Nutrition and Diet

Alternate-Day Fasting: Should You Fast Every Other Day to Lose Weight?

 Knife and fork with white plateFasting diets are all the rage today. They are supposed to promote good health and fat loss (weight loss if you like). One of these diets is called alternate-day fasting. What is it and does it work? Is it just another fad diet?

Fasting Diets: What Are They and What Are the Benefits?

As the name suggests, a fasting diet is one that involves periods of not eating. The no-eating (fasting) periods may be relatively short or extended. Alternate-day fasting belongs in the short periods category.

Alternate-day fasting is also a form fasting known as intermittent fasting or fake fasting. You alternate between periods of eating (some say feasting) with periods of not eating.

Detoxification is one of the health benefits associated with fasting. The fast is said to facilitate the removal of accumulated toxins and waste from the system. Because of this, fasting is associated with prevention of certain types of cancer.

Proponents of fasting diets also claim that it vital digestive organs such as the liver and kidneys benefit by the reduced demand on them.

Fasting is also linked to improved brain health or function. Some experts say that depriving ourselves via fasting twice a week could lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.[1]

Does Alternate-day Fasting Work?

As mentioned earlier, alternate-day fasting involves routinely alternating eating days and non-eating days. On the eating days, you can eat all you want. Sounds good. Especially since you are supposed to lose weight while eating all you want on those eating days, right?

Well, a recent randomized study showed that restricting calories in this manner is no more effective than simply reducing calories. Not only that, the study also found that alternate-day fasting diet was harder to stick to as well.


References:

[1] Johns Hopkins University: Don’t feed your head

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