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The Disadvantages of Fasting

By Cynthia Roberson ; Updated July 18, 2017

Whether fasting for spiritual, health or dietary reasons, you should approach the practice with extreme caution and be sure you are educated on the possible ramifications it could have on your body. Several kinds of fasts exist: from raw food fasts, to juice fasts, to time-of-day fasts. Nonetheless, they each carry the same amount of risk and disadvantages. Consult your physician before attempting a fast.

Loss of Water Weight and Muscle

One of the first side effects of fasting is the loss of water and muscle tissue. Because your body isn’t being properly hydrated during a fast, your body begins to lose much of its water weight. This creates a false sense of weight loss for those fasting to lose weight. This is quickly met with disappointment when the pounds easily reappear upon completion of the fast. The significant cut in calories, along with the lack of hydration, leads to a loss of muscle tissue. Losing muscle makes your body inefficient at fat-burning.

Possible Malnourishment

Because you’re depriving your body of food and calories, your body will have no source for the nutrients and vitamins it needs to be healthy. This vitamin and nutrient deficiency could result in lowered blood pressure, dry mouth, dizziness and nausea.

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Lower Metabolism and Energy

Due to the insufficient amount of calories coming into your body, your system goes into survival mode. Therefore, your body will work hard to preserve the fat and calories it has stored. While in survival mode, your body lowers your metabolism, causing a decrease in energy levels. This decrease in energy will leave you tired and even stressed. As a result, your work, social life and relationships may be affected.

Medical Advice

If you are diagnosed with a medical condition that requires consistent medical care, you will need to seek your doctor’s professional advice before taking part in any fast. A fast of any kind can alter the effects of prescription medication and will require close monitoring by a health care professional.

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