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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Is Fasting Safe?

With regards to losing weight, one method has become much more widely used in recent years and that method is fasting. Fasting isn't a new idea, in fact quite the opposite, it is probably one of the oldest methods of weight control there is, although that is a completely different story altogether.

The question of whether or not fasting is safe is one that has been posed many times, more often than not by the medical and nutritional experts of the day although both fields are now starting to be a lot more open-minded about this often controversial method of losing weight.

So... is fasting safe?

In general, fasting involves the self-deprivation of food, liquids or both. Then again, fasting may come in different kinds like water only, fruit or vegetable juice fasting, intermittent, etc. But, in many cases, individuals will totally abstain from food intake. Unfortunately, when talking about achieving goals of rapid weight loss, the answer to the question... is fasting safe, is not as cut and dry as many would hope as the answer is both yes and no!

As with everything else in life, most things are fine in moderation and fasting is no different. If you fast for too long then the effects can be negative causing illnesses and conditions ranging from anorexia to liver failure, but fasting for comparatively short periods of time but on a regular basis can provide many benefits including colonic health and clearer skin as well as weight loss.

Although it is a 100% true that the many types of fasting will help people to lose weight pretty quickly, it can also be true that a lot of that weight would be fluids and not fat, well at least initially anyway and only if you were in a total fast, that's when you consume no water and no food, not recommended by the way!

Here are some of the reasons why fasting shouldn't be considered for weight loss and also why it should be! Confused?

1. Fasting slows your metabolism. - This means that the fat you are trying to lose starts to be burned at a much slower rate therefore you stop losing weight. This is true but what isn't highlighted is how long you need to be in a fasting state for your metabolism to start slowing down.

Look at it this way, most of us have been on a diet or two, but what all diets fundamentally do, no matter how they are disguised, is reduce the daily intake of calories. What we discover with all diets is that they all reach a weight loss plateau, most are around the two weeks mark. This plateau is when the weight loss you have been experiencing with the diet for the previous two weeks either drastically slows down or stops altogether!

The reason this happens is that the body's metabolism has adjusted to the new lower calorie intake and once it has done so it will stop burning the reserves of fat. Fasting for a long period of time will have the same effects, it too will reach a plateau. However, intermittent fasting periods of 24 hours will not have any effect on your metabolism yet will STILL reduce your weekly calorific intake.

2. Fasting is not recommended for individuals with health issues. - If a person has an existing health issue or if he or she is taking specific medications, fasting should be avoided as fasting can easily aggravate those health conditions or compromise one's immune system. An unhealthy person needs all the nutrients he can get while any individual taking certain drugs needs substantial digestive material to safely ingest those medications and even to help them to work their intended actions.

The majority of this is true, however there are many medical conditions that would benefit greatly from intermittent fasting and there are alternative medications for most complaints that work just as well without food as with it. Always remember, we are talking about intermittent fasting periods of no longer than 24 hours, a third of which would be spent sleeping! I'm sure there are many millions of Muslims and people of other religions who fast frequently for religious reasons who safely take medication and fast at the same time. The safest option is to always consult with your doctor.

Ultimately, the issue of safety when fasting depends totally upon the circumstances, there are certain crucial factors that if ignored could pose a real danger to your health but by following a sensible fasting guideline provided by nutritional experts who base their work on scientifically proven fact then the road to safe, natural weight loss is open.

If you need to lose weight but struggle with diets then you need to learn more about intermittent fasting and there is no better guide than Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat. Find out more about this revolutionary weight loss method by reading this Eat Stop Eat Review.

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