Fasting was first advocated by doctors as a method for weight loss in 1915. By 1959 doctors had begun using it as a regular procedure to address obesity and, since that time, doctors have had patients on fasts for as long as 117 days. The longest fasting period was and intermittent fast that ran for 382 days and resulted in a weight loss of 276 pounds.
The debate regarding the therapeutic safety of fasting began in 1968 when a morbidly obese patient who began the fast despite having a heart condition died in the process.
Certainly, fasting should not be engaged by people who have specific health conditions. Because of the association between eating disorders and obesity, psychotherapy is recommended for those who are considering fasting.
Also, drinking alot of water to stay healthy during a fasting diet is essential.
A study conducted by a doctor from the University of Illinois at Chicago and her colleagues discovered that the strategy of fasting every other day could be effective for losing weight and improving certain heath conditions.
Weight loss is normally achieved by reducing the amount of calories that are consumed on a daily basis as opposed to an every-other-day fasting approach.
The study found that subjects who used the on-off fasting method lost an average of twelve pounds after an eight week period and that their total cholesterol levels fell by an average of twenty-one percent, their LDL or “bad “ cholesterol dropped by an average of twenty-five percent, and their systolic blood pressure decrease by an average of five points.
In addition, researcher’s suspicions that subjects might overeat on non-fasting days were found to be without cause. Subjects ate between 100 to 125 percent of their calories needs on non-fasting days.
The results of a recent study that were posted online in May of this year by the journal Cell Metabolism concluded that nighttime fasting may contribute greatly to weight loss.
In a study conducted on mice, the animal subjects were divided into two groups. Both groups were allowed high-fat, high calorie food although half were only allowed access to food for an eight hour period. The difference between the two groups by the end of the study was substantial.
Despite the high-fat diet that they were on, the mice who were forced to fast for a sixteen hour period were as lean as mice in a control group that were given a regular diet. The group of mice that was allowed to nibble freely over the course of a twenty-four hour period grew obese despite the fact that their overall consumption of fat and calories was the same as the mice who were forced to fast.
In addition, the obese mice developed high cholesterol, high blood sugar, fatty liver disease, and metabolic problems. The mice who also ate a high fat diet but were forced to fast showed few signs of liver disease and had blood sugar and cholesterol levels that were in nearly identical to the control group mice. The fasting mice also had the most endurance and best motor skills of all the animal subjects.