If a balanced and regulated diet can work wonders for your body and mind, so can regular fasting. While fad diets come and go, some diet plans that have been there for a long when followed regularly can render the positive results you might have been seeking for years.
You might have heard of intermittent fasting, which many people swear by. However, most common intermittent fasting ways encourage you to keep a fast for specific hours every day; fasting one day a week is also a form of intermittent fasting.
Read on if you are keen on exploring more about this fasting method and how you could benefit from it, especially if you aim to maintain or lose weight.
What is Fasting One Day A Week?
If you want to experiment with fasting, it’s best to understand what is meant by fasting once a week. Intermittent fasting has been known as one of the most effective methods to lose weight and is used across cultures. Many people fast ritualistically as several faiths have repeatedly reiterated the pros of fasting.
Fasting impacts your growth hormones akin to intense exercise and sound sleep. It helps your muscles grow, and some experts also link extended lifespan as one of the advantages of fasting.
Fasting for a day involves not eating any food for 24 hours. Many people observe a fast from breakfast to breakfast or from lunch to lunch. During fasting hours, they only have water and other calorie-free drinks.
However, it is also important to return to standard eating patterns on non-fasting days. If you are new to the fasting for a day pattern, a 24-hour fast may appear challenging as it could cause fatigue, headaches, or even irritability. You can always begin by observing a fast for 12 hours or 16 hours as the first step before progressing to a daylong fast.
Benefits of 24-hour Fast Once a Week
When it comes to counting the benefits of 24-hour fast once a week, you’ll be amazed at how transformative it can be. Here’s how fasting one day a week can help you shape a better you.
Promotes Weight Loss
One of the common reasons people consider fasting is weight loss, and if you too aim to do so, all you need is to consume fewer calories than your body burns in a day. By doing that, you can trigger a calorie deficit, which is what fasting does to your body.
So by fasting for a day, you won’t provide your body with any calories, and your body will start burning calories as needed for energy, thereby promoting weight loss.
Enhancing your metabolism is also a way to lose weight, and one day fast every week can promote this. The body’s metabolism increases in the early fasting period and is escorted by increased plasma norepinephrine which happens due to a fall in the serum glucose.
Other benefits of fasting once a week include:
- Production of the growth hormone
- Better brain functioning
- Prevent the risk of developing diabetes
- Reduce chances of acquiring cardiovascular diseases
- Delays aging signs
Intermittent fasting (IF) works in various ways to promote weight loss and greater health. To understand more about its benefits, read- 8 Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting: A Complete List.
Fasting 1 day a week: Challenges and Tips for Keeping the Resolution Going
Does fasting one day a week weight loss sounds like putting your willpower to the test already? Yes, it could be challenging initially. If you wonder how to fast for a day, here are ways to keep you motivated in your weight loss and fitness journey.
Drink Lots of Water
That does not certify you to drink your sugary beverages or alcoholic drinks, though! By drinking, it is indicated that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day with water or any other calorie-free drink, such as sugar-free herbal teas.
Coconut water can also make a good choice as it is known to contain electrolytes that can balance the body’s fluid needs.
When you think you are hungry, you might just be thirsty. And there is no better alternative to quenching this with fresh water. Water can curb your appetite by regulating the ghrelin hormone, responsible for communicating your hunger to the brain. Also, drinking a glass of water an hour before meals can quieten your hunger pangs to a large extent.
Don’t Think of Food
Distracting the mind can work in your favor. When deprived of food, even for a few hours, the mind thinks of food. If you can overcome that thought pattern, you have successfully won your way through fasting. Avoid obsessing over food and engage yourself in activities that can keep your mind off food.
Get the Required Rest
Resting and relaxing can have a calming effect on the mind helping you manage your fasting goals better. Avoid strenuous activities on fasting days, although doing light exercise such as yoga can be helpful.
Eat Right After the Fasting Period
Not eating for 24 hours and filling your stomach with junk after that may not serve the purpose of fasting; instead, it can harm your health. Make sure to choose nutrient-rich foods after your fasting periods.
Food items that are a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals can keep blood sugar levels steady and prevent nutrient deficiencies. You can always work on the taste of the food by seasoning it with herbs and spices of your choice.
Be it garlic, coriander, or parsley, these are low in calories and rich in flavor, which can help reduce your cravings. A balanced diet can contribute to weight loss and overall wellbeing.
So, is fasting once a week good? When done in the right way, it can help you achieve your weight loss goals. However, there aren’t any hard and fast rules on what is to be eaten when following an intermittent fasting routine. Keeping the calorie intake under control and avoiding junk can help.
When breaking the fast, certain foods are better to eat than others because of their nutritional value. To know more on what foods should be consumed after a fast, read How To Break A Fast: The Best Food To Eat After Fasting.
Above all, you need to stick to your fasting plan. Your commitment to your fitness journey is essential, requiring substantial willpower. There is a range of temptations that might try to attack your willpower, and they might be just available in your kitchen itself.
Not giving in would be the primary challenge that can be countered when you stay focused and true to steadfast.
Nothing happens overnight. So, if you wish to see the results coming through, you will have to wait to allow your fasting ritual the time to work.
It’s normal to have hunger pangs, headaches, and cravings when you fast. Don’t let this discourage you; it happens to everyone at some point. Use these experiences as a learning opportunity, figure out why you didn’t stick with your goals, and what steps you can take to prevent it next time.
However, if you suffer from a medical condition, it would be better to take an expert’s opinion on whether or not to fast.
The Bottom Line
If done prudently, fasting for one day per week can help you lose weight. However, maintaining an overall healthy lifestyle is key to successfully achieving your goals.
People new to fasting should take it slowly and gradually build up the will to do a 24-hour fast. Fasting is beneficial and is worth looking into for a healthy lifestyle and a disease-less future.
If you’re not sure what to eat on your non-fasting days, check out our Intermittent Fasting Meal Plans. We’ve got complete nutritional data for each meal. Weekly shopping lists for your ultimate convenience. Check out 21-day Intermittent Fasting Meal Plans.