Can fasting accelerate weight loss?

When you start fasting, the body lowers metabolism to maintain normal internal functions. And, when you stop fasting, it becomes difficult for the body to adjust to the sudden change

Rajshree VoraUpdated: Sunday, June 26, 2022, 01:01 PM IST
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Photo: Freepik

Over the past few years, intermittent fasting found a new fanbase in fitness enthusiasts. This type of fasting involves the individual drawing up an eating cycle that restricts consuming food for certain hours. Several people have used intermittent fasting to lose weight and it has worked fabulously for many. Fasting isn't a new concept for Indians as various religious festivals and days see people fasting for an entire day.

But, there are times when intermittent or even regular fasting can backfire. I have seen cases where people lose around seven to 10 kg in the first few days and then gain weight because of the resumption of old dietary habits. The reason is a change in metabolism. When you start fasting, the body lowers metabolism to maintain normal internal functions. And, when you stop fasting, it becomes difficult for the body to adjust to the sudden change. Certain diets demand a long-term commitment.

The body slows metabolism because:

  • The body does not know for how many days fasting will go on 

  • For how many days the body will starve 

  • When the body will get the next dose of energy

  • When the nutrition level will balance

Our body does not have answers to these uncertainties. And to survive, it needs to maintain normal functioning.

What is safe fasting

  • Fasting should be easy and comfortable

  • You should be energetic during fasting days

  • You should not get dehydrated

  • You should not feel constipated

  • The body should get enough vitamins and minerals

  • You should not feel fatigued

  • Those who are on medications, fast with care

  • Pregnant women and those breastfeeding should not fast

If you want to make your fast easy and comfortable, Sujok therapy will help you. Apply dried peas seeds (on the highlighted area, see photo) on the palm.

(Rajshree Vora is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and yoga therapist. You can write to her at enquiry@rajshreeyoga.com)

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