Why Do People Diet?
Although there are millions of fitness enthusiasts in the world, we know that not all of them have the same goals. Some start dieting because they want to manage their weight, some aim at wellness improvement, and others keep with a certain nutritional plan because of their moral beliefs. In a similar manner, people tend to fast for different reasons.
For those who are not familiar with this term, it is a dietary approach, based on the restricted consumption of food. Even so, there may be different methods of doing a 30-day fast weight loss – water and intermittent fasting being the most popular ones.
30-Day Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a nutritional method, which involves two periods – fast and eating window. During the first any calorie consumption is banned, so a person can only drink water or unsweetened tea and coffee. During the second, a person can eat whatever they want and in whichever quantities. There are various types of IF, the most popular are:
- Alternate day. This type of IF requires you to avoid any food one day and eating whatever you want the next day.
- 5:2. This type allows you to follow your regular diet for 5 days a week, and then restricts your caloric intake to 500-600 calories for the rest 2 days.
- Time-restricted. There is a great variety of time-restricted fasting, the most popular are 18:6 IF, 16:8 IF, 14:10 IF, and 12:12 IF. All these types require you to keep away from calories for a set time (18, 16, 14, and 12 hours respectively) and allow you to eat for the rest of the day (6, 8, 10, and 12 hours).
- The OMAD diet. The one meal a day diet is also sometimes considered a type of IF since it allows you to eat one meal and requires you to avoid consuming any calories for the rest of the day.
As you can see, IF restricts the time when you eat your food, rather than its types or quantities. If you want to stick to a 30-day intermittent fasting, then the best options are time-restricted, and 5:2 fasting. They can provide you with all the benefits of IF and help you slim down in a healthy way.
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How does IF affect your body?
Although the effect of IF on your health requires more scientific research, some studies suggest it may be beneficial for the human body. They have shown that it could add to inflammation reduction, which is one of the main causes of chronic diseases. It may also support brain function, prevent cancer and promote better longevity.
However, not all people may find this nutritional approach beneficial. It is not suitable for people who are underweight or suffer from eating disorders. It is also not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women, people who suffer from low blood pressure and diabetes. Therefore, before trying any new dietary approach, please, consult a doctor.
30-Day Water Fast Weight Loss
The other type of fasting is water fasting (WF). As may be clear from its name, this type only allows you to drink water and requires you to give up on any calories. It is a very strict weight-loss method that promises effective and rapid results.
WF and weight loss
Experts do not recommend sticking to diets that offer rapid weight loss, since it may cause gallstones, malnutrition, hair loss, muscle loss, headaches, and more. According to mayoclinic.org, the recommended weight loss pace is 1-2 pounds per week. 24-72-hour WF may lead to a loss of up to 2 pounds a day, which is about 7 times more than recommended.
How does WF affect your body?
Like in the case with IF, water fasting requires more human studies to back up its beneficial health effects. However, existing animal studies suggest that it may reduce the chance of developing chronic diseases and stimulate autophagy – cleaning out of the damage or unnecessary parts of body cells.
Research found that WF can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s diseases. Other studies suggest that it could prevent the development of cancer cells, and thus improve your longevity.
Long-term (10-14 days) WF can also lower your blood pressure. Remember that such a long-term fast requires medical supervision. Otherwise, you should stick to short-term WF.
Is fasting for 30 days safe?
Although WF promises you impressive results in the form of weight loss and health improvement, keeping with this nutritional approach for such a long term can be dangerous. A month-long water fast will not provide you with all the essential nutrients, causing various nutrient deficiencies and harming your health. Besides that, your lost weight is likely to be regained after you return to your regular diet.
One other side effect of WF includes dehydration. It may sound surprising, but your body may lack water when sticking to a water fast. This can happen because you get about 20-30% of your daily water intake from food. Skipping your meals may lead to dehydration, which can be accompanied by low blood pressure, headaches, dizziness, and other symptoms.
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If you want to lose weight with the help of fasting, then the best option is to regularly practice intermittent fasting. This can provide you with healthy results and may even improve your overall wellness. And if you want to boost your results, make sure to hold to a well-balanced nutritional plan and increase your levels of physical activity.
You can also try short-term water fast, as there are studies that suggest that it may be beneficial for your health and weight loss. However, before starting any new diet, please, consult a health specialist.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!