Can Fasting Really Make You Lose Fat In Less Time? Years ago, skipping meals was the top anti aging fat loss diet trend among women. People are really deep into the old age practice of fasting as a do-it-yourself anti aging weight loss diet meal plan to lose unimaginable pounds off their bodies. This can be intimidating, challenging and crazy. You may remember how you followed this skip meal diet, lose weight in a few weeks, and then got back the weight after a few months. This is the only plan I’ve known with a high drop out rate and with an increasing complains for bouts of headaches.
Is fasting healthy? Eating little to no food can be intimidating, but people expect to do this solely for the purpose of losing weight fast. Once you get used to it, it is not a big deal anymore. Apparently, this diet is all about how fast you can adapt to the changes in your body.
Fasting regimens vary. In any fasting method you try, you should understand the consequence of dramatically reducing your calorie intake and even to the extent of not following a balanced diet. To be clear, fasting does not mean deprivation.
Fasting for shorter periods, such as intermittent fasting, can help you optimize some hormones related to weight control. There are several intermittent fasting styles you can employ, such as the 8 hour or the 10 hour window feeding.
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Keep in mind that the initial weight loss on a fast is primarily fluid and not fat. Unless you know how to fast properly, then you can lose some of those sagging belly fat. As long as you don’t compensate by eating much more during the non-fasting periods, you will do fine in losing some belly fat.
Remember, that losing weight through fasting may cause all kinds of health problems, of which the primary issue would be muscle loss. Not all people lose weight for long term in a fast. Body fat is the body’s way of storing energy.
When you start fasting, your body goes into a conservation mode, burning calories more slowly that when you go back to eating, any lost weight usually gets a return ticket back. One study suggests that fasting for about 48 hours boosts metabolism by 3.6-14%, however longer can suppress metabolism.
People who fast improperly tend to add a few extra pounds instead of losing them. This is because a slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight rather than lose weight. To lose weight with intermittent fasting, patience and consistency are two factors that can help you work on your goals.
One trick is to engage in strength training if you want to lose the fat and build the muscle, because oftentimes, with fasting, you lose some muscles at the same time. Fasting is an age-old practice, usually taken without much knowledge, but the sole theory that if you don’t eat, you lose weight.
Worse, after some time, you start to gain weight, but the weight regained is fat. Your muscle loss should be added back at the gym. Obviously, the most popular method to weight loss is through fasting or as much as possible, not eating at all.
Do you try not to eat because you believe that by fasting or skipping meals + snacks will result in a slimmer and sexier you? You could be wrong. Healthy adults may do a fast fine, but can be high risk for those who are planning to fast for prolonged periods. Choose a sustainable method that can benefit you long term, and always know what to eat during the feeding phase.
The second popular method is by drinking fruit and vegetable juices. But, haven’t you thought about its consequence? Is fasting the best way to lose weight?
Yes, it is true that fasting is the quickest way to lose weight. However, the drop of pounds may be attributed to the fluid loss you had during the fasting period.
It is an easy way off, but it comes back quickly once you are done with it. You need to understand that you are creating more harm when you fast, especially when you fast for longer periods of time.
In other trials and short term studies, people who fast for a day eats about 10 to 15% more calories once they break their fast. They may not binge the next day, but they do eat more during normal feeding times.
Most medical experts agree fasting is not a healthy weight loss management tool. It can actually make your weight issues worse. How much people lose on fasting depends on their height and weight. One thing though, do not fast if you are dealing with other health issues.
If you are healthy, fasting a day can rarely give you a problem, but can be quite dangerous when you are not eating a healthy diet. You are going to compromise your immune system functioning, liver, or kidney. The modern population’s lifestyle, combined with longer waking hours, has been shown to reduce the enforced period of fasting during sleep. It may be possible to design methods of combating obesity and metabolic disorders as long as you have enough knowledge what to eat between fasts and when to fast.
Lose weight, stay healthy, and live longer by selecting the right fasting method for you. Try not to fast on your own. You need to consult a medical practitioner if the fast you want to follow is appropriate for your medical condition and existing health issues.
Modern lifestyles favor longer periods of daily energy intake and shorter fasting periods. This erratic eating pattern is associated with metabolic disadvantages and contributes to the current global obesity and diabetes epidemic.
Count your calories
The best way to lose weight and still live healthy is to count your calories and to eat a healthy diet meal plan. Fasting too long lowers your metabolic rate and predisposes you to even more weight gain.
If you are healthy and follow a well-balanced diet, fasting for a day or two may not be a problem. Fasting is not advisable as a method for sustained weight loss, because there is an art to it, if you do not do it properly, it carries health risks.
Fasting with a liver or kidney problem compromises the functioning of your immune system. So, please make sure you consult a medical practitioner before you follow other people’s fast program.
Long term starvation has been associated with a transition to lipid catabolism evidenced by a reduced respiratory exchange ratio. As a result, an animal loses body mass when fasting.
The body protein is at its lowest during a fast, because of the normal turnover of tissues and amino acid pools. To avoid this from happening, you can read more about intermittent fasting with an 8 to 12 hour window combined with exercise, which results in greater improvements.
Animals lose body mass rapidly when protein is used as fuel, because they also lose body water when they break down lean mass, which may compromise homeostasis and resistance to infection.
The physiology of fasting, food limitation, and food deprivation. Food limitation is not a new phenomenon and so is food deprivation. There are many incidences of animal deaths from starvation, or even human deaths from starvation. Both starvation and fasting are states of abstinence from food for which the main difference is the purpose and length of time of the abstinence.
Is starvation similar to fasting? Starvation is a situation where the human mass and energy inputs do not meet its mass and energy requirements. Starvation can be the result of an eating disorder or an undesired consequence of lack of access to food. fasting may include following a very low calorie diet at a specific period of time for a particular purpose, such as religious practice.
As a misconception, most men and women often associate weight loss dieting with prolonged fasting. Are you aware that your body undergoes metabolic transitions during feast and famine periods? When embarking on a fast, it is important that you avoid starvation, and should do this only for a short period of time, such as 8 to 12 hours, provided that fluid intake is adequate.
The 24 hour period energy expenditure of your body includes the energy cost of tissue synthesis. You should not fast over 24 hours. Not eating anything can make your weight drop off your body pretty quickly. Long fasting is a way of staying in ketosis for an extended period of time.
Long fasting is an effective way to lose a lot of weight quickly, but you may gain it all back again afterwards. Like any other diet, it can help you lose weight, but won’t help you keep it off unless you also make a long term change in your diet after the fast is over. There is a technique to doing this properly.
You need to calculate and consider the components of your energy requirements before you decide to go on a fast, such as your basal metabolism, which defines the series of functions essential to keep you alive.
The cell function and replacement, metabolism of enzymes, maintenance of body temperature, synthesis and secretion of enzymes, and the synthesis and secretion of hormones to transport proteins are ultimately affected by fasting.
The metabolic processes of heat production and oxygen consumption affects your total energy expenditure. Your obligatory and discretionary physical activities play a big part in your daily energy expenditure.
The dietary recommendations are closely linked to your factorial estimates of total energy expenditure. Please tell me now, is fasting healthy?
How Long Can Your Body Survive Fasting?
Fasting for obesity weight management is not healthy. Your body can go without oxygen for a max of 10 minutes, without water for a max of 8 days, and 70 days without food.
Starvation undergoes a process and does not shut down the body from the lack of food. As long as water is available, we undergo a series of metabolic modes and reallocation of resources.
This gives us time to find some food, in case of food scarcity. But, what happens to your body in a starvation mode? The ultimate risk of fasting, of course, is death by starvation. Taking anything extreme is perilous.
Starvation is an end result of the inability of the body to metabolize due to inadequate intake of nutrients. The factors surrounding the process could be prolonged fasting, deprivation, or anorexia.
Take note of what I just said – prolonged fasting is not healthy! Prolonged food deprivation of your body is not healthy.
In the first phase, glucose is produced from glycogen, proteins, and fats. In the second phase, the fats became the primary source of energy.
After a week of fasting, the brain begins to use the ketone body for energy. The third phase begins when the fats were depleted and there is a switch to proteins as the major energy source.
The muscles, which is the largest source of protein in the body are being scavenged and depleted. At this stage, cell function degenerates.
This makes you susceptible to infectious diseases. One symptom of starvation is a bloated abdomen because of massive edema in the abdomen and lower limbs.
Edema is the medical term for swelling. Your body parts swell due to inflammation or injury. Edema is the body’s response to inflammation or injury.
It happens when your small blood vessels or capillaries leak and release fluid into the surrounding tissues. The extra fluid builds up and caused the tissue to swell.
Absolute fast can be dangerous
Instances of absolute fast may not be possible. The human body can survive a long time without food, but deteriorates rapidly without water.
It is not advisable to follow an absolute fast. Without any medical advice, fasting can be fatal.
Research suggests that the human body will do everything to avoid compromising the brain and the nervous system. The danger point that you could use is the level of acetone and urea in the urine.
A decrease of acetone would mean exhaustion of fat stores. An increase of urea would mean greater protein combustion.
After prolonged fasting, as much as three-quarters of muscle energy production and more than half of the brain’s energy supply will be from the butyrate and acetoacetate where the acetone is produced as a byproduct of the process.
Prolonged fasting produces acetone. Acetone is not metabolized by the body and is expired in the breath.
Then, there is the important question of what you should eat on your fasting days. I hope you understand you need a well-thought plan when you fast, so you can develop a meal plan that supports what your body needs during the fast.
The brain directly uses the fatty acids as an energy source, and in prolonged fasting the glucose requirement of the brain falls from 100g per day to 40g per day. The use of ketones represents a substantial break on the depletion of lean tissue during starvation.
Acetone is the smell of the breath of a person in diabetic coma. Persons on severe reducing diets with severely restricted carbohydrate intake experiences a mild ketosis.
With little or not eating, the body has less food to digest and absorb, which have an energy cost. During starvation, the rate of energy expenditure decreases and the rate at which energy stores are used up to also decrease.
Some adverse consequences of using starvation for fast weight loss
- Wasting of lean tissue and vital organs
- Shrinkage of heart muscle, irregular heart rhythm and risk of heart failure
- Reduced digestive and absorption capability in the gut often leading to diarrhea
- Reduced growth and development in children and young people, perhaps intellectual as well as physical development
- Depressed immune function and increased susceptibility to infections
- Delayed puberty, lack of menstruation, infertility and loss of sex drive
- Reduced bone density (osteoporosis) and increased risk of fractures, especially stress fractures in anorexic athletes
- Slow healing of wounds
- Reduced strength and physical work capacity and impaired performance with dancers and athletes
- Insomnia, changes in personality and brain function
- Endocrine function becomes deranged
- Pituitary gonadotrophin secretion is greatly depressed
A woman needs a certain amount of fat to maintain fertility and the proper menstrual cycle. The reduced secretion of sex hormones can lead to a loss of the bone mass.
Fasting increases the risk of malnutrition, which predisposes you to infection. When you fast, you also set up a cycle of malnutrition and infection.
To satisfy your hunger, you need to learn how to prepare your food, eat vegetables and good protein, and follow a nutritious diet meal plan.
Metabolic changes during prolonged fasting
If the pattern of fuel utilization that occurs during a brief fast were to persist for an extended period, the body’s protein would be quite rapidly consumed to the point at which critical functions would be compromised. The metabolic changes that occur during the prolonged fasting, which conserve (spare) muscle protein can cause this muscle protein turnover to decrease.
After 3 to 5 days of fasting, when the body enters the starved state, the muscle decreases its use of the ketone bodies and depends mainly on fatty acids for its fuel. The liver, however, continues to convert fatty acids to ketone bodies. The result is a rise of the concentration of the ketone bodies in the blood.
The brain begins to take up these ketone bodies from the blood and oxidizes them for energy. Therefore, the brain needs less glucose than it did after an overnight fast. While glucose is still required as an energy source for the red blood cells, the body conserves the glucose, by using less of it.
Because the stores of glycogen in the liver are depleted by approximately 30 hours of fasting, gluconeogenesis is the only process by which the liver can supply glucose to the blood if the fasting continues. Gluconeogenesis is a metabolic pathway that results in the generation of glucose from non-carbohydrate carbon substrates.
This process occurs mainly in the liver, but also occurs to a more limited extent in the kidney and the small intestine under some conditions. Ketosis normally occurs after 2 to 3 days of fasting, while gluconeogenesis occurs from 24 hours to 2 days.
The human body has well developed mechanisms for dealing with low food availability. The process of switching from burning glucose to burning fat long term during low food availability is possible.
Fasting is the most efficient and consistent strategy to decrease insulin levels. All foods raise insulin. Regular fasting can lower insulin levels as well as significantly improve insulin sensitivity.
Lowering insulin rids the body of excess salt and water. As a matter of fact, the insulin causes the salt and water retention in the kidney.
The use of a multivitamin will provide the recommended daily allowance of micronutrients. This is not the main solution nor this is a replacement of a nutritious, well-balanced meal plan.
Know that you need to take care of your body’s nutrients and minerals and other enzymes. Please do not follow a do-it-yourself fasting if you fail to understand even a small part of what I have been talking in this article.
As I have said, please consult your doctor and take a lab test first before starting to fast. The reason is to know when to eat, when not to eat, and what to eat when you eat!
Breaking the fast correctly is one of the most important ways to prevent any negative consequences. If you have been fasting for any length of time, the nutrients can be severely depleted, which may result in serious acute deficiencies, causing heart failure, hypotension, and sudden death.
Fasting in a fast world full of fastfoods may not be easy, and dangerous when you do not take the right nutrients after you break the fast. Now, after reading the full article, you are well aware of the effects, limitations, benefits, and dangers of fasting.
Brief periods of total fasting, which is about 24 to 36 hours, generally decrease times to exhaustion and impair sustained muscular contractions, often with a deterioration in motor coordination and balance. Longer periods of fasting, about 2.5 to 10 days, reduce the maximal oxygen intake, the submaximal working capacity, and the endurance of aerobic activity.
The Minnesota starvation experiments demonstrate that over 24 weeks of grossly inadequate food intake, there was a reduction of oxygen intake and duration of treadmill running, along with a decrease in red cell count and other radiographic estimates of heart volume.
When a person is healthy, the red blood cells change to body cells, when one is sick, the reverse will happen. Modern physiology believes that bone marrow produces blood. However, the normal physiological blood production is done by the intestine.
The concept that a red blood cell transforms into a body cell is unique, and along with the concept of food transforming into red blood cells, in the field of science, has not before been imagined. In the human body, the digested food transforms itself into the simplest life, which is the red blood cell, and this simple life transforms to a higher stage of life – body cell!
Barboza, P. S., Parker, K. L. & Hume, I. D. (2009). Integrative Wildlife Nutrition. Germany: Springer.
Bouhlel, E., & Shephard, R. J. (2016). Optimizing physical performance during fasting and dietary restriction. New York: CRC Press.
Dvorsky, G. (2012). How Your Body Fights to Keep You Alive When You’re Starving. http://io9.com/5941883/how-your-body-fights-to-keep-you-alive-when-youre-starving
FAO/WHO/UNU. (2001). Human Energy Requirements: Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU Expert Consultation. Rome: FAO.
McCue, M. D. (2012). Comparative Physiology of Fasting, Starvation, and Food Limitation. New York: Springer.
Webb, G. P. (2013). Nutrition: Maintaining and Improving Health, 4th edition. Boca Raton,FL: CRC Press.
One to two medium fasting periods of 10 to 14 days per year are also recommended. For maintenance and detoxification fasts, one day a week or three days a month should suffice. The transition period is critical. Fasting isn’t just something as simple as fasting for 7 days, then stop and return to your normal life. It takes preparation, nutrition knowledge, a follow through, and a transition back to a healthy normal diet.
It is important while fasting to drink a significant amount of water, so your body doesn’t confuse thirst with hunger. Be careful not to overhydrate quickly or you might flush out important electrolytes. The modern rule of thumb for hydration is drink as your thirst dictates. For your anti aging fat loss, you need to rebuild your body’s nutritional reserves when you break the fast.