Fasting isn’t for everybody. Do you recall listening to this from people who went on a crash diet, only to give in all too soon? Has this made you wonder about the possible side effects of fasting?
In this article, we will discuss the safe ways to fast without compromising on your health. You will also familiarize yourself with the symptoms that indicate you need to give fasting a break.
Table Of Contents
Symptoms That Indicate You Should Stop Fasting
Every individual looking forward to losing weight intends to fast until they shed those excess pounds. But not all can go through the fasting phase smoothly. If you are on a fasting spree and notice any of the following symptoms, you need to stop fasting:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- A burning sensation in the stomach
- Chest pain or stomach pain
Once you regain your energy, you can get back to fasting. The following tips will help you ensure you fast safely.
How To Fast Safely
1. Stay Hydrated
Individuals on a fast are likely to feel dehydrated. About 20 to 30% of the body’s fluid requirements are met through food, and fasting can alter this (1). Hence, it is important that you drink lots of water and stay hydrated while fasting.
2. Restrict Your Calorie Intake
Fasting usually involves staying away from all foods/drinks for a period. However, instead of eliminating all sources of food, you can reduce your calorie intake on the days of fasting. This way, you will only consume 25% of your daily calorie requirements for two days a week to facilitate weight loss (2).
3. Do Not Feast While Breaking The Fast
As tempting as it may be to feast on all your favorite savories while breaking your fast, you should not do so. Feasting on a lot of food can leave you feeling instantly bloated and tired. It can also slow down the weight loss process as it will reduce the calorie deficit (3).
4. Keep The Exercises Mild
When you are on a diet, your body runs low on energy. Hence, keep your exercises mild. Indulge in strenuous workouts only on the days you aren’t fasting. As your body gets used to exercising, you can gradually start trying out high-intensity workouts to increase the utilization of the stored fat in your body (4).
5. Take Additional Supplements
When you fast, you tend to miss out on a lot of nutrients essential for your body. People on a diet are deficient in a number of nutrients – including calcium, iron, and vitamin B12 (5). You can make up for these deficiencies by taking a nutritional supplement after consulting your healthcare provider.
6. Eat Whole Foods During Non-Fasting Days
It is important you eat whole foods on non-fasting days. This not only prevents deficiencies but also cuts the risk of severe illnesses like heart disease and cancer (6).
7. Eat More Protein
Consuming more protein is a necessity not only while working out but also when you want to lose fat and build muscles. Increase your intake of protein-rich foods like chicken, eggs, cheese, fatty fish, and nuts during the period you are not fasting (7).
These tips can help you fast without incurring the risks. Also, we suggest you do not fast for days on end as it can have potentially life-threatening effects on your health.
We hope you found this post informative. For any further queries, feel free to get in touch with us via the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it normal to throw up while water fasting?
Throwing up or vomiting is one of the many indicators that you need to give fasting a break for some time. Hence, if you throw up on a water fast, it is best to start eating something until you are healthy enough to continue fasting.
When should I quit water fasting?
If you experience any symptoms like vomiting, nausea, dizziness, loss of consciousness, diarrhea/constipation, or abdominal pain, you should stop fasting immediately.
Can fasting make you sick?
Yes, fasting can cause dehydration, which may lead to other undesirable consequences.
Is it safe to fast for 3 days?
You can fast safely for 2-3 days without experiencing any adverse health effects (8). But, we suggest you prepare your body for water fasting by consuming fewer foods on the days prior.
What not to eat after fasting?
You should not binge on junk foods or other saturated foods after fasting. This may affect your weight loss progress by disrupting the calorie deficit you have created.
- “Contribution of Water from Food and Fluids to Total Water Intake: Analysis of a French and UK Population Surveys” Nutrients, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults.” American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Diet in the management of weight loss” Canadian Medical Association Journal, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Metabolic responses to exercise after fasting.” Journal of Applied Physiology, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Prevalence of micronutrient deficiency in popular diet plans” Journal Of The International Society of Sports Nutrition, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases” Nutrition Today, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss” Advances in Nutrition, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- “Is fasting safe? A chart review of adverse events during medically supervised, water-only fasting” BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library Of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Do You Drink Water Immediately Before Or After A Meal? Ayurveda Says You’ve Been Doing It Wrong!
- Dos And Don’ts Of Healthy Eating: 11 Tips To Guide You
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