Fasting is not recommended as a weight loss solution. Fasting to lose weight can lead to developing an eating disorder. It is considered dangerous to fast if you have had an eating disorder in the past as your fasting can trigger a resurgence of the disorder. Fasting to lose weight is also usually ineffective because it means you did not come about the decision to fast with a sound mind and for a greater purpose than vanity, so you will approach the process as an intolerable means to a desired end that has nothing to do with seeking better health and everything to do with seeking to be thin. This will make you more likely to develop an eating disorder wherein you either fall into a pattern of depriving yourself and becoming anorexic, or you develop a habit for overeating or bing eating which is a symptom of Bulimia.
Fasting is also not recommended in the following cases:
- If you have recently had surgery and you’re recovering from surgery
- If you generally feel week or you have anemia
- If you’re pregnant and/or nursing
- If you’re underweight
- If you have a history with anorexia or bulemia
- If you have bleeding ulcers, blood diseases, tumors, cancer or any heart disease
- If you have chronic heart, lung, liver, kidney problems
- If you are hyperglycemic or have other blood sugar problems
Fasting is frequently associated with religion. Some religious people refer to fasting as spending time with God. From a medical perspective, fasting is a way to detoxify your body and is believed to reduce and even eliminate certain medical problems.
3 common fasting programs:
- Dry Fast – you drink 1 quart of fresh water everyday for 3 days to flush out your system.
- Juice Fast – you drink freshly squeezed vegetable and fruit juices.
- Tea Fast – you drink herbal teas (green tea,parsley,nettle,peppermint,dandelion to name a few)
There are other types of fasts you can try. As far as how to fast you will get different information from different sources. How you prepare will obviously depend on the type of fast you choose. For a dry fast you obviously don’t need anything other than water, but many experts discourage against just getting up one day and starting a fast. It makes sense to ease yourself into a fast by gradual reduction otherwise you fight a royal battle trying to fast abruptly and you tend to end your fast just as abruptly and go on an eating rampage.
Being responsible about fasting will always be a better choice than jumping in without preparation or knowledge. You should take the time to understand the benefits of fasting, and you should fast for health benefits rather than as a weight loss method.
Some of the dangers of fasting for cosmetic reasons rather than as a lifestyle health choice include exacerbating a problem with impulse eating. If you are fasting to help speed up weight loss, you are in danger of gaining back your weight as quickly as you lose it once you break the fast because you are not addressing the real problem of impulse control. However, fasting can teach you impulse control if done correctly so that you can use fasting to unlearn your habits for impulse eating.
For a information on how to fast and how to break a fast, here are some good sources:
How to Fast | Fasting Tips | Ways to fast (ygoy.com)
Fasting – How to start (coloncleansingzone.org)
How to fast (healingdaily.com)
And here’s a very interesting piece by Ron Lagerquist that talks about the difficulties faced in staying on your fast.
How to Stay on Your Fast – Ron Lagerquist
Keep in mind that there are side effects to fasting that include headaches, tiredness, hypoglycemia, constipation, acne, increased body odor, and bad breath, fainting, dizziness, low blood pressure, heart arrhythmias, hunger, vomiting, diarrhea, and kidney problems. Usually these problems will be associated with prolonged fasting.