Fasting has become a popular way to lose weight. It involves restraining from food for various amount of time, depending on the type of fast you are doing. Let's have a look at a few different fasting set ups:
The 5:2 Fast - In a week, with the 5:2 fast you spend 5 days eating regularly and 2 days fasting. So you might eat on Monday and Tuesday, skip food on Wednesday, eat on Thursday, skip again on Friday then eat Saturday and Sunday.
The 6:1 Fast - Basically the same as the 5:2 fast but you only fast for one day a week, so you might just fast on Fridays, for example.
* These two are great ways to get into fasting, you can also do these fasts while restricting calories, not completely skipping food. They're a good way to ease yourself in so that you don't shock your body and mind by going from eating 3 meals and snacks every single day to not eating anything for a week. - The restricted calorie versions permit around 500 calories per day for women and 600 for men.
The 16:8 Fast - This fast involves only consuming food in an 8 hour window each day. This is a continuous fast, so it's every day of the week. The times aren't crucial, so you can eat breakfast at 7am, but you won't be able to eat after 3pm. Or you can hold up until lunch time but can't eat after 8pm.
How it works:
When you eat, your body releases insulin into the bloodstream. This causes your body to respond to the insulin, and works to store the fat you consume. If you're eating regularly through the day this means your body will be regularly trying to store the fat you're eating. By fasting, you're giving the body periods of time where the insulin isn't being released and as such, your body wont be trying to store fat, it'll start using the fat reserves instead. That's the basic sciencey overview for why fasting works.
If you're wanting to try fasting, do it a bit at a time - try the lowest impact fast and work your way up. You might even want to just restrict calorie intake for a few days a week. Always stay hydrated, fasting is also a great way to head towards dehydration, so make sure you're keeping your body topped up on water. Don't fast for periods of more than 24 hours at a time, when you're wanting to fast for longer, consult with a doctor and do your research. If you fast for too long you'll be at risk of not getting the minerals and vitamins your body needs to work, so adding salt to your water or taking supplements might be essential to your fasting success. Good Luck!