting


There are also several other health issues related to fasting:

  • Fasting can disrupt female reproductive hormones. This can affect your mood, metabolism, and your monthly cycle. It can also have long term health effects.

  • You may not be able to get all of the nutrients that your body needs while fasting.

  • It can be difficult to fit fasting into your lifestyle.

  • Diabetics need to monitor glucose levels very closely if they choose to fast. Your blood sugar levels can become too low which can have serious health effects.

  • Fasting can lead to low blood sugar levels in non diabetics as well. This is less likely to cause serious side effects, but will likely affect your mood and mental faculties. If you’ve experienced the “hangry” feeling you know what this is.

  • Other side effects of fasting include constipation, dizziness, dehydration and fatigue.

  • Fasting is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding


Downsides to fasting


Should I fast or restrict meals before a big dinner or event?


People often consider fasting prior to a big dinner or big event so they can make room for overindulging. But this type of fasting can be dangerous. It can result in low blood sugar, dehydration, mood disruption and binging (on both food and alcoholic beverages). It will also lead to more fat being stored as your body goes into starvation mode.


Fasting is not the solution for weight loss


Fasting is popular on social media because of the short term weight loss, but long term weight loss is unlikely. The risks of this method of weight loss far outweigh the short term benefits.






If you are considering fasting as a method for weight loss, consulting with a nutrition professional can help you determine what the best course of action is for you. I offer personalized plans that will fit your lifestyle and help to provide you with lasting results. Book a free call to find out how I can help to finally balance your gut, lose body fat, and love your body.


Warm wishes,


Vicki Witt Nutrition and Weight Loss





Vicki Witt | Clinical Nutritionist | Holistic Coach | Reiki Master | Certified LEAP allergy therapist Over 25 years of successfully helping you achieve optimal health and weight loss 🍏| www.vickiwittweightloss.com


About Vicki:

Vicki Witt is a Clinical Nutritionist, Holistic Health Coach, and Reiki Master. She has been practicing over 25 years and specializes in holistically customizing diet and lifestyle plans to each individual for weight loss and hormonal control. Her clientele often report they feel the best they have ever felt and wish they had started sooner. One of the USA and Australia's top Nutritionists, she has won multiple awards for her services in the industry.

  

ATMS
Nutrition society of Australia

Certified and Registered Nutritionist


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