Does Fasting Help Lose Weight?

Nowadays, most people may do fasting for whole day to lose weight. They may do either intermittent or alternate-day fasting, which not only helps in weight loss but also lowers the risk of both diabetes and heart problems in patients.

In a study, it was found that fasting is safe and healthy, it may have the positive effects on a person’s health. It may help in controlling blood sugar, losing weight, maintaining blood pressure, reducing inflammation and promoting heart health.

In this blog, we will discuss the concept of fasting, what problems may occur from it, is it safe and effective to lose weight, safety measures to follow during fasting and does fasting actually help people in losing weight.

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What is Fasting?

The condition of refraining from eating food and drinking liquid is known as fasting. Most people fast for health, religious reason, rituals, or other beneficial purposes. Some people may avoid eating or drinking, either partially or completely, for a day. While others may go on an intermittent fasting on alternate days.

Fasting means not consuming any calories or limiting calories for a set period. It defines the metabolic state of a person, who has not eaten overnight or not eating or drinking throughout the day after their first meal.

There are many healthy diets that help in fasting and losing weight. One of the most common example of such diet is the cabbage soup diet.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Most people may fast intermittently, which means they eat food and drink fluid at certain intervals during the day.

It also means that a person should eat a normal diet in one day or can have one short meal on the next day which is less than 500 calories.

What Problems May Occur From It?

Fasting may cause several health risks or problems in the person’s body. It may become a risk factor for the person’s health condition related to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

If a person is on fasting for 2 or 4 days, he/she may lose salt and water through urine, which can cause the problem of dehydration. The other problems such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, weakness, insomnia, headache, etc., may also be caused due to fasting.

According to a US study, it is found that if a person is on an intermittent fasting, he/she may be at the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

If a person is fasting for a longer duration like 24-, 36-, 48- or 72-hours, this can cause damage to their body or may lead to the problem of starvation.

Risk of Other Health Problems

There are other risks or health problems which may be caused due to prolonged fasting. These are as follows:

  • Constipation
  • Muscle loss
  • Decrease in metabolic rate
  • Gallstones
  • Feeling cold, tingling and numbness
  • Arrhythmia (Irregular heartbeat)
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Fainting
  • Blood sugar spikes

If a person is fasting without seeking assistance from a doctor or health care expert, it may become risky, which can lead to gaining excess weight and can also cause severe health problems.

Can Fasting Actually be Safe and Effective?

Many people know that overeating can cause weight gain and that fasting can cause weight loss. People may do fasting for a variety of reasons. For example, some people may fast for religious purpose, while others may do this for weight loss.

There are many types of fasting which are either safe or effective for weight loss. One should talk to a doctor before going on fasting. They should consult to a health care expert whether fasting is safe or not for them, and how they should do alternate-day fasting in a better way.

The main purpose of losing weight and being healthy is to burn calories. Excess calories can lead to gaining weight, because it decreases the metabolic rate and increases appetite.

In several studies and research, it was found that people who were on fasting for more than 18 hours had a high risk of developing stones in their gall bladder.

In addition, it is also found that intermittent fasting is very effective for weight loss. It is scientifically proven that fasting helps in improving blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of diabetes in patients.

Hence, fasting is safe and effective if done for up to a few hours or maximum 24 hours once in a week.

Does Fasting Really Help in Losing Weight?

Fasting may help in losing weight up to some extent, but not completely. It is essential for both men and women to do fasting once in a week. It may also help in reducing extra weight as well as minimizing the risk of diabetes. Thus, fasting is necessary for all to get rid of cancer and other heart and brain diseases.

According to a research done recently, it is found that people who do intermittent fasting for weight loss experience short-term benefits like hormonal growth, increase in insulin sensitivity, etc.

In addition, the study also found that people may lose 7 pounds (3.17 kg) to 11 pounds (4.98 kg) of body weight in 10 weeks, if they do intermittent fasting which is very effective for weight loss.

If a person is fasting for more than 16 hours, it produces ketosis, where stored fat breaks down into glucose and converts them into energy. Thus, it can result in weight loss.

If a person is fasting for a month, it may improve the risk of metabolic health as well as reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It may also reduce the blood sugar level and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Each person can do the “5:2” and “16/8” methods of intermittent fasting, which restricts excess calories from being consumed when drinking or eating.

Thus, fasting also helps in losing belly fat in obese people.

Safety Measures to be Followed During Fasting to Lose Weight

Here, we will discuss some safety measures that must be taken during fasting to reduce weight. These are as follows:

  • Diabetic patients should never do fasting as it can cause heart diseases or severe health conditions.
  • During pregnancy, women should avoid fasting as it can cause complications to both the mother and child.
  • People suffering from chronic diseases or severe health conditions related to heart and brain, should not do intermittent fasting.
  • During fasting, get proper sleep, which can help in reducing excess body weight.
  • Keeping the body hydrated can help in maintaining good health and also in losing weight.
  • Do not perform any physical activity or heavy exercise during fasting.
  • Avoid fasting for more than 24 hours, as it may cause dizziness, fainting, weakness, dehydration, etc.


Fasting helps in losing weight up to some extent, but not completely. So, without consulting a doctor, it should not be carried out on a daily basis as this may cause serious health problems in individuals.

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