30 Day Fast Weight Loss
Nowadays, there are huge varieties of methods that can help you to lose, gain or maintain your weight. The internet, media, and healthcare professionals from the world of weight loss offer tons of dietary and workout plans that can satisfy your fitness goals. However, diet and exercising can have significant positive and negative effects for your health. That is why it is so vital to check out all the necessary information before making such changes in your life. Choosing a new nutrition plan is a crucial point, and you should know everything about it. In this article you will find out all the details about the 30-day fast weight loss. Below you can find an informative guide about fasting, its types and their effects on your body. Let’s start!
What is fasting and what types are the most popular?
Fasting is a dietary pattern that is gaining popularity among a growing amount of people. This is a method of restricting food intake and it has several variations. There are two of the most popular types of fasting:
- Water fasting
- Intermittent fasting
Below you can check detailed information about these types of fasting and which one is better for your body and weight loss in particular. Read on!
30 day fast weight loss: water fasting
While on this type of fast, dieters cannot consume anything except water. People believe that they should stick to a water fast for numerous reasons: – weight loss, multiple health benefits, religious reasons and more. But the main goals are to improve health status and peel off unwanted pounds. This sort of fasting is quite popular due to its rapid and impressive effects.
Water fasting health benefits
According to several research findings, water fasting could offer a number of health benefits. For instance, it may decrease your risks of some chronic illnesses and stimulate the process of autophagy. Autophagy is a process in which your body cells clean out damaged or unnecessary parts (4). Studies have shown that it could help to protect your body from heart and Alzheimer’s diseases (1, 5). According to other research, it could prevent the accumulation of damaged parts of your body’s cells and in this way prevent the development of cancer cells (13). This process could also prolong your life expectancy (3, 6, 12). All these studies were conducted on animals however, so this question still lacks results from human studies.
According to the research, a prolonged water fast (10-14 days) could also lower your blood pressure (9, 10). Medical supervision is mandatory in this case. There is no similar evidence concerning the link between short-term fasting and blood pressure.
Keep in mind that you can get the majority of health benefits by simply sticking to short-term fasting. Long-term ones can be dangerous for your health and life.
Water fasting: is it safe?
It is noteworthy that thoughts concerning safety of this weight loss method are quite controversial. Despite all the benefits, water fasting needs more scientific background, especially – human studies. This dietary pattern is over-restrictive and for this reason isn’t suitable for everyone. The main issue is that your body still needs nutrients to function properly and stay healthy. That is why even if water fasting might offer health benefits, it still brings an increased number of risks as well.
Because of such a severe calorie restriction, you may lose weight too fast, and that is quite harmful to your health. For instance, rapid weight loss can cause gallstones, malnutrition, hair loss, muscle loss, headaches and more (11). You may shed up to 2 pounds (0.9 kg) per day of 24-72-hour water fast. In fact, it is recommended to not lose more than 1-2 pounds of body weight per week, not per day (14).
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Water fasting and dehydration
Maybe it sounds weird, but you may also face such a consequence as dehydration. The point is that the foods you consume provide you with approximately 20-30 % of your daily water intake. By drinking the same amount of water but avoiding foods, your body won’t get necessary hydration. As a result, you may experience low blood pressure, headaches, dizziness and other symptoms of dehydration.
Water fasting is especially dangerous for people with certain health conditions, including eating disorders, diabetes and gout.
What is the optimal term of your water fasting?
And what about the optimal term of your water fasting? Yes, many people have practiced the 30-day fast weight loss approach, drinking only water and avoiding food at all. Some dieters start with a 5-14-day water fasting to prepare their bodies for this stress. Others stick to this diet for 22 and even 40 days at once– everything depends on their goals. Technically, this is possible. Some people even claim that when the body doesn’t have to spend energy for digestion, they have more energy for other things. Many of them claim even being able to continue their normal life – go to work and have regular training sessions.
Your body can deal with only-water-diet-plan for a month, but it is extremely dangerous. Everything depends on your overall health, possible medical conditions and the amount of body fat you have. As it was mentioned above, this dietary pattern is not for everyone. If your aim is only to lose weight quickly, it also has one major minus. In the majority of cases, after such crazy and over-restrictive diets, people tend to regain their weight. And that is in addition to all the risks for your health, listed above.
However, there are short-term water fasts that aren’t dangerous for your body. Because of all the risks, health professionals don’t recommend fasting for a period longer than 1-3 days. Remember that it is dangerous to stick to this dietary pattern for a longer period without medical supervision.
How to stick to a water fast?
There are no special guides about how to fast properly. Most dieters drink approximately 2-3 liters of water per day during their fasting. Some people may feel dizzy and experience fatigue. For this reason, it is better to avoid driving, physical activity and operating heavy machinery. Some dieters drink only water, others allow themselves herbal teas, lemon water and other beverages.
It is important to break the fast correctly. It is crucial to re-introduce food into your meal plan carefully and gradually. Don’t eat a big meal immediately after the end of your diet. It is better to start with small and healthy meals or smoothies, the things that will affect your digestive system more gently. Increase your portion size throughout the day. After you get used to food again, you can safely go back to your normal diet. This post-fast period can take 1-3 days.
If you still want to water fast longer, it is critical to consult your healthcare provider before making such serious steps and changing your usual lifestyle.
30 day fast weight loss: some tips for your success in water fasting
Below you can find a list of small and simple recommendations, that will help you to achieve your fitness goal during your fasting.
Set your goals
Before starting any diet, it is critical to set goals (realistic ones). This case is not an exception. You should decide for how long you want to stick to this diet. It is also important to know what you want to achieve – weight loss, better overall health or something else. These small steps will help you to manage fasting and be satisfied with your results. Before initiating a water fast, it is tremendous to understand what challenges you are about to face and the potential consequences and risks.
Don’t pay attention to other people’s opinions
Your motivation, enthusiasm and desire to stick to this diet may be ruined by people around you. Your family members, colleagues, and friends, who take care for you, may try to stop you from sticking to such a diet. They are most likely afraid of possible consequences to your health. But if you are closely monitored by your doctor or dietitian everything should be fine. You can stick to your own opinion. Just remember to listen to your body and make your health the number one priority.
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It is critical to listen to your body and pay attention to its reaction to your new nutrition regime. If you feel bad and understand that fasting is too tough for you, it is better to try other diets that will be more balanced and healthy. It is also important to monitor your progress. For example, you can make photos or weigh yourself regularly. In this way you’ll see your first results and stay motivated.
Prepare your body
If you are fasting for the first time, it is especially important to prepare your body for this dietary pattern. For example, during 3-4 days before fasting you can start decreasing your portion sizes or restrict your sugar and carbs intake. Some dieters also fast for part of the day.
Establish your own rules
It was mentioned above that people tend to have some variation of water fasting. They allow themselves herbal teas and some other drinks that don’t harm the digestive system during the diet. It means that you can slightly change your fasting rules to make everything more suitable for you.
If you want to lose weight and get long-term results without damage to your health, it is better to choose more gentle types of fasting. Intermittent fasting will be perfect for this purpose.
A short guide to intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a much better way to achieve your fitness goal. It is more flexible and safe, so you can choose the most suitable schedule and slim down without being afraid for your health. That is why this is one of the most popular dietary plans for weight loss and health in general.
Basically intermittent fasting is an eating pattern, in which the fasting and eating periods of time follow each other. You can eat all healthy foods, there is no special food list for this diet. The focus is more on when you eat instead of what you eat.
Different intermittent fasting approaches
There are several intermittent fasting approaches that are the most popular among the dieters. Some weight-watchers prefer the 5:2 method – they stick to a normal diet for 5 days a week and fast for 2 days. During 2 fasting days they can consume only 500-600 calories per day (or ¼ of your usual calorie intake). Others prefer a different approach, like when they fast for 24 hours several times a week. The 16/8 method is probably the most popular. Its followers have their major meals (as a rule, lunch and dinner) during an 8-hour window and fast for the rest of the day. It is considered to be the simplest, as you sleep at night and just skip breakfast. Sometimes this approach is subdivided for men and women: men fast for 16 hours and women – 14.
Due to an automatic reduction of your daily calorie intake, this eating pattern effectively helps to trim off unwanted pounds. It also offers you a number of health benefits. For instance, some studies have shown that intermittent fasting could have an impact on inflammation reduction, which is one of the main causes of chronic diseases (2, 7). This eating pattern also may support your brain function, prevent cancer, increase life expectancy and more.
The effect of intermittent fasting on your health
However, the effect of intermittent fasting on your health still needs more scientific backing. It isn’t suitable for people who have/had eating disorders or are underweight. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, people with low blood pressure and diabetes should also avoid this diet. The followers of intermittent fasting can also face a number of side effects – fatigue, irritability, headaches, bloating and more. As you can see, this diet is also not for everyone, and you should consult professionals before starting it.
How to start your 30-day fast weight loss with intermittent fasting?
There are no special and strict rules. You can create your own dietary pattern. For instance, you can start your fasting by sticking to the approach which is simpler for you. You can follow the 16/8 (or 14/10) method for the first two weeks of your diet and change it to 5:2 for the last two weeks. Maybe for you it will be easier to make it vice versa, everything is up to you.
If you feel you have enough energy, you can include some light training sessions to your schedule even on fasting days. As it was mentioned above, it is important to break the fast correctly. You can choose some healthy meals and start from smaller portions. Meals high in protein and healthy fats will be perfect (it is better to avoid carbs). Eggs, nuts, or oatmeal will be perfect in this case.
Remember that when it comes to dieting and weight loss, everything is quite individual. Listen to your body and choose methods and tools that are more effective and suitable for you.
Some tips for your success in intermittent fasting
Planning your meals will significantly simplify your diet. It is especially important to plan your non-eating days, when you have to consume only about 500 calories of healthy food. Remember, that even on your non-fasting days it is important to consume healthy and nutritious foods.
As it was mentioned above, everything in dieting is quite individual. If you want to find your perfect approach, it is important to experiment. You can try all the intermittent fasting methods to find the most suitable one. You can also take your time to find foods, that will be the best for you and will provide you with energy.
Avoid refined grains and sugars
It will be better to replace these foods with fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, lentils, beans, lean proteins, and healthy fats. They will be the best option for your diet and will provide you with all the necessary nutrients (8).
You already know about the importance of hydration for your weight loss and overall health. That’s why keep in mind to drink necessary amounts of water both on your fasting and eating days. To be in good health, it is recommended that adult humans drink 8 glasses of 250 ml of water per day, i.e. 2 liters per day.
What type of fasting to choose?
It was mentioned above that long term water fasting is dangerous for your health. That’s why if you have decided to try fasting, it is better to choose either one or two day of water fasting or intermittent fasting. Intermittent fasting will be a safer and more reliable way to lose weight and support your health. In any case, it is always better to consult a professional nutritionist in order to avoid unwanted consequences for your health.
Can I take supplements during fast?
If you stick to a longer fast, you may face nutrient deficiency. That’s why adding supplements to your daily routine is recommended. But you should know which ones are better and which ones should be taken with foods. Again, consult your doctor or dietitian to find out the most suitable supplements.
In conclusion, as you can see, 30-day fast weight loss isn’t the simplest or healthiest way to shed unwanted pounds. There are many nuances, and it is highly important to be careful. Remember that your body has its nutritional needs for proper functioning. It needs nutrients to stay healthy and attractive. That is why it is vital to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet that will provide you with all necessary vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Take care of your health and appreciate yourself.
If you want your weight loss plan to be efficient, don’t forget to do some exercise on the regular basis. Check out this 20-min Full Body Workout at Home.
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!
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- Weight loss: 6 strategies for success (2019, mayoclinic.org)