There is a weight loss resource that most of us overlook, most likely because...we can't see ourselves doing it. The weight loss resource to which I refer is fasting to lose weight.
Since I have had this strange involvement with the diet world for so long it stands to reason that I have done my share of fasting. After all, I have tried just about everything else.
Before taking a look at the more common methods of fasting it's important to look at some potential benefits of fasting...and also some of the dangers of fasting.
The Benefits of FastingFast weight loss (You will lose weight fast but not as fast as you may think. And you will gain your weight back rapidly after going off the fast.)
Cleanses the body of fecal debris
Eliminates unwanted body fluids
The Dangers of FastingCan cause muscle loss
Slows your metabolism which makes it harder to lose weight
Joint and muscle aches
Lack of concentration
Just like any other diet there are numerous approaches to fasting. Here are some of the more common methods.
1. The water fast- Some fasting advocates actually fast for up to 40 days at a time. But such a fast is ill-advised. Most experts say that you should never fast on water only for more than 3 days. Even that can be risky if you don't drink LOTS of water.
2. The one day a week fast- Some people have had weight loss success by taking one day per week off from eating.
3. The every other day fast- I was a little surprised that people who have adopted this means of dieting eat whatever they want on non-fast days. By not changing their eating habits they are setting themselves up for failure.
4. The half day fast- This kind of fast just does not produce weight loss. This kind of trickery to the system can actually result in gaining weight.
5. The spiritual fast- I have no argument with such a fast. If you feel that fasting is necessary for a closer walk with God then do it. Just be careful to drink plenty of water and keep it within the 3 day window as previously mentioned.
6. The lemonade fast- I have tried this diet and actually stayed on it for about 2 weeks. The purpose of the diet is primarily that of cleansing the body of toxins and removing fecal debris. As far as weight lost during the fast it will come back quickly. The lemonade potion that I used consisted of organic maple syrup, lemon juice, water, and cayenne pepper. You sip on the concoction throughout the day. It was OK for a couple of days but I ultimately grew very tired of lemonade.
7. The juice fast- The best juicer that I have tried is the Jack LaLanne Juicer. This is a great way consuming raw fruit and vegetables without losing vital nutrients and still getting the benefits of some of the fiber. Just be careful not to consume too many sugary fruit juices. This is actually a partial fast and the juicing serves as a once or twice per day meal substitute.
8. The detox fast- Detox advocates suggest implementing this fast 3 times per year for 7 days at a time. It requires more than a gallon of water per day, anti-oxidant supplements, multi-vitamins, and a several glasses of fruit and vegetable juice per day. If this sounds like something that your body needs then conduct and online search for a reputable site on the subject. Some friends of swear by this fasting technique. But note that they don't do it for weight loss although it will probably produce some short term weight loss benefit.
9. The flush fast- Requires a gallon and a half of water per day plus green tea. You can still eat several meals per day. Advocates maintain that this diet will flush fat from the body and boost metabolism if you do it once per month.
That's an overview of fasting as a weight loss resource. As I said I have tried some of these fasting techniques over the years but in every instance the weight I lost came back quickly. And so it is for every quick weight loss method. The weight just comes back...plus some.
The only thing that ultimately worked for me was to change to a healthy lifestyle that involved eating healthy and getting consistent exercise. Of all the hundreds (or thousands) of diet possibilities a healthy lifestyle is the only thing that gets the weight off and keeps it off. More importantly there are no health risks but there are numerous wellness benefits.
If you still want to dive into fasting then I highly recommend that you consult a physician first.