Some people claim that fasting, or dieting in general, is a waste of time because you’ll simply just gain the weight back after you stop. That’s why I say that fasting is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet. It’s a permanent fixture.
If your goal is to lose weight, then the reason you’re thinking of or have already started fasting is because you were consuming more calories than you were expending, and you needed to reverse it. If you stop fasting, and so reverse it again, of course you’ll gain back the weight, because you went right back to taking in more calories than you were putting out. You can’t just go back to your old ways and think everything’s going to be different because you spent a few weeks on a diet. If you do what you’ve always done, then you’re going to get exactly what you’ve always had. This is why I say quite deliberately that fasting is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet. It’s a permanent fixture.
A lifestyle change means that you form a new and permanent series of habits. In other words, you follow a new order of daily operations. You think differently. You act differently. You eat differently. This is how you produce change. And, more importantly, this is how you sustain change.
A common misconception entangled in this myth is that you’ll immediately gain back the weight after you stop fasting. That idea is true only if you over- compensate, by taking in additional calories to make up for those lost during your fast.
I clearly don’t recommend you do that because you fasted in the first place to lose weight and assume a caloric deficit, and the only way to reduce surplus weight is to assume a calorie deficit. Eating after a fast shouldn’t be a binge. Read the later section, “Eating Healthful Meals When You’re Not Fasting” to find out what to eat when you go off a fast.
Other people may say that the weight you lose fasting is simply the loss of water weight or muscle glycogen. Although that may be true in some cases, it’s far from the whole truth. The truth is that you will lose weight in the form of body fat. It won’t be immediate, but, if you stick with your fasting protocol, it will be a sure thing.
Fat loss is a slow, dripping process. Anyone can cut water weight quickly. Fasting isn’t a means to reduce water weight.