For most of us, the idea of fasting doesn’t really seem like fun. I mean, I LOVE food.
I bet when you hear it, you immediately think of someone who is panicking, trying to shed weight fast for a last minute wedding, vacation, or event. That sometimes is the case, but not always.
Fasting, when done correctly, can be an excellent way to maintain your weight, reboot your system, detox, or one other tens if not hundreds beneficial reasons to do so. Whatever the case, it doesn’t have to be a scary affair; especially not with the alternate day fasting program.
If you are thinking of dropping the pounds and keeping them off, this might be for you. But first, here are five things that you need to know.
#1: How it works
Its name pretty much explains it all – you eat anything that you want on one day and then a restricted diet on the next day (at most 600 calories for men and 500 for women)**.
Sounds good, right?
There’s even better news – it doesn’t matter what or how much you eat on your eat days. The only restriction comes on your fast days, and it is not a big one. Just don’t exceed the recommended calorie intake and you will be fine.
#2: It is an effective weight loss program
Will the alternate day program help you shed off some pounds? Yes.
The fasting days will force your body to dip into energy reserves (which is basically body fat) and burn those extra calories to generate the fuel that it needs**. While this may be a little startling at first, in the long run, your body will get conditioned to working with the restricted calories it gets. That means your appetite will reduce; and make it easier to say no to and keep you away from cravings and thus extra calories.
#3: You can pull it off
Worried that it might not get the results you wish for? Relax, it is proven to be very effective.
Like anything, the first step is always the most difficult. Once you get passed the transition period (which is typically 7 to 10 days) you will find it very easy to maintain consistency***. This is where you’ll start to notice results.
So don’t give up when the going gets a little bit tough. Push through. It will be worth it.
#4: Comes with added benefits
Without boring you with some science stuff, let me mention that occasional fasting is actually a very healthy habit. There are tons of benefits that will come with ADF. For example, you will age slower; your hormones will be well balanced, and the onset of age-related diseases like diabetes will be delayed**.
These are just a few, in addition to weight loss, of course.
#5: It is not as modern as you think
This might sound strange considering you probably heard of the whole concept recently. Sure it’s a modern fad, but it is rooted deep in ancient societies. Long ago, our ancestors used miss meals and at times go for days without food or drink. While their reasons for going without food were different from ours (theirs included a shortage of resources and famine among others), the benefits can’t be ignored.
They never had modern lifestyle diseases like diabetes and cancer. Abstaining from certain foods inspired such weight loss and health perspectives such as Paleo***.
Alternate day fasting is a way to reap the benefits without adapting to extreme lifestyle routines. We don’t have to go back to the Stone Age, but we probably could do with a little bit less excess than we consume in this modern age.
Still scared of fasting? Don’t be.
Don’t torture your body and mind by starving them for days. Do it the right way. Opt for an easier yet equally effective method of losing weight by trying alternate day fasting. No starving included.
** – Alternate day fasting (AFD) diet and fasting health implications. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.boots.com/diet/features/is-fasting-good-for-your-health
*** – How Alternate-Day Fasting Helps Manage Your Weight. Retrieved from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/06/08/alternate-day-fasting.aspx
Photo: Awais Jibran, CC