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How to Lose Weight by Fasting Safely

author image Stephanie Dube Dwilson
I deliver error-free, interesting writing, and pride myself on delivering work ahead of deadline.
How to Lose Weight by Fasting Safely
Woman's feet standing on a scale. Photo Credit: Antonis Liokouras/iStock/Getty Images

Fasting has a bad reputation as a method of weight loss, but some people have found it very effective. The technique allows the dieter to concentrate on things other than food and when the next meal is coming. It also removes the need to count calories, points or carbohydrates. A properly thought out fast is not dangerous but an effective way to lose weight. Managing your nutrition and energy during a fast makes a huge difference in the effectiveness of the weight loss plan and how you feel while doing it.

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Follow these steps to lose weight safely while fasting

Step 1

Use intermittent fasting. There are varieties of ways to use intermittent fasting in weight loss. You fast for a specific period, for example, 20 hours and then have a window of two to four hours where you can eat. Another type of intermittent fasting involves eating normally one day and not eating at the next. You don't count calories.

Step 2

Make every calorie count. When fasting, it is important to pay attention to the calories you consume during the off times. Filling up on junk food or sugary soda will not only negate the benefits of fasting, but it also will not provide your body with the nutrients it needs to function. Eating lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will provide your body with energy to sustain you through periods of fasting.

Step 3

Cut back on exercise. Intense exercise is normally a great addition to a healthy lifestyle, but if you are severely restricting calories, limit your workouts to gentle walks or other light and enjoyable activities. Vigorous exercise while fasting may lead to an increased risk of injury and will definitely make it more difficult to stick with the fast.

Step 4

Listen to your body. Even the best-laid plans may not work. If you feel sick, develop a headache, have trouble concentrating or are unnaturally fatigued, fasting may not work for you. Listen to your body and find another diet program that is better suited for your lifestyle.

Step 5

Fast for set periods or time. Fasting is not an activity that should go on indefinitely. Decide at the outset how long you will remain on the fast. Taking it one day at a time can be counterproductive, because once the weight starts falling off, you will have an increased incentive to remain on the plan. This can lead to developing disordered eating patterns. Having a definitive end date for the fasting program makes it easier to remain in compliance while dieting.

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