Can Fasting Help Me Lose Weight?
by Dada Vedaprajinananda, copyright, 2004
One way to lose weight is to just stop
eating. It sounds simple but in reality you have to know what you are
doing to get any long term weight loss benefits from fasting. Let’s look
at the weakness and strengths of fasting for weight loss.
Like most forms of dieting, fasting can be used to bring about dramatic
but temporary reductions of weight. You can go on a long fast, taking
nothing but juice or eating grapes or taking some other low calorie meal
substitute for several weeks, and while you are on the fast you will
certainly lose weight. However, during the fast you may not be able to
carry on your normal social interactions. It’s not so easy to sit around
sipping carrot juice while the rest of your family is eating a normal
Another problem with long fasting is that your body requires vital
nutrients (vitamins, minerals, protein) and your favorite juice may not
contain them. Long fasting without proper medical supervision can be
Finally, a major problem with this kind of fasting is that once you stop
fasting and resume eating your normal diet, you are likely to gain back
all the weight that you have lost during your crash weight loss fast.
So, does fasting have any place in a weight loss plan? Yes it does.
Periodic fasting is one of the secrets of a long and healthy life. Our
body’s digestive organs require a rest from time to time, just as we
require days off from work. One-day fasting done in a methodical and
regular manner provides the kind of rest that helps our digestive system,
aids in the elimination of toxins from our body, and, yes, also helps us
to lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way.
How to Do ProperFasting
Here is a method of doing one day fasts: taking no food and (if your body
is strong) no water in a period from the sunrise of one day to the sunrise
of the next day:
Successful fasting has three stages: preparation, the actual fast, and
breaking the fast. Each one of these stages is important.
Preparation: If you are not prepared both mentally and physically you will
find it difficult to go one day without food. The mental preparation is
simple, but very important. The night before the fast you have to take a
firm determination that tomorrow you are going to fast, that you are not
going to eat any food. If you fix your mind in advance then you will not
start deliberating during the fasting day whether you should continue or
not to continue. If you are undecided or waffling you can always find a
hundred reasons why you should start eating!
Physical preparation is also important. The day before you fast you should
eat a normal amount of food and take a good amount of liquids (especially
if you are going to be fasting without taking any liquids). If you miss
some meals on the day before fasting, then you may start feeling hungry
during the fasting period. If you do not take enough liquids, especially
during the night before the fast, then you will feel uncomfortable when
you are fasting.
If you are physically and mentally prepared you will not feel very hungry
while you are fasting. Once you decide to fast, your hunger just “shuts
off” for the fasting period. This sounds hard to believe, but if you do it
a few times you will see that it is true.
The Fasting Day
It is best to do light physical tasks and concentrate more on intellectual
and spiritual work during the fasting period. It is not a good idea to
spend your time thinking about what you are going to eat tomorrow! If you
have prepared yourself properly this shouldn’t be a problem and you can
use the time that you gain by not eating to do some constructive things
that you normally don’t get time to do.
Breaking the Fast
One of the benefits of fasting is that it helps to eliminate toxins from
the body. However, you can only get this benefit if you break your fast
correctly. On the morning following the fasting day, take two glasses of
lemon water. Put the juice of have of a lemon in one glass and add a bit
of salt. (The drink should taste both lemony and salty). After some time,
you can eat your breakfast. The lemon water will help you to flush your
digestive system with a strong bowel movement and many toxins will be
One day fasts like this can be done twice a month. This kind of fasting
will give rest to your digestive organs, help eliminate toxins, build your
will power and strength of mind. On top of this, the overall reduction in
calories that you get from going two days without food each month, will
definitely be one of the elements of a balanced and sustainable weight
To learn more about fasting and how to
use it as part of a balanced weight loss program,
download our ebook "Yoga Weight Loss Secrets" The ebook costs
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