Is Intermittent Fasting the right way to lose weight?

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How many of us are fascinated by Intemittent fasting? Many .. Is it the right way of losing weight?

A Big NO.

Is any fasting for that matter right for weight loss?

Again NO.

Fasting is deliberate refraining from eating for a particular day or a duration of a day. Thats what many people believe. I think fasting is a way to connect to God and its meant more for the soul than for the body. People who think that fasting is a way of losing weight, they should perhaps check why do our parents and grandparents used to do fasting on specific days. I do fast but only for religious reasons. Even when I am fasting, I dont refrain myself from food. I keep it simple by having one full meal in the evening and my entire day starting from morning has a huge options of fruits, Lassi, Tea, Milk, Curd, Makhane (Foxnut), dry fruits and lots of water. I want to gain mental strength by eating only a few types of food (that are allowed for my fast) and not eating from anyone’s plate/glass and just devoting that day to my lord. Because other days I just dont do that.

I find it strange that people looking for weight loss options are now experimenting with Fasting methods. Specially the new buzz term is IF- Intermittent fasting. They want that someone may just share their success story and give a list of DO’s and Dont’s and they would just follow to have same results, without bothering to worry whether its the right way or not. Reading a few articles on Intermittent Fasting(IF) and its popularity amongst youngsters forced me to write my own.

The social media is putting a huge stress on people to have exact shape and the weight and they think that by not eating the food they would be able to achieve this target. So this explains the thirst of finding new ways of losing weight. Its obvious that losing weight is possible by not eating the required amount of calories but the question remains unanswered that is it the right way? Will it be okay to continue it for long term? Will you not be just losing weight but also the muscles and hence inner body strength? Have You achieved your target but Ohh now your body just looks like needle and picking up things at home is no more easy. Earlier you could carry ten kg of Atta and transfer it to the container but now you just cant lift it.. Your face has become pale and people come up to you and ask if you have been ill lately.

If this all has happened to you (or will happen shortly), if you had adopted a method of not eating food and hence losing weight.

Pl Stop..

There are several reasons why we cant lose weight. It can be hormonal issue. Surely, there are better ways to lose weight than not to eat:

  • You may go for a brisk walk,run or jogging.
  • Join gym for muscle strength.
  • Eat more salads, fruits for fiber and dals for protein.
  • Avoid pure sugar, Chips, Cookies.
  • Be active if you have sedentary jobs.(You may go for a walk around lunchtime)
  • Eat when hungry.
  • Eat home-cooked fresh foods.
  • Fix the time of meals.
  • Never Skip a Breakfast.
  • Keep a check on your calories input.
  • Avoid Heavy meals at dinner time.
  • Does that mean You can’t eat your favourite chole bhature? Why not? Its just that these days your other meals can be light.
  • At the end, If you are close to your target, You have achieved enough and You dont have to be paranoid about a specific shape or a specific number on the weighing scale because remember you are not a celebrity. You are a mother, father, sister, brother or a student and you have other responsibilities too. Its important to have a healthy lifestyle and regime on daily basis than to do something which we cant do forever.
Best time to eat

Coming to Intermittent Fasting, I understand that it suggests that there is one time window in which we can eat and another in which we cant eat. For instance, we have 16:8 hours window. So I can have meals in 8 hours window and no food in 16 hours. From 12 Noon-8 pm I can eat, but from 8pm-12Noon(of next day) I cant eat, I may have water, lemon water to drink. The results as I heard are great. This fasting approach forgot that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and at that time It asks you to be hungry because the clock hasnt reached 12. It makes no sense to me at all. I have my dinner latest by 8 pm and by the time its 8 am I am super hungry as sleeping is also using some calories and I wake up at 6am. I do some household chores, then Puja and then I want to begin my day with a cup of tea with breakfast. By the time its noon, its my fruit-time. IF is inappropriate as its asking me not to eat when I am hungry which is the basic principle of losing weight.

EAT when HUNGRY. Just drinking water wont do any good if you are hungry for a meal. I am depriving my body of the food that it really needs and then I wonder why I have eating disorder (either eating more or less), anxiety, hair loss after following Intermittent Fasting for a few months, years,..Because all this while when I was following IF, I was just thinking about food. I forgot that walking in fresh air is also an important part of this weight-loss process. Talking to people, sharing my views and learning from their life’s experiences is also a part of this journey. This is perhaps what I love to do rather than just keeping a tab on calories and telling my mother to cook in the given time frame and pass on my stress to her too.

There exist variations in IF like 5:2 which implies eating only around 600 calories for 2 days and normal calories intake for next 5 days. Other variations that ask to be on fast for a whole day. Is it not easy to eat a standard set of calories almost daily and not confuse my body with varying calories and affecting my sugar levels which further crave me for more? Why should I make myself starve for two days even? Its obvious if I would not eat, I would lose weight. But do you know its the muscle mass that you would lose by not eating and not the fat mass that you really wish to lose.

Then IF claims that its good for Type 2 diabetes. Can a new research and success stories of a handful people be applicable to a mass population?

Its a known fact that low sugar is much more dangerous than the high sugar. Can any research ever tell when can the sugar levels be dangerously low? How can even they claim that Intermittent Fasting is for diabetes? For a sugar patient, its a must to have small frequent meals and a guidance of a doctor and not the guidance through the comments of social media followers.

Before you start your weightloss journey, I request you to keep in mind that it is a long journey and any decision in haste would affect your health. Go slow and steady and enjoy it !! I followed the traditional ways and could lose 8 kgs with simple walking and my father-in-law managed to lose 25 kgs. You dont have to go out of the way to find tough solutions. Sometimes the answer is simple and so is the problem.

Good luck!!

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