More and more people are being diagnosed as obese, and with so much conflicting information currently on the market, it is no surprise that some people believe that fasting is a great way to lose weight quickly. This article discusses the truth behind fasting, and explains why it may not be for the best, after all.
1. Low Blood Sugar
One of the more serious risks associated with fasting for weight loss involves low blood sugar. All foods contain a certain amount of sugar; therefore, when you eat the food, this sugar is digested and the eventually enters your bloodstream, where it helps to provide you with energy. Typically, foods that contain high amounts of fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains are promoted for people who have had problems with their blood sugar in the past due to the fact that these foods cause a gradual increase in blood sugar, and a similar decrease as the sugar is eventually excreted by the body. In contrast, foods that are high in sugar or simple carbohydrates typically cause a rapid spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar, and therefore can be extremely dangerous.
When fasting, you do not get any sugar into your bloodstream, and therefore, you will not have the energy needed to make it through your daily tasks. This can not only cause you to feel dizzy, lightheaded and nauseous, but in extreme cases can also result in unconsciousness and even the risk of a coma.
2. Altered Metabolic State
In addition to the immediate risks associated with fasting for weight loss, it can also cause severe long term affects. Often, people fast for weight loss in an attempt to lose a lot of weight quickly. Unfortunately, while this may work in the short term, it can have dramatic long term affects. Your metabolism is the part of your body that digests foods--and in order to keep working properly, it needs food to digest. When people eat very few meals or fast entirely, their metabolism begins to slow. If this is done too often or for too long of a time, it can result in a significantly slowed metabolism. This will then make it more difficult to maintain weight loss once you begin introducing food back into your diet. Even though there is now food in your stomach for your metabolism to digest, once it slows, it is very difficult to get it back up to its original pace.
3. Deficient Nutrient Intake
Finally, one of the most serious risks associated with fasting for weight loss is the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Your body needs a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in order to function properly and prevent the development of diseases. By restricting particular foods, you run the risk of severely malnourishing yourself, which can be extremely dangerous for your health.