Alternate Day Fasting: The Rules
Research shows that both high-carb and low-carb diets can be effective for weight loss when one is alternate day fasting. The only thing thats truly non-negotiable with alternate day fasting is meal timing.
Strict ADF prohibits taking in any calories whatsoever on fasting days. While the most liberal forms of ADF dont allow intake of more than 500 calories per fasting day. Even if youre eating at all hours of the day on your feasting days, youll still be fasting for 36+ hours within each two-day cycle.
Day : Less Hunger Pains More Major Headaches
The next day was another 15-hour fasting day, but I woke up around 4:30 a.m. and couldn’t fall back asleep, which made for verrrry long morning of not eating. The good news is I learned from my mistakes and had my leftovers from dinner first instead of the smoothie. That solved the problem of my growling stomach, but the headaches and spacey feeling were still there.
For dinner that night, my husband made homemade whole-wheat pizza with lots of veggies and a teeny amount of cheese. I also had a glass of red wine. All of it was London-approved. She said the trick to drinking wine while doing IF is to not overdo it, since having more than a glass or two could make me dehydrated and trigger feelings of hunger, not to mention lose the willpower to avoid late-night snacking. I made sure to finish the glass by 9 so not a problem.
Figure Out A Meal Plan
A person interested in losing or gaining weight may find it helpful to plan what they are going to eat during the day or week.
Meal planning does not need to be overly restrictive. It considers calorie intake and incorporating proper nutrients into the diet. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the MyPlatePlan, which focuses on showing a person food group targets for each day.
Meal planning offers many benefits, such as helping a person stick to their calorie count and ensuring they have the necessary ingredients on hand for recipes, quick meals, and snacks. As a potential bonus, meal planning could save money if it helps people waste less food.
Not all calories are the same. Although these fasting methods do not limit the number of calories a person consumes during eating periods, it is essential to consider the nutritional value of the food.
In general, a person should aim to consume nutrient-dense foods, or foods with a
- 2018 review of studies , calorie restriction and intermittent fasting can help the body activate a healing process called autophagy, which essentially means that the body digests or recycles old or damaged cell components.
Fasting dates back to ancient humans, who often went hours or days between meals because obtaining food was difficult. The human body adapted to this style of eating, allowing extended periods to pass between food intake times.
Research also suggests that fasting has a variety of other benefits.
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Are Adf And Intermittent Fasting The Same
ADF is a form of intermittent fasting, but a bit more extreme since you fast for around 36 hours instead of the regular 16:8 rule. Starters can fast for 14 hours, then for 16, and, if they want, they can move to ADF.
Both types of fasting have their advantages and disadvantages. Time-based IF is great since you dont have to plan your social life around the fasting days. You just stick to the same schedule every day. ADF is great because you restrict yourself only every other day, which may be easier to be consistent with.
To conclude, when you get used to ADF and if you approach this lifestyle wisely, the 36-hour alternate day fasting schedule can become a go-to plan for you. Just be sure to talk to your doctor before trying any type of fasting regimen.
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Characteristics Of The Individual Studies
One hundred and thirty-two articles were discovered by retrieval in each database. After scrutinizing their abstracts and titles, 101 studies were discontinued. Twenty-four studies were ruled out for a lack of useful data. Finally, seven articles containing seven RCTs that analyzed the effect of ADF on the metabolism of the human body were included in our analysis. A detailed flowchart showing the selection process is shown in Figure 2. Table 3 shows the baseline characteristics of the studies.
Flowchart of the study selection process. RCT, randomized controlled trials.
Alternate Day Fasting Vs Omad
Why did I choose 40 hour fasts instead of OMAD or even 24 hour fasts?
Because Im looking for a reset. Im looking for drastic results for my birthday for sure, but Id also gotten very comfortable in what might be dirty keto or lazy keto and I want to reset my diet and acknowledge why Ive been stuck at this weight all year long.
Keto is like any other diet that can be done right or wrong. When I get comfortable on keto, I overdo dairy and keto treats like keto cakes, keto chocolate and sweet chaffles. I did keto for Lent this year and the scale didnt even budge. I knew I needed a proper reset but then the world went awry for 2020 and I kinda gave up on that.
Now that my birthday is looming, Ive decided to kick myself in the butt, clean up my diet and break my keto stall. A clean keto diet will always get you the results youre looking for. Lots of green leafy veggies, cruciferous veggies, cold-pressed oils, grass-fed meat and free-range pasture-raised butter and eggs with minimal dairy.
I think OMAD is a great tool as well and I may transition to that after my ADF challenge, but I really wanted to go drastic and get things moving. Im also really interested in the autophagy benefits and longer fasts facilitate that process much better than shorter ones.
Why People Choose Alternate
This biologically-ingrained urge to indulge is what drives many dieters to try alternate-day fasting, since it allows them to eat with abandon several days a week. This kind of freedom surely comes as a relief for anyone who is tired of constantly counting carbs or calories.
Plus, the potential benefits of slowing the aging process, improving cardiovascular health, and slashing LDL cholesterol while helping the immune system fight off potential infections likely attract a few takers too.
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Uh Foods And Beverages On Fasting Days Its A Definite Depends
If youre sticking to a strict fast, you can have only zero-calorie liquids on fasting days.
BUT if youre taking a modified approach, you can partake of some chomps and slurps on your fasting days. By the time noon rolls around, you just might be salivating at the mere thought of these delectable options. Nom nom nom!
The things you consume on your modified fasting days should be zero- or low-calorie items, preferably ones that are high in water content, fiber, and/or protein. These kinds of foods and drinks can be lifesavers because they can:
FYI: Fasting regimens can also be incorporated into high fat, low fat, low carb, and other kinds of eating protocols. If you feel like hitting a double-whammy eating plan, talk with your doc first.
What Are The Benefits Of Alternate Day Fasting
A review in Nutrition Reviews indicates that intermittent fasting can be effective in reducing body weight in people of every size, with most studies focusing on alternate day fasting or whole-day fasting trials. As such, fasting for weight loss may be better suited to these styles of fasting.
Porter agrees that alternate day fasting can be useful for weight loss. A lot of people carry out forms of intermittent fasting like alternate day fasting, for goals of weight loss or improvements to health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, she says. Generally evidence appears to suggest that alternate day fasting is as beneficial as more traditional methods of weight loss, such as creating a daily calorie deficit. Interestingly, of all intermittent fasting regimes, such as time-restricted eating, alternate day fasting appears to have a slight advantage.
A study in the journal Autophagy also suggests that short-term fasting, as one might do with alternate day fasts, triggers the process of autophagy. Autophagy is a state of starvation the body enters when fasting, where energy usually used to digest food can be used on cellular renewal and clearing debris and free radicals from our bodies. A study in Carcinogenesis indicates that autophagy may be protective of cancer and integral in tumor suppression, making it a promising area for cancer research.
Tracking My Progress Helped Me Succeed
I would have to say my results are what helped me to keep going. Every month I was losing weight and getting stronger and feeling healthier. I loved that feeling of seeing actual results for once when I struggled with it for so long before. It’s what continued to push me forward and lead me to where I am today.
“You can’t go into it thinking, ‘This might work for me’ and then give up after a couple days just because you aren’t seeing results. It takes time and patience.”
I took regular photos of myself, too, so I could have a record of before and after. When you see yourself in the mirror every day, it’s difficult to see those changes. Even though everyone was telling me how well I was doing and how great I looked, it was hard to believe.
It probably wasn’t until I got down to a size 10 that I realized just how much of a transformation I had made.
Is Alternate Day Fasting Right For You
If you have any of the following health goals, ADF fasting may be an effective approach for you:
- Weight loss
- Relief from type-2 diabetes or prediabetes
- Freedom from food addiction/dependency
While Alternate Day Fasting can be highly effective, its not for everybody. Some people do much better with milder forms of fasting. ADF is probably not for you if you:
- Are normal-weight or underweight
- Are nursing, pregnant, or trying to become pregnant
- Are naturally underweight, ectomorphic, histadelic, etc.
- Have an eating disorder or have struggled with one in the past
Recommended Reading: What Can You Eat Intermittent Fasting
What Is Alternate Day Fasting And Its Schedule
The alternate day fasting schedule is quite easy to understand:
- Day 1: You eat as usual, as much as you need to satisfy your needs
- Day 2: You fast, eating up to 25% of your calorie needs or 500 calories
- Day 3 = Day 1
As a result, youre expected to eat around 50% less in a week than you would if you ate daily. On fasting days, tea, coffee, sparkling water, and other low to no-calorie beverages are acceptable.
Most research has been done on ADF methods that allow up to 500-700 calories on the fasting days . If you plan to fast completely on your fasting days, be sure to talk to your doctor first, ease into it, and you may need to fast less frequently than every other day.
What About Weight Loss Can Alternate
Yes. This has been demonstrated in multiple studies using different styles of ADF and different populations. Not to mention all the anecdotal evidence.
The more interesting question is whether youre likely to lose more weightor lose weight more easilywith ADF. The available studies seem to suggest that while you might lose more weight with ADF in the short term,7 fasting and regular calorie-restriction dieting eventually even out when calories are matched.8 As for ADF compared to other types of fasting like daily time-restricted eating, there arent enough head-to-head studies to draw conclusions one way or another.
But wait, you say, I couldnt lose any weight when I tried to diet until I started fasting. I hear this a lot. Just because ADF might not have a strong weight-loss advantage on average doesnt mean it wasnt advantageous for you. When it comes to losing weight, dietary adherence plays a big role.9 Many people find it easier to stick to a schedule where they dont have to restrict food every single day.
Also Check: How Much Weight Can You Lose When Fasting
Is Adf Beneficial For People In A Moderate Weight Range
Abso-freakin-lutely! As weve highlighted above, alternate-day fasting offers a cornucopia of potential health benefits.
Some studies have specifically explored ADFs influence on people with moderate body weight. Heres what they have to report:
- In a small 2005 study in 16 people without obesity, participants lost 2 to 3 percent of their body weight, and their fasting insulin levels went down about 57 percent.
- Another small study from 2013 found that participants in a normal weight range not only lost weight but also reaped cardio-protective perks.
The main bummer is that people who are at a moderate weight may still endure intense hunger levels on fasting days.
Since ADF could lead to some unneeded or unwanted weight loss, a slightly modified fasting practice could be a more manageable or sensible option.
Alternate-day fasting is generally considered safe and tolerable. If youre a healthy adult, it could be perfectly A-OK for you to hop on the ADF bandwagon, at least for a test drive.
How Much Weight Loss Can I Expect
The author of the Alternate-Day Diet lost 35lb in 11 weeks an average of around 3lb a week. However, on average, you can expect to lose around 1-2lb a week, with perhaps a few extra pounds in the first week as your body adapts. This is highlighted by a small study of 12 obese women and four obese men, who, after following a similar intermittent fasting diet, showed:
- An average weight loss of 12lb after eight weeks, equating to 1.5lb a week
- A drop in body fat from 45 to 42 percent in participants
- A reduction in blood pressure, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
How Much Weight Can You Lose From Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is not a quick weight loss fix. It might take your body a few weeks to start shedding the extra pounds.
Do not expect to drop up to 20 pounds within your first week of intermittent fasting.
Like many diets, you need to remain consistent and make lifestyle changes to get results.
It might take a few weeks for you to drop your first pound from intermittent fasting. However, once you start, you can expect to lose about a pound each week. Some people can lose up to 10 pounds each month.
Therefore, your body type will determine your results.
Alternate Day Fasting: What Is It And How Does It Work
Everything you need to know about alternate day fasting, including the benefits and risks
Alternate day fasting is a type of intermittent fasting that can be used for weight loss and other potential health benefits. It may not be the best form of intermittent fasting for everyone, and we encourage you to explore other types if you find it doesnt suit you. In particular, women and those with underlying health conditions should be careful.
Fasting has numerous health benefits, possibly due to ancestral eating patterns. Early hunter-gatherer humans would go for longer periods of time without eating than we do in the modern day, and the body might have used these periods to clean itself of toxins and potentially dangerous mutated cells. As well as this cleaning system, when the body goes into fasting mode, it switches from using food as fuel to using ketones, which the body makes by metabolizing fat stores. We can still trigger these responses through fasting, for results such as weight loss.
There are many different types of intermittent fasting, such as 5:2 diet and 16:8 diet. Here, well cover everything you need to know about alternate day fasting in particular, including the potential benefits and risks.
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What Happens If You Dont Eat For A Day
Lets take a look at a day in the life of a body that is fasting one day a week.
During the first 8 hours of your fast, your body will continue to digest your food intake from the previous day.
Your body probably has not yet realized that its fasting and will just continue on as usual, thinking that youll be fueling it up again soon.
However, after that 8-hour period, your body will start to realize that its probably not getting food any time soon. This means that it starts to search for a new source of energy. While its doing this, youll probably start feeling those hunger pangs. This is your bodys way of reminding you its time to fuel up.
Your digestive system is looking for something to digest and not finding anything. You might experience a little bit of nausea.
Drinking water, tea, or coffee is a great way to help your body through the transition from eating to fasting. Or, if youre on a strict 500-calorie fast, then now would be a great time for a little snack too.
After the initial 8 hours, your body will begin to use fat stores for energy. This is where fat loss typically comes from while fasting one day a week.
For the rest of the duration of your 24-hour fast, your body will be using its own fat reserves to create energy.