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.
Reduced And Reversed Aging
Fastings ability to promote autophagy means it may also delay the aging process enough to increase lifespan.
So far this anti-aging effect has proven valid in mice, flies, yeast cultures, worms, and isolated human cells.
Fasting may also increase your healthspan the duration of time in which youre vibrant, mobile, and disease-free.
The mechanisms through which fasting elicits these effects are quite diverse. Here are some of the highlights:
- Boosts internal antioxidant production, reducing oxidative damage
- Allows your intestinal tract to heal from irritant-related damage
- Allows your liver to detox from heavy metals, excess iron, and other toxins
- Reduces systemic inflammation, allowing collagen networks to build back stronger
- May help your body recycle misfolded proteins before they get a chance to influence DNA production
How Does Alternate Day Fasting Help With Weight Loss
Alternate-day fasting is a very powerful weight loss tool, and it can help lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Heres a detailed beginners guide to alternate-day fasting. Alternate-day fasting is an intermittent fasting approach. The basic idea is that you fast on one day and then eat what you want the next day.
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Does Adf Help Reduce Hunger Pangs
That sensation of hunger really bites. No joke it can have you looking longingly at dessert-shaped erasers or kinda almost licking those fruity-tooty scratch-and-sniff stickers on your notebook. The struggle is real.
As with any calorie-limiting eating plan, you may get a serious case of the hangries, which could make you feel even hungrier on non-fasting days.
This is one of the things that can make ADF so darned challenging.
Its also what motivates most ADF followers to choose a modified fasting routine. Bet that snack sack of crudités is sounding pretty mouthwatering now!
However, some studies report that fasters may be rewarded with improved satiety over time. This means that if you can stick it out, the hangries might not set in as often and may become less severe. Youll feel fuller longer.
Set aside those weight- and body-comp-related results for a moment. Lets take a gander at what else is happening inside your hot bod. According to research, ADF may serve up a buffet of health benefits.
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
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How To Do Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate between fast and feast days.
On day one, fast the whole day. On day two, eat all your snacks and meals into a 12-hour window, and dont consume more than 500 calories. Studies show that it doesnt matter whether you graze throughout the day or eat all 500 calories at once, so you can experiment with what works best for your appetite.
Doctors and fasting experts recommend drinking plenty of water during your fasting days. And lucky for you, coffee and tea are allowed.
- Day 1: fast. Eat no more than 500 calories worth of food in a 12-hour window
- Day 2: feast. Eat whatever you want, and enjoy it
- Coffee and tea are allowed
A Diet Strategy That Seems To Work
Intermittent fasting, which involves cycling through voluntary fasting and non-fasting periods, has become one of the most popular approaches to losing weight. People who follow intermittent fasting diets will pick a daily or weekly period where they can eat regular-sized meals, but will otherwise fast and avoid consuming calories.
There are many different intermittent fasting schedules, ranging from the popular 5:2 diet, where someone eats five days a week and fasts for two days, to alternate-day fasting, where someone eats one day and fasts on the next day. Other schedules instead center on fasting for part of each day, such as only eating in a daily eight-hour time window.
Many participants report that intermittent fasting schedules are relatively easy to adopt and stick by. Some researchers theorize these fasting schedules jibe with the human bodys natural tendencies , as humans may have evolved to go without food for long periods in prehistoric times.
Other theories suggest that fasting can trigger beneficial changes in the bodys energy processes that encourage weight loss. But few studies have examined the fasting-specific effects of intermittent fasting or compared its effects to diets that simply reduce daily net calories.
Finally, the third group followed a similar alternate-day fasting schedule as the first group but had no restrictions in energy intake. This last group essentially ate 200% of their daily energy intake every other day.
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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.
Figure 2. Flowchart of the study selection process. RCT, randomized controlled trials.
Table 3. Study and patient characteristics.
Fasting Every Other Day Diet
Fasting every other day is also known as Alternate Day Fasting and its becoming an increasingly popular diet with its effectiveness for weight loss. Many are starting to prefer following an intermittent fasting diet since they dont have to worry about counting calories and totally restricting food choices.
Essentially all you have to do is not eat one day and then you can eat the following day. Fast, feast, fast, feast. Easy enough right?
Many people have found this helps them lose weight and they lose it fast. Youll also get health benefits other than weight loss like reversing aging, improving blood glucose control, lowering insulin, and boosting your mood.
Following an intermittent fasting schedule that alternates between fasting and non-fasting days has another benefit. Youll still be able to eat some of your favorite foods on your non-fasting days and still lose weight.
Here youll discover the pros and cons of Alternate Day Fasting along with a complete guide on how to use it for maximum effectiveness and results.
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The Registered Dietitians Take
Skylar Griggs, MS, RD, has counseled thousands of clients on their nutrition and weight loss goals over the course of her career, but she has not recommended alternate-day or any style of fasting to any of them, for a few reasons.
First, the majority of the studies conducted on alternate-day fasting so far have been on animals. And for those studies done on humans, weight loss has not appeared to be significantly different than for people following standard calorie-restricted diets. Weight loss and weight management are the primary reasons people come to me, she said, And the research on weight loss is fairly limited. Second, people show poor long-term adherence to extreme diets, Griggs has found, and she puts alternate-day fasting in this category.
Any diet that is extreme and not approachable is hard to follow, said Griggs. Any diet you cant do 80/20 is not sustainable. When the plan is a bit malleable when it can bend a little bit people are more likely to stay with it.
Alternating between feast and famine days could also have negative effects on the metabolism, Griggs says, ultimately inhibiting weight loss and causing other health issues.
Overall, Griggs advised that people seeking to lose weight should stick to a more traditional plan and avoid going more than 4-5 hours without food during the day to keep the metabolism chugging along and avoid late-night eating since that’s when people are most likely to overeat.
Can You Lose Weight On The Alternate
People who start fasting every other day may lose more weight than they would if they stuck to their usual eating habits, a small study suggests.
With alternate-day fasting, people reduced weekly calories by 37% on average and shed an average of 3.5 kilograms . That compares with an average calorie reduction of 8.2% and an average weight loss of 0.2 kilograms without this diet.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago put a group of obese volunteers on either a 25-percent-fat diet or a 45-percent-fat diet. All participants practiced alternate day fasting, alternating between days of eating 125 percent of their calorie needs and days of fasting, in which they were allowed to eat up to 25 percent of their metabolic needs during a 2-hour window.
After eight weeks, both groups lost significant amounts of weight-without losing muscle mass-and reduced visceral fat, the deadly fat that surrounds your internal organs
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Randomization And Intervention Groups
Participants were randomized in a 1:1:1 ratio to an alternate-day fasting group, daily calorie restriction group, or no-intervention control group. Randomization was performed by a stratified random sampling procedure by sex, age , and body mass index . Block size ranged from 1 to 11 participants. The active trial duration was 1 year and consisted of a baseline phase , a weight-loss phase , and a weight-maintenance phase . We chose this design because weight loss typically peaks at 6 months during a lifestyle intervention.16 During the baseline phase, all participants ate their usual diet and maintained a stable weight. Baseline total energy expenditure was measured using doubly labeled water.17 All participants were instructed not to change their physical activity habits throughout the trial to avoid potential confounding.
Intermittent Fasting The Best For Weight Loss
Ive been a personal trainer and nutrition coach since the mid-2000s and intermittent fasting is without a doubt the most effective diet for weight loss and slowing aging . Its also very simple to follow since youll just be restricting the times youre allowed to eat.
With intermittent fasting your body doesnt have any calories coming in. This allows your body to feed off your fat stores as an energy source . Since youre restricting your feeding hours youll instantly be cutting down on how many calories youre eating . Lowering your caloric intake does play a significant role in how much weight youre able to lose .
Finally, your body will release fat-burning hormones such as human growth hormone . This helps to preserve lean muscle mass which is needed to get a toned and slim physique . But dont worry about getting big bulky muscle mass from fasting.
But a lot of the weight youll lose with intermittent fasting depends on how much you have to lose in the first place. If you only have 10 pounds or so to lose then the results will be lesser if only doing it for a short time. But if you have more than 30 pounds to lose then your results will be much more.
You can expect to lose the most weight in the beginning few months and then itll start to slow down from there. And if youre trying to break through a weight-loss plateau then fasting for longer hours can get you there too .
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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.
Ways To Do Alternate Day Fasting
The term alternate day fasting seems to be self-explanatory you simply alternate between fasting and non-fasting days. Two common variations add a twist by allowing you to eat some food on your fasting days. In this post, I show you how to follow complete and modified alternate-day fasting routines.
Alternate day fasting is worth a look whether you are new to intermittent fasting or experienced and looking for ways to vary your routine. Lets start with the straightforward method.
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Soshould I Try Alternate
“With all the intermittent-fasting approaches, it’s really what works for each individual person,” Levinson says. “For some people alternate-day fasting is really helpful and beneficial to them.” For others, though, it’s really hard.
“I go back to moderation, knowing how to balance your plate, and portion control.”
Either way, Levinson considers herself more of a mainstream-diet advocate. “I go back to moderation, knowing how to balance your plate, and portion control,” she says. “I really believe that all foods for the most part can fit into a diet when consumed in moderation.” Going on a diet that eliminates food for a specific period of time isn’t as manageable for the long-term, she emphasizes.
Dweck, on the other hand, is a bit more optimistic about this fasting plan. While she sees does acknowledge it has its risk, she’s seen a good number of patients have weight-loss success with it.
Regardless of their professional opinion, both experts emphasize the major bottom line: Talk to your doctor first! They’ll know your medical conditions, health issues, and weight-loss historyall the info you need to get real, personalized, and honest advice about whether or not alternate-day fasting is right for you.
Unintended Consequences Of Adf
You might think that, with ADF, your chances of regaining lost weight or fat jump like they might with starvation or very low calorie diets.
Theres no proof of this. Actually, existing research suggests theres no difference between ADF and regular reduced-calorie eating patterns when it comes to putting weight back on.
Other research has looked into ADFs impact on disordered eating behaviors. A small 2015 study found that when participants followed a modified ADF plan , depression and bingeing went down, while controlled eating practices and body image improved.
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What To Eat And Drink On Non
On feast days, you can eat whatever you want, Varady says. The types of food you choose dont seem to matter as long as your big picture calories are reduced. Despite fasting every other day, most people dont overdo it on feast days, says Varady, who has done a number of studies on intermittent fasting. We have shown that people eat only 10 percent more calories than usual on feast days. Heres what you need to know about drinking protein shakes while fasting.
Tips For Implementing Alternate Day Fasting
As with any lifestyle change, you must pay attention to your body. Listen to your hunger cues if you are fasting every other day, and dont make yourself uncomfortable for the sake of losing a few pounds. Dont let your drive for good health get in the way of enjoying life!
Make sure youre drinking plenty of non-caloric beverages on your fasting days, especially since a good part of hydration comes from your meals. Water is the gold standard here, but it is also okay to drink coffee or tea as long as they dont have caloric sweeteners or creamers. If you add some fat, like MCT oil, to your coffee, its A-Okay in terms of your fast.
If you find your stomach wont stop grumbling at you, consider having some small meals or snacks on your fasting days. Aim to have snacks or small meals that include protein and fat foods rich in these two macronutrients help you feel full longer and are typically more satisfying. And if you decide to eat something on your fasting days, aim to limit your calories to about 25% of what you typically eat.
‘i Lost 108 Pounds With Alternate
Rachel Sharp had battled with her weight all her life and feared no diet or exercise regimen would ever work for her. It wasn’t until she turned 26 and was tipping the scales at 236 pounds that she finally discovered the life-changing secret that would help her shed more than 100 pounds in a year â and keep it off.
Video of the Day
Two years ago, Rachel was desperate, embarrassed and miserable with her body. She could barely exercise without feeling sick and was tired of having no confidence. After an ill-fated attempt to work out saw her hit rock bottom, she vowed to lose weight, get healthy and ultimately overhaul her life.
Now at 136 pounds, the 5-foot-4-inch Rachel is sharing her incredible story with LIVESTRONG.com to reveal exactly how she got in shape, and how she maintains her healthy, newfound figure today.