Trying to lose weight is hard work. You need to plan meals and snacks, and make a big effort to avoid situations that trigger more eating and drinking than you’d planned. Dieting can also be very antisocial. But what if you could speed up weight loss, spend less time “dieting”, with the “promise” of better results? This is where “fasting” diets come in.
If you need to shed some water weight, dandelion tea may help. That's because components in the tea work to increase urine output, says McDaniel. “Dandelion tea could be helpful when feeling bloated from a high-sodium meal, since the diuretic properties may help the body from retaining water and salt.” You will see the scale inch down as you lose water weight, says Mendez, “but the effects are short-term and don’t reflect true weight or fat loss.”
There’s some evidence that green tea, like black tea, can help people lose weight—thanks to antioxidant compounds, called catechins, found in dried green tea leaves. “Catechins in green tea may stimulate the sympathetic nervous system to increase energy expenditure and to promote the oxidation [breakdown] of fat,” explains Stefanie Mendez, R.D., co-founder of Matriarch, a women's fitness and nutrition service. “Some research suggests that long-term consumption of catechins may even reduce risk of heart disease by preventing the formation of LDL cholesterol, which is the leading cause of atherosclerosis, or clogged arteries, as well as decreasing body fat.” McDaniel recommends drinking at least four cups of regular green tea (not decaf) to reap the benefits.
Individuals use intermittent fasting to lose weight fast. In studies done by the NIH, there was reported weight loss with over 84% of participants — no matter which method of fasting they chose (alternate day fasting, the 8/16 method, or another approach)[*]. Science has shown intermittent fasting to be an efficient weight loss tool, sometimes more than simply cutting calories. In one study, intermittent fasting was shown to be as effective as continuous calorie restriction in fighting obesity[*].
Cardiovascular disease risk factors, which usually improve with weight loss, were similar in both groups, with two exceptions: "Bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) levels were significantly higher in the fasters after a year. But, Varady says, "we did have a subgroup of people who had pre-diabetes, and they saw bigger improvements in insulin resistance, inflammatory factors and triglyceride levels with alternate-day fasting."
Real talk: It could take weeks or months to see the metabolic effects of exercise on the scale, and even then, building muscle, which is denser than body fat, could lead to weight gain. “Do what you like because it’s good for you,” Dr. Seltzer says, noting the way exercise is awesome for your heart, mental health, and more—and that not all measure of progress can be seen on the scale.
Fill a big teacup with soothing peppermint tea, and sniff yourself skinny! While certain scents can trigger hunger (a trick Cinnabon figured out long ago), others can actually suppress your appetite. One study published in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who sniffed peppermint every two hours lost an average of 5 pounds a month. (Although tea is relatively low in caffeine—about 25% of what a cup of coffee delivers—decaffeinated varieties are great to have on hand for a soothing bedtime treat.) Consider also adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your pillow or burning a minty candle to fill the room with slimming smells.
Juice fasting involves consumption of juices of fruits and vegetables during the fasting period. No solid foods are eaten during this period which can last for a day to 2 weeks. This type of fasting requires careful planning. One needs to get enough minerals and vitamins from a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. This fast is meant for detoxification and weight loss.
Because you'll eat often—at least every four hours—and drink as much water and decaffeinated tea as you want, you'll beat bloat while keeping your blood sugar steady and your energy high. This means you'll be able to cut back without feeling cranky, exhausted, or hungry. And—we pinky swear—you won't have to gulp down a single glass of cayenne-spiked liquid.
Fasting as a spiritual practice has a long history in many religions. The idea of purification and cleansing as a way to create change may help increase motivation for weight loss, and brief use of a homemade cleanse may help break habits of overeating and reduce the appetite. For a homemade cleanse to be useful as a means to jump-start weight-loss, it's important to follow the cleanse with lifestyle improvements. A healthy, balanced diet and exercise program provide the most effective means to safely achieve your weight-loss goals. Consult your doctor before attempting a cleanse or fast.