Fasting Diets… Overall A Bad Idea! Nutrition

Considering going on a fasting diet?  Here are some things you should know before you start!  When you eat less than you need to lose weight, your body goes into starvation mode.  To save energy, your metabolism slows down.  When you’re done fasting and go back to your usual routine you may regain the weight you lost, and then some.

On a fast, your body adjusts by curbing your appetite, so you feel less hungry at first.  But once you have stopped fasting, your appetite revs back up, making you feel hungrier and more likely to overeat.  Most people on fasting diets end up gaining more weight in the long-term.

Fasting for a few days probably won’t hurt most people who are healthy, provided they don’t get dehydrated (we get a significant amount of water from the foods we consume).  But fasting for long periods of time can be extremely dangerous.  Long fasts result in muscle and bone loss.  They may even make you dizzy and result in constipation.  Fasting can be extremely harmful for those with diabetes as it can lead to dangerous dips and spikes in blood sugar.

Some fasting diets allow liquids like juice and tea.  If your goal is to cleanse or detoxify your body you should know that this will not happen.  That’s your liver and kidneys job – whether you’re fasting, juicing or etc.

The healthier option is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day (e.g. 6 meals that are 300-350 calories) while getting a moderate amount of physical activity.  Try taking the stairs or going for a walk at the end of the day.  Small changes are sustainable and have long-term health effects.

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