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Health and wellness

Why weight loss by fasting might not work for everyone

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 September, 2018, 4:30pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 September, 2018, 4:30pm

I have my reservations regarding the intermittent fasting suggested by Mo Ng (“How to lose weight and stay healthy: just find an eating window”, August 24).

I think intermittent fasting may not work for everyone, especially those with health conditions such as diabetes or low blood sugar. Fasting for long stretches can be really difficult, especially if you are a beginner.

There will be challenges that you have to overcome, such as trying to take your mind off hunger, low energy levels and becoming short-tempered.

Some people following a fasting regimen have reported finding it difficult to concentrate when hungry. Also, if you create an eating window to lose weight, your metabolism will be lowered, making subsequent weight loss even more difficult.

Curb the cravings: why does hunger persist when you drop the kilos?

When you fast for too long, your brain will just go into “starvation” mode, thinking that every time you consume food, you are going to starve yourself for a certain period of time again; thus your brain will tell your body to save calories to help you survive. That means you stop losing weight.

Also, just because we fast once or twice a week, we might think we can gorge on junk food as a treat for that hardship, and as a result consume more calories than we lost.

However, if you really want to try a fasting diet, it is better to consult a qualified nutritionist who can evaluate your health condition and give advice on whether it is suitable for you.

Eunice Li, Shanghai