Learn the reasons why fasting to lose weight may be one of the worst weight loss choices you can make.
Combine a culture with wanting everything NOW and immediate gratification with desperation to lose weight and it’s no wonder most people yo-yo diet. We are conditioned to having things immediately or at least expect that we should be able to have it in record time.
Here is a good version of this story:
This reminds me of people who are looking for that quick solution to a problem that took years to develop.
I can give a number of nutritional reasons why fasting to lose weight is probably not the best choice. In fact, I personally consider fasting to lose weight one of the WORST choices one could make to lose weight.
1. When you calorie deprive your body it begins to look for energy from other sources in your body.
2. When you are fasting to lose weight or on a calorie restricted diet your “glycogen stores” are being used - your energy is being sucked out of your liver and your muscles.
3. Voila!! WEIGHT LOSS!! Since your glycogen stores are being used your lose weight and some fat is burned off. But at this point your body is STARVED for sugar since it is now depleted. Your body DOES NEED some sugar – not as much as most people take in – but it does need some to function.
4. At this point you may have lost some weight but soon the battle becomes difficult. In a couple of weeks your body is screaming for some sugar and people usually give in by eating more calories. Some try to push through the symptoms of sugar deprivation by using some type of stimulant.
REMEMBER!!! Your body needs SOME sugar. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 24 grams of sugar for women and 36 grams for men.
5. If you are still fasting at this point your body is now looking for other sources of energy which it now takes from your bones and muscles just to keep you going!!!
But you think you are doing well because that number on the scale is going down. After all, that scale reading is EXTREMELY powerful.
People Equate Weight Loss With Being Healthy No Matter What the Cost!
6. Your body is burning fat but it is minimal in comparison to the loss of muscle and bone mass.
7. Now that you have lost muscle mass you have also slowed down your metabolism.
1 lb. of MUSCLE burns 35 calories vs. 1 lb. of FAT burns 2 calories
SEE WHY METABOLISM SLOWS DOWN!!
LESS MUSCLE DENSITY = LOWER METABOLISM
8. Now you may be down to your goal weight and you think “FINALLY...I MADE IT!!!”
9. But at this point you have less lean body mass, less muscle density which brings your metabolism to a HALT.
10. You begin to eat normally – after all you have ARRIVED. But now you gain the weight back FAST and probably more weight than you had before. So you beat yourself up and tell yourself that you could have done it better, you need to exercise more, you need to be more consistent, you should have stayed away from carbs, if only ... if only... if only.
11. Then – you diet or fast again.
12. End result – a damaged metabolism, malnourishment, hormonal imbalance and a pretty damaged self esteem.
So back to the Tortoise and the Hare…….
The Hare did everything fast. He thought fast was better because he arrived first. The Hare did not see the value in moving forward in a steadfast manner because he lived in the FUTURE. The tortoise, on the other hand, saw his goal clearly and knew what it looked liked. He knew how to get there and the amount of time did not matter. The tortoise was able to stay in the PRESENT and take in all that was happening around him at all times.
When we have a long goal to reach and we try to get there fast we miss a pathway of lessons that are INVALUABLE.
Fast weight loss has its physical ramifications but very few put any emphasis on the lessons you are cheating yourself out of on a spiritual and emotional level.
When you learn to take the pounds of f 2lbs at a time and remain steady and consistent you gain TREMENDOUS PERSONAL STRENGTH that you will not get when fasting to lose weight.
You will grow in a number of ways that you never thought imaginable:
Take pride in your journey. Flaunt your new level of perseverance, your deeper commitment, your love and respect for your body and your inner strength. You will see that you are much, much more than the number on the scale. The number on the scale DOES NOT REFLECT WHO YOU ARE – your QUALITIES will reflect that.
I leave you with this quote, one of my favorites from Maya Angelou:
Take the focus off the number on the scale and how fast it moves. Instead, place your focus on the respect you have for your body and what it means to TRULY cherish it and treat it well. This in itself will set you on the path to weight loss...it’s simple...have respect for your body and faith in the process and you will lose weight.
Respect and faith cost nothing...and it’s more powerful than any weight loss product.