Alternate Day Fasting Final Thoughts
This eating pattern is very effective for weight loss but is not for everyone. It may be hard and difficult for most people to follow it because youll need to fast every other day.
There are some things to consider if you decide to follow the ADF and the most important thing is to stay hydrated especially on fasting days. With the modified approach of ADF, you can consume up to 500 calories daily on your fasting days. And this is good, it will help you to not feel hungry.
Also, try to eat healthier food on your normal days because if you eat junk food and sweetened beverages then your fasting will not give any result.
Every change in diet is difficult for your body, so if you decide to start with alternate-day fasting consult with your doctor first to see if it is good for you and what to expect!
Research Review Shows Intermittent Fasting Works For Weight Loss Health Changes
Intermittent fasting can produce clinically significant weight loss as well as improve metabolic health in individuals with obesity, according to a new study review led by University of Illinois Chicago researchers.
We noted that intermittent fasting is not better than regular dieting both produce the same amount of weight loss and similar changes in blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation, said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and author of Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting.
Krista Varady, professor of nutrition, UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.
According to the analysis published in the Annual Review of Nutrition, all forms of fasting reviewed produced mild to moderate weight loss, 1%-8% from baseline weight, which represents results that are similar to that of more traditional, calorie-restrictive diets. Intermittent fasting regimens may also benefit health by decreasing blood pressure and insulin resistance, and in some cases, cholesterol and triglyceride levels are also lowered. Other health benefits, such as improved appetite regulation and positive changes in the gut microbiome, have also been demonstrated.
The review looked at over 25 research studies involving three types of intermittent fasting:
Various studies of time-restricted eating show participants with obesity losing an average of 3% of their body weight, regardless of the time of the eating window.
Is Alternate Day Fasting Right For You
There is still a lot we dont know about how alternate day fasting could impact different people in different ways. It probably isnt a good idea for people at risk of becoming underweight or frail for various reasons. Any form of intermittent fasting isnt appropriate for people with type 1 diabetes, people with eating disorders or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. But for otherwise healthy individuals seeking to improve their weight, metabolic health or inflammatory status, alternate day fasting could be a safe and beneficial alternative to restricting calories.
Preclinical studies suggest that the beneficial effects of intermittent fasting cannot be solely attributed to a reduction of total caloric intake. Stekovic et al., 2019
However, we dont know if alternate day fasting is more or less beneficial than other fasting schedules, such as early time-restricted eating . If you do want to practice alternate day fasting, it is best to start slow with overnight fasting and to ultimately stick to a schedule that leaves you feeling your best. If you can, also monitor your blood glucose and ketone levels to ensure that you are staying within healthy ranges during fasting and eating periods.
The optimal length of recurring fasting periods in humans may depend on the desired effect and parameters measured and be subject to individual differences. Stekovic et al., 2019
Alternate Day Fasting Weekly Update #25
Hello! Im giving my weekly weigh-in this week as well as a discussion on clean fasting and why it may make a difference for you!
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Favorite fasting books :
Absolute Favorite! Fast. Feast. Repeat. by Gin Stephens: https://amzn.to/2M5ZMsR
Delay Dont Deny by Gin Stephens: https://amzn.to/34KM6d8
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung: https://amzn.to/3nQt4cV
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And How Would This Alternate
This was a very small study to begin with, and, more importantly, there was a fairly significant dropout rate. Only 69% of subjects stayed to the end, which decreases the power of the findings. Twelve people quit the alternate-day fasting group, with almost half citing dissatisfaction with the diet. By comparison, 10 people quit the daily calorie restriction group, and none cited dissatisfaction with diet, only personal reasons and scheduling conflicts .
Its not surprising that people disliked alternate-day fasting. Previous studies have reported that people felt uncomfortably hungry and irritable on fasting days, and that they didnt get accustomed to these discomforts. Interestingly, in this study, over time people in the fasting group ate more on fasting days and less on feasting days. So basically by the end of the study they were eating similarly to the calorie restriction group.
The authors note more limitations. The control group did not receive food, counseling, or the same attention from the study personnel, potential factors that could affect their results, besides how they ate. And this study cant tell us about the potential benefits for people who have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes because the study didnt include individuals with those conditions
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Who Might It Be Suitable For
ADF may work well for people who are considering a calorie-restricted diet but do not want to reduce their calorie intake every day. Having feast days, which involve eating extra calories, may be easier or more satisfying than following a steady low-calorie diet.
However, some people may want to avoid the intense hunger that can result from fasting. A 2017 study comparing ADF with daily caloric restriction found that people trying the ADF diet had a higher dropout rate.
Overall, there are many ways to consume fewer calories. If this is a goal, a person should try different approaches and go with what works best for them.
So Does Alternate Day Fasting Work
This study was done to assess ADFs effects on cardiovascular risk, not weight loss.
People lost weight because they ate a lot less. Thats what happens when you starve for 3-4 days a week.
Weight lost was no more and no less than a low calorie diet, but it was a lot faster.
We have no idea how this diet works for most people after four weeks.
A selection bias may have been the reason why the participants were successful with this diet. If prescribed by an RD or MD in general practice, the dropout rate may be a lot higher.
Its a pretty huge leap to predict after four weeks that a diet can extend lifespan. Like, dont even go there.
Its all fine and nice that researchers in a lab found that 60 people lost lots of weight by ADF, but why arent we taking into account how this sort of eating pattern will affect every other facet of someones life? Is it only about living longer and being thinner? What happened to quality of life?
And most importantly: These new more extreme fasting programs are giving us a message that food is the enemy. That to be healthy, eating is something we shouldnt do more than a couple times a week. What the fuck?
Im sorry, there are other ways to be healthy. Physically, emotionally, and socially. Why are we so one-sided, with tunnel vision to the most punitive, restrictive ways of living?
Its not all about data. Its about peoples lives.
Id never recommend this diet to anyone, at any time. Nope.
Also Check: Is Fasting Needed For A1c Test
Synaptic Plasticity And Neurogenesis
Energy restriction has been shown to increase the average and maximum life span of rats and mice by up to 50% and retard age-related deficits in motor function and learning and memory . For example, lifelong caloric restriction and intermittent fasting , starting after puberty, improved the performance of mice on tests of motor coordination and complex learning. Conversely, long-term overfeeding, particularly with diets high in fats and carbohydrates, can impair learning and memory and motor function in rodents. Electrophysiological recordings of synaptic transmission in hippocampi from aged rats that had been maintained on control and CR diets showed that long-term potentiation , believed to be a cellular correlate of learning and memory, is enhanced by low-energy diets . In addition, data from studies of obese and untreated diabetic humans suggest a detrimental effect of high-energy diets on cognitive function which may result from chronic elevations of circulating glucose and lipids.
Table 1. Summary of the effects of energy intake on brain plasticity and neuronal vulnerability
T. Murphy, S. Thuret, in, 2016
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.
Also Check: How Does Do Fasting Work
Just Reducing Calories On Fast Day Can Also Benefit Health
An all-day fast may sound intimidating, but Lowden explains you may not need to be so strict to see results, since calorie reduction is the key to weight loss.
Fasting can mean different things to different people, Lowden said. Some drink only water and black coffee. Some include bone broth. And some even take in up to 500 calories per fasting day.
She points out that weight loss depends on being energy deficit. As a result, All of these methods have the potential to reduce overall weekly intake and lead to weight loss success, she said.
Although researchers continue to evaluate the benefits of intermittent fasting, Lowden says both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting have been found to be equally effective in terms of improvement in weight and metabolic risk factors.
Different people may find it easier to do one or the other, she said. Because we know weight loss success is at least in part dependent on ability to be compliant with lifestyle changes, its important to find the change each person finds most sustainable.
The current study involved fasting for a total of 36 hours, a pretty long stretch to go without eating. But earlier evidence shows a less extreme version of intermittent fasting can help.
A previous study in 2013 examined the results of a shorter fasting period: 24 hours.
When the guidelines for intermittent fasting include several of the same symptoms of
Liquid Drinks For Fasting Days Water
When youre fasting, you can drink non-caloric beverages as well. Carbonated water can help you deal with sugar cravings, and water is always a good choice.
However, participating in ADF does not need you to give up your coffee! You can have your chai not-te, caffè americano, or express-no as long as you take your caffeine black, without cream or sugar.
If youre performing the modified fasting thing, you can drink calorie-containing fluids.
It would be ok to add a smidgeon of milk to your coffee, for example. By the conclusion of a fasting day, broth may be one of your BFFs, even if it isnt necessarily a drink.
Clear broths are savory, warming, and satiating, and theyre a pleasant change from your usual fast-friendly liquids.
Recommended Reading: How To Do Healthy Intermittent Fasting
Alternate Day Fasting Vs Conventional Dieting
The standard type of weight loss plan is caloric restriction . CR is simply reducing the number of calories you consume every day. You usually have to restrict your calories by 25-40% to achieve noticeable results. As a weight loss tool, caloric restriction seems to make sense. Take in fewer calories than you consume every day, and you have to lose weight. Its basic math, right?
A concern with traditional caloric restriction is adherence. People just dont stick to it for very long. Generally, dieters are very good about rigorously following their meal plan for a couple of weeks. However, theres a dramatic drop-off after the two month mark. Eight weeks seems to be about the limit that most people can endure daily calorie restriction. Whats more, your metabolism doesnt keep chugging along despite running a deficit. It starts to conserve energy where it can, meaning that your metabolism slows dramatically, and weight loss slows to a halt.
For many, alternate day fasting is a more manageable option than conventional CR. With feed days never more than a day away, the fast days don’t seem quite so bad. On a traditional restrictive diet, you must exercise extreme self-control and deny yourself any treats, and that can leave you feeling defeated, depleted, and frustrated. With ADF, you know that you can eat what you want tomorrow.
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Alternatives For Alternate Day Fasting
If you find this eating pattern too extreme for you then there are other intermittent fasting methods that are similar but not so extreme like:
The 5:2 diet an eating pattern where you fast for 2 days a week and other 5 days you eat whatever you want. The fasting days are similar to the modified ADF and you can consume 500 calories during the fasting days.
Eat Stop Eat Diet popular intermittent fasting method where you fast for 24 hours once or twice a week. You can eat normally during the non-fasting days but you should refrain from any solid food or calorie-containing drink during the fasting days.
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How Alternate Day Fasting Works
For strict alternate day fasting diets, you follow a fast/feast plan all week. That means on fasting days you have just your limited calories and as much water and other non-caloric drinks as you want . Then on non-fast days, you can eat anything you want.
There are modified versions of the plan that some people find easier to follow, says Varady.
For example, the Eat-Stop-Eat approach requires a 24-hour fast once or twice a week. Some alternate day fasters may fast for two or three days a week instead of every other day. The popular 5:2 method calls for fasting two days a week and feasting on five. Learn more about the various alternate day fasting schedules.
Awesome Fact About Alternate
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Alternate-day fasting is a form of fasting where you will not eating for 24 hours every other day. If this sounds freighting, then youll be happy to know that there is an alternative that isnt as difficult!
With the modified alternate-day fast, you can eat a small number of calories on fasting days.
Technically this is not a real fast, but it does put you at a significant caloric deficit on fasting days. A caloric deficit is needed to lose weight, plus it seems to have other benefits similar to a real fast.
Science suggests that caloric restriction may decrease your risk of developing chronic disease and prolong life .
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Alternate Day Fasting And Weight Loss
The goal of alternate day fasting is to flip your metabolic switch so your body burns fat instead of glucose for energy. This tends to happen within eight to 72 hours. As the body breaks down fat, ketones begin to build up in your bloodstream. This is called ketosis and it shows that your body is burning fat for fuel. These are chemicals your body makes for fuel when you dont have enough sugar for energy.
Alternate day fasting produces faster weight loss, about 10 to 15 pounds in three months, compared with time-restricted feeding, says Varady. But its harder to follow because you have to count calories every other day.
Keep Track Of Your Journey
It helps keep track of progress and helps with staying motivated by finding ways to keep up the momentum with the nutrition goals.
Trifecta App is a weight loss app that helps you to track your progress and stay motivated. It also motivates challenges, rewards, and competitions.
Alternatively, you can write your progress in a notebook or journal.
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Thats When I Sought Out More Info About Intermittent Fasting
My boyfriend was doing the 16:8 method for his own health reasons, and we had briefly talked about it. I was skeptical at first. But after finding an inspiring first-person article by someone who had success using intermittent fasting, I figured maybe it might work for me.
The woman whose article interested me followed the 4:3 method of alternate-day fasting, where she fasts for three days and eats for four, along with counting calories. It was then that I decided while munching on a snack of mixed nuts that I would commit to IF.
I decided to start my own method of complete intermittent, alternate-day fasting , where I would go every other day without eating, also counting my calories as I went.
When I first started ADF I calculated what my calorie needs would be for my body using a total daily energy expenditure calculator. During my first week of fasting, I allowed myself up to 500 calories on my fasting day to wean myself into going 40 hours without food. In reality, I didnt change much of what I was eating, besides just watching the number calories I was taking in. The second week of fasting, I was able to go the whole fasting day without intaking any calories. Intermittent fasting was a *lot* easier than I thought it would be.