This question came up recently as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic, when many people were turning to dieting to lose weight. While there is no denying that obesity affects thousands of people around the world each year, it is certainly not the only factor behind the recent upsurge in fast food orders and online weight loss challenges. People are looking for ways to shed those extra pounds whether it’s for medical reasons or because they just feel like it’s time for a change. So, is fasting a good way to lose weight? Let’s dive into the popular trend and find out.
How Well Does Fasting Work?
Thanks to the work of scientists like Dr. Ronel Meshel, the world is becoming more familiar with the potential benefits of intermittent fasting. When you eat only what you need and eliminate those foods that you know you should not eat, you can boost your body’s energy and burn fat more effectively. There are various types of fasting, but we’ll discuss the commonly practiced ‘water fasting’, where you drink only water and avoid eating anything for a specific period of time.
In a 2009 study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers compared the effects of water fasting with those of a typical meal plan on 12 obese participants. After only 10 days of water fasting, the participants lost an average of 4.5kg (9.7 pounds) more than they had before starting the diet, while on a typical diet they managed to shed only 1.5kg (3.3 pounds). At the end of the 20-week trial, the water fast group had on average lost 8.8kg (19.2 pounds) more than the control group. Similar results were seen in another study where the participants had to fast for 3 hours before their meal, compared to a 15-minute window for the control group.
These studies clearly showed the benefits of short-term water fasting, but they cannot account for the long-term effects of the diet. Most individuals will lose significant weight and experience many health benefits from water fasting, but the number of people who could sustain it indefinitely is fairly small. In the long-term, repeated cycles of short-term starvation and re-feeding may cause a number of problems, especially when you consider the impact that obesity can have on your overall health. If you want to lose weight, it is certainly a good idea to try fasting for a while, but it’s not something to build a diet plan around.
Why Has Fasting Grown In Popularity?
The last couple of years have seen a huge surge in interest for water fasting, thanks to celebrity endorsements and modern-day influencers promoting the practice. Naturally, when Kaya, Miranda, and Gigi from the Kardashian family started touting the potential health benefits of water fasting, as well as sharing their personal experiences with the diet, the trend was bound to take off.
Amongst other health benefits, the Kardashians and other celebs who have tried water fasting report that it helps them get into ketosis more easily, and allows them to better control their weight. If you’re struggling with obesity and looking for alternatives, why not try out this trend, which has been proven to help people lose weight and improve their health?
Is It Easy To Follow?
Let’s be honest, following a diet plan is never easy, and it’s especially difficult when you consider that you’re not supposed to be eating what you want. Whether it’s because you feel guilty after eating something you were told you should not have, or because you think that certain foods will make you fat, the list of excuses goes on. The fact is, we were not designed to eat whatever we want whenever we feel like it.
With that being said, water fasting is not a complicated diet plan. You are, however, required to keep a record of what you eat and drink, which can be slightly challenging. The research studies we mentioned above clearly show that short-term water fasting is extremely effective at helping people lose weight, and there is also a wealth of information available online from doctors and health psychologists who can help you set up a personalized plan for your own unique body. You’re not alone in wanting to lose weight, and with water fasting, you can be sure that you’re not doing anything wrong.
In a time where food delivery apps have made it quick and easy to order what you want, why not try a diet that allows you to indulge without feeling guilty? With the right support and guidance, water fasting is something that anyone can do.
So, is fasting a good way to lose weight? It certainly has the potential to be very effective, but its impact on your health will depend on how much you’re willing to sacrifice. In the right settings, with the right support network, it’s a diet that could be extremely beneficial to a lot of people, but not something to base your whole diet plan around. If you’re looking for an easy way to lose weight, why not give it a try? You might just find that it’s the key to unlocking better health.