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Fasting Can Make You Add Weight, Here’s How

NB: This post was originally authored by me and published on the theladiesroom.ng, an online blogging site.

With fasting, you are skipping meals (albeit now for spiritual reasons). Sadly, your flesh doesn’t recognise that and would assume you are hoarding food from it, especially if you are fasting for prolonged periods

Fasting can make you add weight. I know it sounds contradictory, but really, instead of snatching your waist, fasting can actually make you add weight. Unfortunately, especially when you are over 30. Think about it, there are people who fasted and gained weight, or maybe even lost weight while fasting and gained it all back the next month.

This is because the same principles that govern fasting also govern starvation. And trust me, starvation will hinder your weight loss.

You see, you eat to lose weight, you don’t starve to lose weight

*Did I hear you clapping to that?

This is what I mean. Granted there are people who fast and lose weight, but this post is not for them. It is for my sisters who are on one fast or the other but are still gaining weight despite their best efforts.

This is how it works

With fasting, you skip meals (albeit now for spiritual reasons). Sadly, your flesh doesn’t recognise that and would assume you are hoarding food from it. Especially if you are fasting for prolonged periods. Then it too will start to hold on tightly to what it has. What this means is that any little food you send in, instead of metabolising and finding ways to burn it, it keeps, as if to say it is saving it for a future drought coming. The inevitable result? Weight gain.

Metabolism killer

Also, fasting messes up big time with your metabolism— that is how quickly your body burns energy and fat to stay alive. Your body is a machine and needs a steady but controlled supply of good food to keep things going. When you starve it of food, it slows down your metabolism and you burn fat slower.

For one already past the mid-’30s, that is double disaster, because naturally, your body metabolism starts to slow down from age 30.

Finally, because of the fast pace of life, sometimes we forget to eat, or are too tired to meal prep and eat healthy whole meals so you settle for junk or unhealthy foods. If you forget to eat, there is a huge tendency that you will overeat at your next eating window because you have earlier deprived your body. Make this a habit and it would follow you right out of your fast. This would inevitably lead to weight gain.

No junk, please

If you always break with junk and unhealthy meals, your body metabolism that was already negatively affected dips even more, as junk further slows down how fast your body burns fat. Oh, and there are some of us who even end up eating all the meals we skipped for the day at once with the quantity of food we consume because of how hungry we are.

To add to that, if you are eating late and your activity level is already low, you won’t even burn energy before bedtime. Such a bad habit can be difficult to quit after the fast. Night overeating is a trap. Don’t fall into it as it is hard to beat.

Remember…

One of the worst things you can do to yourself after fasting is to break with junk, especially in large portions. You have just told your previously starving body that it can still stay sleeping. Or maybe sleepwalking at best. However, if you feed your body healthy meals at the break of your fast in the right portions, your body metabolism will be supercharged and you will burn calories faster that way. So, make sure you are disciplined enough to break your fast daily, and with the right food to give your body permission to start working again.

Coach E’

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