Monday, 5 October 2009

My Secret For Weight Loss: Short Term Fasting

If you've been searching for a diet plan that you will not only lose weight with, but have a chance at making a change that will last a lifetime, then you need to look into short term fasting as part of a sensible plan that can help you reach these goals. If you've always dismissed fasting as the domain of the religious fanatics or the political prisoners, then you are in for a surprise. There are many misconceptions surrounding fasting, and here we'll look into how it can help you not only in your weight loss program, but aid in achieving a better overall you!

In order for any diet plan to work, there is really only one "magic" secret for it to work: eat fewer calories than you burn off. That's it! Think about it - all of the current fad diets rely on teaching you to eat certain proportions of whatever they think is best. Ornish promotes low fat, Atkins low carbs, The Zone a more balanced ratio, but in reality, they all preach smaller amounts, which will lead to weight loss. The only question with them is can you sustain yourself on these diets? Not many can. I tried the Atkins plan, and even though I'm a meat lover, after a few weeks it was difficult to face all that protein. Conversely, people report similar difficulty staying with Ornish and the others, simply because of the restrictive nature of these diet plans. One thing that is interesting, however, is that any of these kinds of diets will cause you to lose weight, (by restricting caloric intake) proving that it really doesn't matter what you eat, only that you eat less of it.

I proved this to myself when I was younger by going on a cherry pie and hard-boiled egg diet for 30 days. I lost a bunch of weight, but it obviously wasn't the healthiest plan I could have undertaken. And needless to say, it was not sustainable as a lifestyle. (But it hit the spot for a time!)

I believe that short term fasting, a 24-hour fast once or twice per week, can be a great way to get you into total caloric deficit for the week. Eliminating two full days of eating helps us consume fewer calories than we use, and that in turn can help us reach our goal of weight loss. Of course, you can't eat like Michael Phelps the remaining hours of the week, (Unless you ARE Michael Phelps!) and hope to have a deficit, but in reality, I've found that you don't often have the desire to wolf down excessive amounts of food when following this plan.

Short term fasting is not only the fastest way to achieve caloric deficit, but also, contrary to popular opinion, can actually increase your metabolism during the first 24-36 hours. Short term fasting can be a great aid to helping you lose weight. Give it a try, there's nothing to buy!

For more cool info on this subject, check out this article: Tips for Building Muscle, Getting Lean and Getting Ripped

Jackie Burgmann is a Registered Weight Trainer and Registered Personal Trainer who also runs a popular fitness-oriented video blog using the pseudonym Girlwithnoname at Girlwithnoname.com

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