These days obesity or overweight is a common problem among all age groups .Reasons for being overweight can vary from person to person. It can be sedentary lifestyle,high stress level, basic metabolic rate, heredity and several other factors.
But losing weight is not a difficult process. The key to lose weight is to forget about the instant results. Being in hurry can interfere with your weight loss regime, and may cause damage to your system. Do not take drastic measures, such as strict dieting plans, diet pills or using heavy fitness gadgets etc. to lose weight.
Fasting is an easy and more effective way to lose weight. Fasting is based on the fundamental principle of weight loss i.e. you have to burn more calories than you consume.
How it works
There is an old saying that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail. Before taking up the method of fasting for weight loss, you must know its basics. The basic rule of fasting is very simple, you have to observe it once or twice a week only. It does not involve much effort, as you will not be starving yourself. It is a healthy dieting option. Initially you may suffer from hunger pangs, but gradually as your body gets use to it, you will be comfortable.
The main reason of losing weight by fasting is that it stimulates your fat burning hormones, which otherwise do not work, because you are stuffing yourself by eating heavy meals. If done in a controlled manner and following a proper plan, you will lose weight without actually going on a diet. You are simply using your body’s natural ability to burn fat and convert it into muscle. It is the safest and a more lasting way to reduce weight.
Initially, it may not be easy to stick to the routine. For motivation try to involve a friend or a family member, who also needs to reduce, to join you in your quest . Once the results starts showing, then there is no looking back.
Benefits of Fasting
Fasting is a proven method for physical fitness, which is hundreds of years old. It is a spiritual practice, and many religions across the world recommend fasting for the purification of body as well as mind.Infact, in early times, spiritual students noticed the immense health benefits of fasting including weight loss. They could perform their religious practices and meditation in a better way.
Fasting controls the senses, passions and emotions. It also purifies mind and detoxifies body. Moreover so much time and energy is spent on planning, preparing and cooking the food that by fasting one can take a break from daily routine and be close to God. By performing rituals on the day of fast, your mind is diverted from the thought of food, and makes your thoughts pure, light and more agile.
Fasting is also one of the disciplines of Yoga. It overhauls the respiratory, digestive and urinary system. A change in diet and avoiding certain type of food gives rest to the digestive system and helps it to function better.
How to Fast
Fasting doesn’t mean starving. It is not advisable to go on long duration fasts, because as soon as you come back to your normal intake, you will regain more weight. Too much fasting can affect your immune system and will reduce the capacity of the body to fight against diseases.
You may feel weak, fatigued, suffer from headaches or acidity. If you starve yourself then you will get irritable and feel weak and the purpose of fasting will be lost.You should eat at frequent intervals and increase the intake of fluids. Keep the food light and avoid fried food under all circumstances. Some people tend to over eat the different foods they have chosen for the fast.
Eat salads made with sprouts, fruits.Use low calorie dressings, prepared with lemon or yogurt. Make vegetable broths or juices and drink it 2-3- times a day. Juices and broth will give you the required nutrients. Have fresh vegetables and fruits like carrot, beet and ginger, grape, apple etc.
Prepare juice with three carrots, two stalks of celery, one turnip, two beets, a half head of cabbage, and a quarter bunch of parsley, and a clove of garlic. This is one of the best juices for restoration of the body from many ailments.However, do not take orange or tomato juice.
On fasting days do not take up rigorous exercise, as you are already burning calories by not eating. You can go for a walk, do breathing exercises or do light yogasanas.
Use the weight loss programme to your advantage and make exercise part of your daily routine. Once you have reduced to your ideal weight, do not give up fasting completely. You can make a schedule to fast on certain days of the month or week as per your choice, such as full moon night if you want to do it once a month or every Monday if it is weekly, it helps to remember and maintain the programme.
How To Break The Fast
Always break the fast gently and don’t eat heavy and oily food. It is ideal to take juice or nimbu pani before you take anything solid. Lightly steamed vegetables without spices with whole meal bread or roti or whole grain brown rice should be eaten. Avoid feasting after observing a fast. Otherwise the whole purpose of your efforts will be wasted.
Who Should Not Fast
People who are suffering from diabetes should not fast to lose weight. Fasting can lead to fluctuating sugar levels and cause problems.People who are prone to low blood pressure should also avoid fasting, as it may bring down the glucose level of the body. They may feel weak or giddy.People with bleeding ulcers should also not fast. Fasting can cause acidity and will make things worse for them.You must consult your physician before going on a fasting diet.