September 8, 2021
Will Fasting Help You Lose Weight?
Your Family Doctors Offer Tips For “Dieting Season”
Did you know that the beginning of autumn is one of the most popular times to start a diet?
January is probably the most common month for people to decide to start dieting, but October – in advance of the holiday “feasting” season – is considered by many to be the second most common.
Many folks choose “crash diets” or other fads in an effort to lose weight quickly. Your doctors in Castle Rock, though, want you to maintain peak health while losing weight, and that means a gimmicky diet is not a good choice.
Even worse, some people choose a “diet” with which they eat nothing at all! There’s a lot of buzz around fasting as a weight loss method, and if you’ve heard stories of dramatic weight loss attributed to fasting, you might be tempted to turn off your nutrition altogether.
You might achieve results that look impressive for the first couple of days, because fasting does help the body cleanse itself, and you’ll lose some excess water weight. But fast for three days or longer, and your metabolism will slow considerably as your body goes into “starvation” mode.
Most people find that the three or four pounds they lose during the first couple of days of fasting come right back when the fast ends… and those pounds bring a couple of “friends” with them!
There Is An Effective Way To Fast: Intermittently
Your metabolism – the rate at which your body burns calories for energy – is the key to healthy weight loss. Burn more than you take in, and you’ll lose weight gradually (and properly).
While total fasting for three or more days dramatically decreases your metabolism (and thwarts your weight loss effort), intermittent fasting actually revs your body’s calorie-burning mechanisms.
That’s because intermittent fasting helps your body cleanse and heal damaged cells, while allowing you to continue fueling your body with nutrition.
What Is Intermittent Fasting?
Intermittent fasting is not, in fact, a diet. It doesn’t prescribe what you eat… only the timing of your intake. It’s best described as an “eating pattern,” not a diet. For that reason, many people find intermittent fasting a comparatively easy way to lose weight and add energy and vitality to their lives.
There are two basic types of intermittent fasting. These include total fasting for an entire day at a time (repeated twice or more weekly), and “clock fasting,” in which you limit your intake to a certain number of hours each day.
One of the most common methods of whole-day total fasting is the “5:2” method, with which you fast during two non-consecutive days each week and eat normally during the other five. Another is an alternate-day method, during which you fast (or reduce your intake drastically – to below 500 calories) every other day.
For clock fasting, most people start with a daily pattern known as “16:8,” during which they limit their intake of everything but water and non-caloric beverages (typically black coffee and tea) to eight consecutive hours out of each 24 hour period (fasting the other 16). “18:6” and “20:4” methods are also popular.
It’s possibly to sabotage your results by “pigging out” during your non-fasting times… but intermittent fasting works very well if you can avoid “intermittent feasting.” Beyond helping you consume fewer calories overall, intermittent fasting speeds your metabolism, aids cell healing and renewal, and helps your body cleanse itself of stored fat and toxins.
If you want to lose weight, talk to your family doctors about intermittent fasting. It’s not a perfect choice for everyone, but it’s definitely one of the healthiest and most natural ways to lose weight while maintaining your energy and vitality. Done properly – and accompanied by exercise and proper nutrition during non-fasting periods – intermittent fasting could be your key to a “new you” in time for the holidays.