If you have been trying to lose weight and NOTHING seems to work, then this thought might have crossed your mind, "What if I just stop eating altogether?! THAT will cause me to lose weight!"
When you stop eating like this for a day or more, it is called fasting, or a fasting diet. It turns out that there has been a fair amount of research on fasting, and if you are healthy enough to try it (ask your doctor) you can gain some important benefits. This video talks about three different kinds of fasting and the benefits that can accrue from fasting (it is the best and most complete video on fasting that I have seen):
The video discusses the pros, cons and benefits of:
A three-day fast
Day on/Day off Intermittent fasting (one day of eating followed by one day of fasting, and repeat)
5:2 Intermittent fasting (5 days of normal eating followed by 2 days of fasting, and repeat)
The benefits of a 3-day fast sound pretty impressive. Your blood sugar levels get back to normal, supposedly your immune system resets, and you gain some new brain cells.
I have actually done the 3-day fast twice, and the second time I was able to go 4-days. But in that case I was trying to make it to 5-days and I could not hold out that long. So I was interested to learn about this fourth way to fast:
The fasting mimicking diet is supposed to let you eat a little bit of the right foods each day, which takes some of the edge off of strict water-only fasting, while your body does not notice this food and still thinks it is fasting.
[In the video above, he talks about using an envelope of soup mix each day. That step is never explained, and I have been unable to find any references to it elsewhere. On my 4-day fast, I used half a can of Campbell's Consume' once a day in place of the envelope of soup. Half of the can of Consume', mixed with an equal amount of water, makes a mug of broth that has only 20 calories, all of which come from protein. I don't know if this is good or bad, but this too takes the edge off for a few hours, and is really helpful right before bed.]
In my experience, if you try a 3-day fast, you do lose weight for sure, but much of it comes right back unless you are very careful. If you can stay pure-protien after the fast, that works pretty well.