Fasting is a good way to allow some downtime for your body, however, like everything that involves the body, it requires to be done in moderation too. One of the methods of intermittent fasting that has garnered a lot of attention is, alternate day fasting (ADF). In this method, you eat only on alternate days in a week. On the fasting day, you can drink unsweetened beverages but are not supposed to eat. Modified versions of this fast include eating about 500 calories on fasting days.
Health Benefits Of Alternate Day Fasting
Researchers have proven the various advantages your mind and body can enjoy while you are on an alternate-day fast.
- Studies have reported that obese and overweight individuals on an alternate day fast experienced significant weight loss and a boost in cardiac health1
- It was even found that alternate day fasting led to a greater loss in fat mass and improvement in the preservation of muscle mass2
- Often people tend to eat more after following a restricted diet, which is known as compensatory hunger. But on ADF, people don’t experience the urge to eat more even on fasting days due to a reduction in hunger hormones3
- It reduces insulin resistance in diabetic and pre-diabetic individuals thereby helping to regulate blood sugar levels.4
- Fasting on alternate days can help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels while improving HDL (good) cholesterol thereby lowering the risk of heart disease5
- Calorie restriction through fasting stimulates the body to dispose of old cells so that newer cells regenerate. Studies have proven that it can delay aging-related changes in the body too.6
Tips To Follow During Alternate-Day-Fasting
On the days that you fast, you can choose to eat anything within 500 calories. It’s extremely beneficial if you have organic fruits and vegetables with lots of water or soups and unsweetened beverages.
Some people prefer to split their 500 calories over the entire day or have one large meal while fasting. Even on days when you eat, don’t indulge in binge-eating and instead go for lots of lean proteins, whole grains, and fresh produce.
Is Alternate-Day-Fasting Actually Safe?
Alternate-Day-Fasting is indeed safer for both non-obese and obese individuals as it is better tolerated by the body.7But it’s crucial to remember that staying physically active during the process also plays a huge role in achieving the desired results. ADF shouldn’t be followed by children, teens, pregnant or lactating women and people with eating disorders. Even diabetics undergoing medication shouldn’t start the diet without consulting their physician.
Weight-loss is a tedious journey that requires a lot of determination and effort. Since ADF enhances the anti-inflammatory, digestive and metabolic processes in the body it’s definitely a healthy diet to adopt.
|↑1||Varady, Krista A., Surabhi Bhutani, Monica C. Klempel, Cynthia M. Kroeger, John F. Trepanowski, Jacob M. Haus, Kristin K. Hoddy, and Yolian Calvo. “Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial.” Nutrition journal 12, no. 1 (2013): 146.|
|↑2||Alhamdan, B. A., A. Garcia‐Alvarez, A. H. Alzahrnai, J. Karanxha, D. R. Stretchberry, K. J. Contrera, A. F. Utria, and L. J. Cheskin. “Alternate‐day versus daily energy restriction diets: which is more effective for weight loss? A systematic review and meta‐analysis.” Obesity science & practice 2, no. 3 (2016): 293-302.|
|↑3||Hoddy, Kristin K., Catherine Gibbons, Cynthia M. Kroeger, John F. Trepanowski, Adrienne Barnosky, Surabhi Bhutani, Kelsey Gabel, Graham Finlayson, and Krista A. Varady. “Changes in hunger and fullness in relation to gut peptides before and after 8 weeks of alternate day fasting.” Clinical Nutrition 35, no. 6 (2016): 1380-1385.|
|↑4||Fayh, Ana Paula Trussardi, André Luiz Lopes, Pablo Rober Fernandes, Alvaro Reischak-Oliveira, and Rogério Friedman. “Impact of weight loss with or without exercise on abdominal fat and insulin resistance in obese individuals: a randomised clinical trial.” British Journal of Nutrition 110, no. 3 (2013): 486-492.|
|↑5||Eshghinia, Samira, and Fatemeh Mohammadzadeh. “The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women.” Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 12, no. 1 (2013): 4.|
|↑6||Anton, Stephen, and Christiaan Leeuwenburgh. “Fasting or caloric restriction for healthy aging.” (2013): 1003-1005.|
|↑7||Hoddy, Kristin K., Cynthia M. Kroeger, John F. Trepanowski, Adrienne R. Barnosky, Surabhi Bhutani, and Krista A. Varady. “Safety of alternate day fasting and effect on disordered eating behaviors.” Nutrition journal 14, no. 1 (2015): 44.|