If you are about to begin a weight loss program, there is a very good chance that it involves eating less. When “eating less” involves skipping one or more meals, then we say that you are following a “fasting” strategy. The most popular of the fasting techniques is “intermittent fasting” which involves skipping meals on one or more days per week.
Intermittent fasting for weight loss is a very popular option that can be effective depending on how you manage it. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for those who are considering using fasting as a method of weight loss.
Do: Speak to your doctor before embarking on a fasting diet.
Check with your doctor before beginning a fasting program. This is because while not eating at regular intervals, or intermittent fasting, can be effective, this approach to weight loss is not for everyone. Women who are pregnant, children and teenagers as well as people with diabetes and blood sugar problems, anemia and a number of other chronic conditions should not consider fasting as a weight loss option. Your doctor will be able to let you know if fasting is a viable option for you based on your overall health.
Don’t: Eat badly when you are not fasting.
Be sure to eat healthily when you are not fasting. Your body will benefit the most when you combine intermittent fasting with eating fresh, low-calorie foods and regular portion sizes. Going for a lot of fast food, high-fat, high-sugar and high-calorie food and drink or monster portion sizes can quickly eliminate all the benefits of fasting in the first place.
Do: Include fasting as part of a comprehensive weight loss plan.
To achieve optimal success, dieters using fasting as a weight loss tool can consider it as part of a program that includes a way to measure success, implements lifestyle interventions, includes meal replacement plans and, for some people, may even include prescription weight loss medications.
“Intermittent fasting for weight loss is a very popular option that can be effective depending on how you manage it.“
Don’t: Over do it.
An effective fasting strategy involves fasting intermittently. Depending on the individual, this might mean going for hours without eating a few days a week. Doing more than the recommended amount of fasting time could backfire: your body may start to store more fat as an emergency response to starvation. Working with a doctor with expertise in weight loss and obesity medicine would be your best way to know how much fasting is healthy and effective for you as an individual.
Do: Maintain intermittent fasting as a lifestyle in the long term.
Once your body is accustomed to intermittent fasting, you may very well benefit from keeping it up for the long term. Maintaining your fasting habits indefinitely can help you keep weight off in the long term. After all, for much of history, humankind lived with intermittent fasting and there is a growing body of evidence that eating less than the standard American three meals a day is healthier for you. Intermittent fasting may help you to manage a number of chronic diseases and inflammation as well as make you feel more energized and mentally sharper.
Don’t: Attempt it alone.
Managing weight loss can be complex. This is especially true if you are obese (BMI more than 30) or overweight (BMI more 26) with chronic conditions such as diabetes or COPD. To protect your health and for best results, it is highly recommended that you work with an doctor with expertise in weight loss and obesity medicine as you plan and execute your weight loss strategy.
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