Reduced Risk Of Certain Cancers
Fasting has long been associated with reduced risks of cancer.
One recent study, the first of its kind to analyze human serum, discovered that fastings anti-cancer effects come from its ability to restore normal circadian rhythm. Heres what the studys authors hypothesized:
Time-restricted feeding can reset the disrupted clock rhythm, protect against cancer and metabolic syndrome. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that intermittent fasting for several consecutive days without calorie restriction in humans would induce an anticarcinogenic proteome and the key regulatory proteins of glucose and lipid metabolism.
This hypothesis turned out to be correct. Here are some of the highlights among their findings:
- Serum proteomes may be protective against cancer
- IF may normalize proteins responsible for DNA repair
- IF may normalize proteins responsible for immune system regulation
- IF may normalize proteins that protect against obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome
- IF may upregulate proteins that protect against Alzheimers and other neuroprotective diseases
Its likely that all or most types of intermittent fasting provide these benefits.
How Can Intermittent Fasting Help With Weight Loss
Intermittent fasting can be effective in reducing body weight in people of every size, according to a report in Nutrition Reviews . Most studies focused on alternate day fasting or whole-day fasting trials, but there is also evidence to support the success of time-restricted eating. As well as weight loss, intermittent fasting can have cardiometabolic benefits for those with obesity, as found in another review in the 2021 Annual Review of Nutrition .
Similar to the way the keto diet helps with weight loss, intermittent fasting can put you into a state called ketosis where you are using ketones as fuel. A study in the journal of Cell Metabolism indicates that in the state of ketosis, the body metabolizes fat and produces ketones, which the body can use as an alternative energy source.
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After a meal, you pass through four different metabolic states as your body digests the food, explains Dr Deborah Lee, MD, from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy . These are: the fed state, the post-absorptive state/early fasting state, the late fasting state, and starvation.
Having worked for many years in the U.K’s National Health Service, initially as a GP, and then as Lead Clinician for an integrated Community Sexual Health Service, Dr Deborah Lee now works as a health and medical writer, with an emphasis on womens health. She is a menopause specialist.
Is Intermittent Fasting Right For You
Intermittent fasting is safe for many people, but it’s not for everyone. Skipping meals is not recommended for people under 18, those with a history of disordered eating, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Athletes may find it difficult to fuel and refuel appropriately for an active lifestyle. If you have diabetes or other medical issues, talk with your health care team before starting intermittent fasting.
Also, note that the key to weight loss with intermittent fasting is not to overeat during your eating windows. Eating fewer calories than you expend remains the basis for losing weight.
Shortening the eating window may make it difficult to get the vitamins and minerals you need. While on this diet, it is important to eat meals made from quality, healthy ingredients, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean protein.
Intermittent fasting can be dangerous if taken too far. A technique called dry fasting restricts food and fluid intake, resulting in severe dehydration and posing serious health concerns. Malnutrition can occur if the caloric restriction is too severe, such as averaging fewer than 1,200 calories a day long term.
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Seven Ways To Do Intermittent Fasting
There are many different ways of intermittent fasting. The methods vary in the number of fast days and the calorie allowances.
Intermittent fasting involves entirely or partially abstaining from eating for a set amount of time, before eating regularly again.
Some studies suggest that this way of eating may offer benefits such as fat loss, better health, and increased longevity. Proponents claim that an intermittent fasting program is easier to maintain than traditional, calorie-controlled diets.
Each persons experience of intermittent fasting is individual, and different styles will suit different people.
In this article, we discuss the research behind the most popular types of intermittent fasting and provide tips on how to maintain this type of diet.
There are various methods of intermittent fasting, and people will prefer different styles. Read on to find out about seven different ways to do intermittent fasting.
So How Do I Follow The Alternate Day Fasting Diet
On the first day of the diet, you have just one fifth of you normal calorie intake that keeps your weight steady. As a guideline, women need around 2,000 calories a day, and men 2,500 calories a day for weight maintenance. This means on a fasting day when you are allowed just one fifth of this women should have 400 calories and men, 500 calories. However, the heavier you are, the more calories you need just to keep your weight steady.
You can get a more accurate picture of how many calories you need for weight maintenance by entering your weight, height and sex into the personal information on Weight Loss Resources database. Then divide this figure by five to calculate the amount of calories you should have on a fasting day.
To make it easier to stick to such a low calorie intake on fasting days, the Alternate-Day Diet recommends sipping ready-made meal replacement shakes that add up to your fasting daily calorie allowance. These have the advantage of being fortified with nutrients and help to remove the temptation to overeat. On the second day of the diet, you simply eat what you would normally eat. Then on day three, you do the same as on day one and so on.
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Whats The Theory Of Intermittent Fasting
The idea that restricting our calories makes us healthier and increases our life expectancy has been around for decades and forms the basis for a book called The Longevity Diet by Brian Delaney and Lisa Walford. As far back as the 1930s, an American scientist found that drastically reducing the calories fed to mice helped them to live longer and be healthier. In more recent times, the same thing has been shown in a variety of life forms including fruit flies, roundworms and monkeys.
The idea of severely restricting calories every other day rather than every day to improve health and life expectancy came in 2003 following laboratory research carried out at the 1National Institute on Ageing in America.
After 20 weeks, mice who were allowed to eat as much as they wanted on one day but not fed the next day, lived longer and had lower levels of glucose and insulin and improved insulin sensitivity compared to mice that were allowed to eat freely all of the time. But more importantly, these levels matched or were even better than those of mice who ate 40 percent fewer calories than normal every day. The scientists involved in the study concluded that alternate day fasting was just as likely to improve health and life expectancy as a daily calorie restriction.
So Whats The Link With Weight Loss
Unsurprisingly, restricting calories whether its all of the time or fasting every other day usually results in weight loss. The concept of an eating pattern that alternates between periods of fasting followed by periods of eating is sometimes known as Intermittent Fasting. When this pattern follows a 24-hour fast followed by a 24-hour feast, its sometimes called Alternate Day Fasting.
One small human study published in the 2American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown how alternate day fasting can aid weight loss. In this study, 16 normal weight adults followed an alternate day fasting regime for three weeks. On fasting days they had nothing but calorie-free drinks whilst on feasting days they were allowed to eat whatever they wanted. At the end of the study, the adults had:
- Lost an average of 2.5 percent of their initial body weight
- Lost four percent of their fat mass
This indicates that they didnt consume two days worth of calories on feasting days to make up for the lack of calories on the day of fasting.
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Alternating Between Eating One Day And Fasting The Next Day Can Reduce Caloric Intake And Retrain Eating Habits
Deprivation diets dont work. No matter how much weight you can lose, the rigmarole of counting calories and food stress is more than most people can tolerate for days let alone months. Alternate-day fasting is an appealing alternative that helps you lose weight without all the tedium of traditional dieting.
The idea behind ADF is simple eat one day, dont eat the next. And because its so easy to follow , alternate-day fasting has become one of the most popular and widely-researched branches of intermittent fasting.
No adverse effects have been reported in ADFs numerous studies. And if you can endure slight discomforts like mild headaches and hunger for a week, scientists say that alternate-day fasting actually decreases overall hunger while increasing your sense of fullness.
Final Thoughts On Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate day fasting may have many benefits, including weight loss, improved insulin sensitivity, and a stronger immune system. When you are practicing alternate day fasting, you are fasting every other day. Following this guide, you may learn how to practice alternate day fasting the right way for optimal health benefits and increased vitality.
If you are interested in starting a fasting lifestyle, I highly recommend my Fasting Transformation Quickstart Program. I specifically designed this program to help you to finally unlock your bodys incredible power to burn fat, eliminate pain, heal chronic disease, and feel decades younger. It is an empowering program that can help you to live stronger and get a powerful edge in life.
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Some Data On Alternate
Researchers divided 100 obese study volunteers into three groups:
- one group followed an alternate fasting plan, which meant on the fasting day they would eat only 25% of their caloric needs and on the non-fasting day theyd eat a little bit more
- a second group ate 75% of their caloric needs per day, every day
- a third group ate the way they typically did, for six months.
The two diet groups received counseling as well as all foods provided. This weight loss period was followed by another six months of weight maintenance and observations.
Both diet groups lost about 5.5% of their body weight by month six, and both regained about 1.8% by month 12, and had significant improvements in blood pressure, blood sugar, insulin, and inflammatory proteins when compared to the people who ate their normal diets.
At the end of the 12 months, there was only one difference between the two diet groups: the alternate fasting day group had a significant elevation in low density lipoprotein , an increase of 11.5 mg/dl as compared to the daily calorie restriction group. LDL is known as a risk factor for heart attacks and strokes, so thats not good.
A Tall Drink Of Water: Liquid Libations For Fasting Days
Noncaloric beverages are also allowed when youre fasting. Water is always a healthful choice, and seltzer may help you deal with sweet cravings.
But doing ADF doesnt mean you have to give up your coffee! As long as you take your caffeine black skip the cream and sugar youre free to enjoy your chai not-te, caffè america-no, or espress-no.
If youre doing the modified fasting thing, you can have fluids that contain some calories.
For example, it would be OK to add a tiny bit of milk to your coffee. And, though not its necessarily a drink-drink, broth may be one of your BFFs by the end of a fasting day. Savory, warming, and satiating, clear broths can be a nice break from your regular litany of fast-friendly liquids.
Does it really work? Possibly.
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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 I Lose With Alternate
With alternate-day fasting, people lost an average of 3.5 kilograms of weight. The average weight loss for people who fasted on alternate days of the week was 0.44 pounds, while the average calories reduction was 8.2%.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, is the first to examine the effects of alternate day fasting on body weight and body composition.
It was conducted by researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, and was funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
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How Mcts Could Help You Adapt To Adf
MCTsLCTsADFIFtalk about acronym soup. Well do our best to keep this section simple.
Simply put, MCT sources like coconut oil or pure MCT oil could help you adapt to alternate day fasting by making it easier for your body to switch into a fat-burning metabolic state called ketosis.
MCTs get turned into ketone bodies by your liver almost immediately after consumption. Once these ketones hit your bloodstream theyre an excellent fuel, keeping hunger at bay and blood sugar stable.
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.
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Future Applications Of Adf
While this study uncovered benefits of ADF, the authors do not recommend it as something everybody should practice. They caution of other caveats, as well.
We feel that it is a good regime, for some months, for obese people to cut weight, or it might even be a useful clinical intervention in diseases driven by inflammation, says Prof. Frank Madeo, of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz.
However, further research is needed before it can be applied in daily practice.
The researchers also warn against fasting while experiencing a viral infection. They recommend consulting a physician before undertaking a new diet, particularly one that is as strict as ADF.
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.
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The Bottom Line On Alternate
Usually at this point we say something like more studies of this approach are needed, but I wont. Theres already plenty of evidence supporting a common-sense lifestyle approach to weight loss: ample intake of fruits and veggies, healthy fats, lean proteins, and plenty of exercise. From apples to zucchini, there are over a hundred real foods you can eat endlessly, enjoy, and yes, still lose weight.
I would advise against spending any more money on fad diet books. Or processed carbs, for that matter. Rather, hit the fresh or frozen produce aisle, or farmers market, and go crazy. Then go exercise. Do that, say, for the rest of your life, and you will be fine. No one got fat eating broccoli, folks.