Have You Ever Tried Fasting To Help Weight Loss?

I have to admit, I l-o-v-e my food! So the idea of fasting is usually only under sufferance and demanded by medicos when I have to go in for an op or a blood test that requires fasting. As soon as I hear “Nil by Mouth” my head automatically responds with “Not by Me!”. Annoying that we have to react responsibly sometimes 🙂

Lately I’ve been reading how occasional fasting is good to ‘clean’ your system and reboot your taste buds. In Ayurveda medicine it is also used for weight loss. It never occurred to me to actually do one. That requires discipline – a muscle I rarely exercise.

For some reason, I decided to do a fast on Sunday. It’s recommended you have a good meal on the night before. Luckily I was going to an Indian Curry night at a friend’s. Also luckily, the friend’s who cooked have a healthy eating mantra so the prepared food was not too fattening. I did go back for seconds I have to say, knowing that I’d be food-free for a day.

On the Sunday morning when I woke I carried on my normal routine. I picked Sunday because I had no engagements or visitors so less temptation to eat. In the morning I hit the bushes and pruned madly in the sun then just mooched around. I made sure I kept up the water intake. I didn’t add anything to the water but I could have added some lemon or honey. Probably I drank around 3 litres of water during the fast over 36 hours (including 2 nights sleep). That’s all I had all day – water, being only a one day fast.

It wasn’t til mid afternoon I had a pang of food regret. I downed some water and that passed.

By dinnertime I still wasn’t hungry so I watched a little tv and then went to bed – I knew if I stayed up on my own I’d be very tempted to hit the cupboards and fridge. Yes, I’m an evening, after-dinner binge eater. And I know I’m not alone in that!

I slept well and on waking wasn’t hungry at all. I thought I’d be ravenous. Obviously I have enough food stores in my fat cells to last a while! Lol!

I didn’t eat again until about 12.30 at lunch on Monday when I just had a shake with fruit. Don’t worry – I have a good serve of Indian food waiting for me for dinner and I’ll have a light snack mid-afternoon!

24 hour Fasting Results

Overall I was surprised how easy it was. I didn’t feel headachy or shaky at all. Apart from the morning I didn’t expend much physical energy but I was feeling listless. I survived the day just on water and dropped 0.5 kilos. Much of that will come back as I return to proper eating but I have no desire for sweets or stodgy food which I what I usually reach for when I crave food. I can see it would be detrimental to your health if you fasted just on water for more than a day.

It’s not something I’d do often and I am certainly not promoting it. I’m simply reporting my experience. If you do decide to do a fast I do recommend doing it under supervision, especially if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant. I followed medical instructions.

Having completed the fast, I’m not sure I released much in the way of toxins but I certainly gave my gut a rest and refreshed my taste buds. The weight loss is not something I’m focused on because I suspect it is temporary but maybe a couple hundred grams will be permanently lost.

5 Tips For Fasting

  1. Follow medical advice – don’t do it on your own or following a web plan or a supplement packet
  2. Prepare for it – make sure you have no events or activities on that day – treat it as a day of rest
  3. Keep hydrated – you”ll need to drink more water than usual – every time you think of food, drink some water
  4. After the day of fasting, ease back into eating – choose light healthy meals for breakfast and lunch
  5. Don’t do it just to lose weight – you’ll likely be disappointed after a couple of days

I’m not sure I’ll fast again. If I do I don’t expect I’d do it more than once every 3-4 months or whenever I feel the need to rejig my taste buds and break any pattern of poor eating.

What about you? Have you ever undertaken a fast for medical, health or religious reasons?

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9 Replies to “Have You Ever Tried Fasting To Help Weight Loss?”

  1. I’ve done fasting a couple of times with lemon water only. The longest one I did was 2 days and by the end of it I was so excited to get some food in my stomach but it’s a really great way to let your body heal itself by putting all its energy on healing instead of digesting food. Good for you for making it the full day!

    1. Don’t know I could (or should) do it for more than a day, for that same reason – I’d be missing the food! You’re right though, periodic small scale fasting allows the body to rest and repair while living off the fat stores for energy.

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  2. I tried fasting a long time ago and it just isn’t for me. I’ll stick to the plan that has been working for me for the last two years 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and tips, though. Following medical; advice is certainly an important one.

    1. Horses for courses, Alexandria. If there were one solution that suited everyone there wouldn’t be a multi million dollar industry! Glad you found what worked for you and congrats on your continued success with that 🙂

  3. I don’t like the idea of fasting…. I love food too much to do it! ROFL

    However, I found out a neat little weight loss trick when I did the weight loss clinic plan.

    Before they started us on our usual food regime, they made us eat for three days straight with either “all the beef you could eat, plus an orange a day” or… all the chicken you could eat plus certain green veggies.

    After 3 days, you would lose anywhere from 7-11 pounds and it revved your metabolism for the start of your daily diet plan. It worked wonderfully! You might want to try it instead of fasting. 🙂

    – Bonnie

    1. I’m not a fan of ‘all of one thing’ type diets, Bonnie. My overall aim is to eat healthy foods in moderation and I’m aligning to the slow (but more permanent?) weight loss concept. Fasting is something a lot of cultures periodically follow and our ancestors certainly had feast or famine times. I’m leaning toward the 5+2 plan – it seems sensible.

  4. I’ve always wondered about fasting. I often forget to eat, but I’m sure I wouldn’t drink enough water or other liquids to make it worth my while. Drinking enough has always been my downfall.

    1. Actually, Jenn, that was another benefit for me – I often don’t drink enough (except when I hit the diet coke which I’m mostly off now) so I certainly did drink a lot more and get used to water again.

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