Intermittent Fasting is all the rage when it comes to quick solutions to weight loss. As seducing as it looks, it is not an easy route to take. You would have to give yourself two to three weeks to adjust to the fasting regimen and even after that it may not suit your disposition. Fasting purportedly comes with tons of benefits, but if you ask me if it is sustainable, I’d say, “it depends”.
A major caveat of fasting is malnutrition. Again, there are people who adapt remarkably to fasting having kept the weight off for years. Equally, there are people who were found to have become deficient in on nutrient or the other and gave up their journey.
Fasting apparently comes with a host of benefits including but not limited to weight loss, autophagy (that mitigates risk of cancer), ageing well, etc. There are fasting formats of various kinds and the most demanding one is the one-meal-a-day format. Though OMAD diet is obviously great for weight loss, it might entail some form of malnutrition.
The golden word in fasting diets is “ketosis” where your body starts dipping into fat stores rather than blood glucose to carry out its tasks. You’ll achieve ketosis if you fast religiously and take the help of salted lemonade/black coffee/black tea/water to ride it out. I’m no expert on fasting or ketogenic diet; I even ended up in a hospital with B12-deficiency anaemia when I resorted to extreme form of dieting.
I’d say, fast, but probably once or twice a week, tops. You’ll benefit from the benefits it accords and weight loss would be a bonus. I have personally tried it and found that it made me more conscious about the food choices I make. I could also differentiate between hunger and thirst better. I was actually inspired by a lecture on why we can’t seem to diet by a renowned cardiologist and tried out fasting. He suggested that I go on fasting for three straight days to get rid of food addiction, but I didn’t get a chance to try it out, yet.
So, take all precautions like popping a multi-vitamin pill if you are going to go down the fasting route. I’d also recommend that you phase it out: Start with three meals a day (eliminate snacking completely), then go for fasting window of 16 hours, and gradually increase it to 23 over a period of two or three months. Your body will thank you for it. I’d in fact recommend that you check with your family doc before you embark on this journey.
All the best.
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