Does Fasting Detoxify The Body
Here’s where the debate gets intense.
“There is no scientific evidence it will detox the body. The issue of fasting to cleanse the body has no biological basis because the body is real good at that by itself,” says Fernstrom. “The liver is a natural detox center the lungs, the colon, the kidneys, and the skin get rid of toxins.”
But Fuhrman, who has supervised hundreds of patients’ fasts for medicinal purposes, disagrees.
“We know that the body is unable to rid itself of toxins when we eat a diet low in nutrients,” and that applies to most Americans, even those who think they are healthy, he says.
“Americans eat 51% of their diet from processed foods and foods low in phytochemicals and antioxidants,” he says. “So you see a buildup of waste products in the cells — AGE, advanced glycation end products — that build up in cellular tissues and lead to atherosclerosis, aging, diabetes, nerve damage, and the deterioration of organs. This is basic science and physiology every doctor learns in medical school.”
Along with improving your overall diet, fasting is one solution to that buildup of AGE, according to advocates like Fuhrman.
“Fasting allows the body to most effectively remove these waste products,” he says. “The body is designed to fast we do it every night.”
“And the fat is where the body stores many of the toxins it absorbs from the environment,” Fuhrman says.
Diet Myth Or Truth: Fasting Is Effective For Weight Loss
Fasting is an age-old practice, often done for religious reasons, but fasting for weight loss is still capturing the public imagination. You can find dozens of do-it-yourself plans touting the unproven benefits of fasting, ranging from flushing “poisons” from the body to purging 30 pounds of fat in 30 days.
It’s true that fasting — that is, eating little to no food — will result in weight loss, at least in the short term. But the risks far outweigh any benefits, and ultimately, fasting can cause more harm than good.
Intermittent Fasting: Is It Right For You
U-M dietitian Sue Ryskamp weighs in on intermittent fasting benefits, who it works best for and how to get started
Weight loss can be difficult, but could intermittent fasting help? This eating pattern, which features cycles of fasting and eating, is making headlines as research confirms its not only what you eat, but when you eat, that matters in the struggle to lose weight.
During intermittent fasting, individuals use specific periods of eating typically within an eight-to-10 hour window to lose weight, says Michigan Medicine dietitian Sue Ryskamp, who sees patients at U-Ms Frankel Cardiovascular Center.
The premise behind intermittent fasting is relatively simple, she says: When our insulin levels go down far enough and for long enough, as they do during a fasting period, were able burn off fat.
Insulin levels drop when a person is not consuming food. During a period of fasting, decreasing insulin levels cause cells to release stored glucose as energy. Repeating this process regularly, as with intermittent fasting, leads to weight loss. In addition, this type of fasting often results in the consumption of fewer calories overall, which contributes to weight loss, Ryskamp says.
A Harvard research study also reveals how intermittent fasting may slow the aging process through weight loss, lower blood pressure and reduced cholesterol.
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The Backstory On Intermittent Fasting
IF as a weight loss approach has been around in various forms for ages, but was highly popularized in 2012 by BBC broadcast journalist Dr. Michael Mosleys TV documentary Eat Fast, Live Longer and book The Fast Diet, followed by journalist Kate Harrisons book The 5:2 Diet based on her own experience, and subsequently by Dr. Jason Fungs 2016 bestseller The Obesity Code. IF generated a steady positive buzz as anecdotes of its effectiveness proliferated.
As a lifestyle-leaning research doctor, I needed to understand the science. The Obesity Code seemed the most evidence-based summary resource, and I loved it. Fung successfully combines plenty of research, his clinical experience, and sensible nutrition advice, and also addresses the socioeconomic forces conspiring to make us fat. He is very clear that we should eat more fruits and veggies, fiber, healthy protein, and fats, and avoid sugar, refined grains, processed foods, and for Gods sake, stop snacking. Check, check, check, I agree. The only part that was still questionable in my mind was the intermittent fasting part.
Remember Fasting Is Not Dieting You Could Better Describe It As An Eating Pattern
Realize that fasting came about because ancient people did not have grocery stores to buy food or refrigerators to store food. Often they had to function without food for extended periods of time.
In fact, the Bushmen people of Southern Africa still follow that ancient way of living to this day.
They often endure long walking stretches or even running to find food, carrying it on their backs to their abodes.
You never really see obese Bushmen because their bodies are ripped, lean, and in the right proportions. Their lifestyle does not stimulate the massive muscle growth sought after by people today, beyond what the body requires. Their energy goes towards maintaining their strength, their endurance, and their tenacity.
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How To Cope With Hunger
When you fast, the hunger pangs pass. Many people fret that they can’t fast because hunger will be too hard to manage. You will experience waves of hunger, but if you choose to ignore it and drink a cup of tea or coffee, it usually passes.
When fasting, water, tea and coffee are fine, and other non-calorie beverages as well. Preferably you won’t be adding sugar to your tea and coffee adding some milk or cream is okay. In fact, Coffee can be quite beneficial to you when you are fasting because it can blunt the hunger pangs.
If you undergo an extended fast, hunger can usually increase in the beginning but gradually recedes so that by days 3 and four you are not really hungry at all. It is because your body is being driven by the fat, kind of like eating the fat on your body.
How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect My Body
When you fast, you consume fewer calories than normalor no calories at allwhich reduces your overall calorie intake. Reducing your calorie intake can help you lose weight, but it also causes several changes to the way your body stores and burns fat.
Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, converts glucose in your blood into energy that your cells use as fuel. Insulin also drives fat storage. Your bodys insulin levels increase when you eat and decrease when you fast. Lower insulin levels resulting from fasting can prevent additional fat storage and help your body mobilize stored fat.
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Typical Fasting Weight Loss Plans
Fasting regimens vary, but the basic premise usually starts with a strict regimen allowing only water, juice and/or some kind of laxative concoction. Some plans allow a few solid foods, but are still called fasts because they provide so few calories.
Not all fasts are created equal. Some can be perfectly safe, such as medical fasts supervised by a physician. Religious and cultural fasts are typically undertaken as an act of devotion, last from 24-48 hours, and are not intended to promote weight loss.
Fasts lasting a day or two are unlikely to be dangerous for most healthy adults. But high-risk people, the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease, pregnant women, and children are advised against any type of fasting.
The real danger lies in staying on the fast for prolonged periods, anywhere from three days to a month.
Intermittent Fasting Takes Away The Stress Of A Typical Diet
Lets face it. Most people fail at dieting. Thats because most diets out there require people to follow their rules strictly and to give up their favorite foods.
For a lot of us, giving up our favorite foods is tough enough as it is. Having to follow diet rules can put you under a lot of pressure and stress. So is it any wonder that most people give up dieting altogether?
Intermittent fasting, as mentioned earlier, is not a diet. Its an eating pattern. At its most basic, the only rule you need to follow is to eat only during your eating window.
But even that rule can be bent from time to time. If you have to eat outside your eating window, then you dont have to feel stressed about it. Just jump right back to fasting the next day.
Of course, its not easy to get into the habit of not eating for 16 hours a day. Your hunger pangs will bother you. The headaches can feel unbearable.
But once you get into the groove, you wont feel the hunger or the headaches so keenly anymore. Not having to eat anything for long periods of time wont ever stress you out again.
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Does Fasting Burn Fat
Bill Phillips, bodybuilder and author of “Body-for-LIFE,” has been credited with introducing the fasted cardio theory in 1999. In his book, he indicates that the human body maximizes fat burning while exercising in a fasted state. The book was a success, and his concept of fasted cardio has remained popular ever since.
According to Phillips, fasting overnight reduces our blood sugar, insulin levels, and glycogen stores. Typically, our bodies rely on these glycogen stores, which come from carbohydrates in our diet, for energy. However, if you exercise in a fasted state , the fasted cardio theory argues that your body then relies on body fat for energy to fuel your workout.
Give Intermittent Fasting A Try If You Are Looking To Lose Weight
Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight. It basically changes your bodys chemistry so youll have more access to your stored fat and burn it for energy. Going on a fast to lose weight is also a lot less stressful than going on a diet.
Want to give intermittent fasting a try today? Check out our comprehensive guide on how to start an intermittent fasting diet. Map out your eating plan, start implementing it in your daily routine, and let us know how it goes!
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Fasting For 2 Days A Week
People following the 5:2 diet eat standard amounts of healthful food for 5 days and reduce calorie intake on the other 2 days.
During the 2 fasting days, men generally consume 600 calories and women 500 calories.
Typically, people separate their fasting days in the week. For example, they may fast on a Monday and Thursday and eat normally on the other days. There should be at least 1 non-fasting day between fasting days.
There is limited research on the 5:2 diet, which is also known as the Fast diet. A involving 107 overweight or obese women found that restricting calories twice weekly and continuous calorie restriction both led to similar weight loss.
The study also found that this diet reduced insulin levels and improved insulin sensitivity among participants.
A small-scale study looked at the effects of this fasting style in 23 overweight women. Over the course of one menstrual cycle, the women lost 4.8 percent of their body weight and 8.0 percent of their total body fat. However, these measurements returned to normal for most of the women after 5 days of normal eating.
Lessons Learned From 1 Year Of Intermittent Fasting
1. The biggest barrier is your own mind.
Implementing this diet is pretty simple, you just don’t eat when you wake up. Then you eat and lunch and go about your day. At least, that’s how I do it.
But there is a mental barrier to get over. If I don’t eat will I not be able to think? Will I faint? Will I feel sick? What will it be like? These are all thoughts that went through my mind before I started.
What ended up happening? Nothing. Life went on just fine.
Thinking you need to eat every 3 hours or six meals a day or always have breakfast or whatever it is that youre convinced you have to do to survive is all mental. You believe it because you were told it, not because you actually tried it.
If there’s one thing I’ve noticed that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones in life it’s not just the ability to think differently, but the ability to act differently as well.
2. Losing weight is easy.
When you eat less frequently you tend to eat less overall. As a result, most people who try intermittent fasting end up cutting weight. You might plan big meals, but consistently eating them is difficult in practice.
Most people lose weight while intermittent fasting because when they cut out meals, they don’t make up for it with bigger meal sizes.
3. Building muscle is quite possible .
I have managed to gain weight while intermittent fasting , but only because I have focused on eating a lot during my feeding period.
5. For best results, cycle what you eat.
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What Is Fast Weight Loss
Health authorities typically recommend losing about 1 to 2 pounds per week, and many people seem to lose weight at about this rate.1
Therefore, losing any more than 2 pounds per week is considered fast weight loss. Yet for many people, that may not sound quick.
While losing 10 pounds in a week may technically be possible for some especially those who carry a lot of excess weight it isnt realistic for most of us.
Meal Planning Ideas For Quick Weight Loss
Putting together very-low-carb meals can be simple:
- Start with a generous serving of protein
- Add as many low-carb vegetables as you like
- Use fat as needed for cooking or in salad dressing
- Season with salt, pepper, and spices
- Drink water, coffee, or tea
What about calories? We dont recommend counting calories when trying to lose weight. However, we suggest that you eat only when hungry and stop as soon as you begin to feel full.
Keep Fat Intake Moderate
When youre trying to drop pounds or kilos quickly, eating less fat may seem to make sense.
However, its not a good idea to eat a diet thats low in both carbs and fat. Youll likely end up feeling deprived within a few days or weeks and it certainly isnt sustainable long term.20Theres no need to fear fat.
That said, eating excessive amounts of fat isnt a good strategy for quick weight loss either. Even on a very-low-carb diet, eating more fat than your body needs can slow down rather than speed up weight loss.21
So dont add large amounts of butter, heavy cream, or other fat to your food. Also, avoid or minimize your intake of fat bombs and similar treats that provide very little protein or other nutrients.22
Instead, eat enough fat to add flavor and richness to your food but not so much that you feel stuffed. Let your body burn its stored fat rather than the fat you are eating.
The Utter Simplicity Of Intermittent Fasting
Most of us eat throughout the day, starting with breakfast when we wake up and perhaps ending with a dessert or snack after dinner. If you have breakfast at 7 a.m. and a final snack at 8 p.m., you’re consuming food for 13 hours that’s your current “eating window.” The idea behind IF is simply to shorten that window — not necessarily to eat less , but to eat less often.
For example, most experts agree that you can start to experience IF benefits with an eight-hour eating window, meaning a 16-hour fast. So you could have lunch at noon and still finish your snack by 8 p.m. That’s it. If you can stick to that, it may be enough to produce results.
But, wait: Isn’t that just skipping breakfast? And haven’t we heard for years that skipping breakfast actually leads to weight gain? Yes and yes. However, IF requires a “clean” fast to be effective , and once you get accustomed to it, your appetite should correct so that you no longer overeat once your window opens.
Here’s what I love about this: It costs nothing. It requires nothing. You don’t have to buy books or gear or supplements or meals. You just adapt yourself to a slightly different way of eating and that’s it. The simplicity — and affordability — of IF is what drew me to it.
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Intermittent Fasting Can Help Create The Calorie Deficit Necessary For Weight Loss
In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit in your body. This means the amount of calories you eat should be less than the amount of calories you burn daily. The calorie deficit forces your body to use up the food energy stored in your body.
Creating the calorie deficit you need to lose weight is much easier with intermittent fasting. You dont have to get stressed out counting your calories. You dont even need to watch what you strictly. As long as you consume food only within your eating window, youll be fine.
When you start intermittent fasting, you put your body on a calorie deficit without any effort. Because youre fasting, you tend to skip a meal, usually breakfast. And then you eat your lunch, snacks, and dinner as you normally would when youre not fasting.
Without really thinking about it, youve already consumed fewer calories than the amount you normally eat every day, simply because youve shortened the period of time when you do eat regularly, and lengthened the period of time when you dont eat anything at all .