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Liquid Fasts May Lead To Weight Loss But Quick Reversal Too

| Updated: March 13, 2024 11:27

Researchers advise people to adopt intermittent fasting instead of going on liquid fasts

With so much hype surrounding intermittent fasting, liquid fasts are also in the spotlight. Liquid fasts, where people drink only liquids for many days, may lead to weight loss. However, researchers have warned that the weight is likely to be regained after a while.

The researchers from the University of Illinois Chicago, revealed that other benefits of liquid fasts, such as lower blood pressure and better blood sugar and cholesterol levels, too go away when the fast ends.  

The researchers advised people who want to lose weight to adopt intermittent fasting instead of going on liquid fasts. 

While they said there may not be any adverse effects of liquid fasts, a person should not undertake such fasts for more than five days without medical supervision.   

The research, published in ‘Nutrition Reviews’, is a literature review of eight studies on liquid fasting or ‘Buchinger’ fasting, a medically supervised fast popular in Europe. In this case  people consume only a very small amount of juice and soup a day. 

Short-term weight loss

The research team found that liquid fasting did lead to short-term weight loss. As per the review, people who did liquid fasting for five days  lost about 4% to 6% of their weight; those who fasted for seven to 10 days lost about 2% to 10%, and those who fasted for 15 to 20 days lost 7% to 10%. 

Among the eight studies, only a few tracked whether participants gained the weight they had lost after stopping the fast. In one study, participants gained all the weight they had lost in a five-day fast within three months. 

But, in two other studies, only a small amount of the lost weight returned. In these studies the participants were advised to curtail calorie intake after they stopped the fast.

Some of the studies included participants with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They did not suffer from any adverse effects. However they were closely monitored closely and their insulin doses were adjusted when they were on the liquid fast.

The most common side effects of prolonged liquid fasts are similar to those from intermittent fasting. These are hunger, headache and insomnia.

Also Read: If You Want Foods Rich In Protein, Look Beyond ‘Dal’

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