A beginners guide on alternate day fasting- Pros and Cons.
- November 16, 2020
Many weight loss plans gain popularity now and then. Not every program for weight loss helps in losing weight permanently. Compared with the fad diet, fasting with a schedule proves to be efficacious. Alternate day fasting is another successful concept among weight loss enthusiasts. One gets to eat every alternate day in this method. So, it is not like dieting every other day. The chances of quitting the diet plan are lesser, compared with the traditional weight loss plans. If you are looking for weight loss plans, then you need to get to know what alternate day fasting is, and its pros and cons.
What is alternate-day fasting:
Alternate day fasting includes taking regular foods and skipping any intake of calories the whole day or restricting calorie intake to 500. It helps in reducing the calorie intake of up to 500 calories. For instance, if you are eating all seven days of a week, and now you get to eat only 3 to 4 days, weight loss becomes easy. This is a type of intermittent fasting plan. What are the pros of choosing alternate day fasting?
Perks of alternate-day fasting:
The most important advantage, and the reason why many turn towards alternate day fasting is weight loss. Alternate Day Fasting, ADF in short, helps in retaining muscle mass. It focuses on shedding the fat that surrounds the internal organs. ADF offers the freedom of choosing the diet plant you are comfortable. It is not necessary to go for a high-fat diet or a low-fat diet. Stick to your meal plan and enjoy weight loss. You cut off the extra calories on the day you fast. You are not deprived of the required energy. As the very next day, you can consume any food of your choice.
The next perk of ADF is, you don’t have to fast without eating the entire day. The term fasting gains varied meanings with different people. A few drink water and black coffee. A few stick to bone broth, while a few are comfortable in consuming around 500 calories per day. It helps to meet the requirement. So, it isn’t dry fasting. ADF being flexible makes it suitable for people of different needs.
Health benefits of opting for Alternate Day Fasting:
As your metabolism gets only gets 50% of your initial calorie intake, while on ADF, it helps in building lean muscles. You will be building muscle mass and start shedding calories. Calorie intake goes low. Research in the journal Cell Metabolism, ADF helped in reducing calorie intake to 37% on average.
The Alternate day fasting helps in reducing belly fat, and also in bringing down LDL cholesterol. LDL is one of the risk factors for various Heart diseases. When the risk factor is brought down, it helps in keeping your heart healthy. As obesity is controlled, it also helps in reversing various disorders like diabetes or brings down the risk. Type 2 diabetes is linked to insulin resistance and obesity. In a group of people with prediabetes, ADF, for 8 to 12 weeks has brought down fasting insulin up to 30%. This implies the risk of diabetes is decreased to a great extent.
The process of the cells getting aged and recycled is called autophagy. This process plays a vital role in preventing ailments, neurodegeneration, infections, and heart diseases. Short term fasting and long term fasting have been proved to be linked with autophagy. So, when you choose ADF for weight loss, you also reduce the risk of tumors, and the oxidative damage is reduced.
How to do alternate day fasting?
There is no hard and fast rule for the fasting day in ADF. The only rule is, the maximum calorie intake on the day you fast should not be more than 500 calories. You can take water, tea, and coffee during the fasting days. You can also eat a big meal once on the fasting day, or two to three split meals on the fasting days. The thumb rule is to stay lower than 500 calories. You can choose to eat vegetables, fruits, eggs, lean meat, fish, soups, and salads. When you fast on alternate days or consume very fewer calories, it can help in controlled hunger, and prevent regaining the weight you have lost. For weight maintenance, generally, ADF for 12 to 24 weeks is recommended.
How safe is alternate day fasting?
Alternate Day Fasting is comfortable compared with the calorie-restraint or portion-controlled diet plans. Instead of eating a diet that is very rigid for weeks, it is easy to stick to a plan that lets you eat favorite foods on alternate days. Alternate Day Fasting is safe for most people. Regaining lost weight takes a long time when you lose weight through ADF. In traditional weight loss methods, you need to focus a lot on weight maintenance. Binge eating is one of the improved risks, but binge eating can also bring down depression as per studies.
The bottom line:
Alternate day fasting is, however, is not recommended for all. Pregnant women, lactating mothers and, kids should keep off from all sorts of weight loss plans, and ADF too. They can choose a calorie controlled diet, if mandatory, and when advised by a doctor. Also, people with medical conditions should speak with their physicians before choosing ADF for weight loss or health reasons. People with eating disorders too cannot chose this diet plan without advice from the physicians. If you are taking medications, speak with your doctor about choosing this diet plan.
So, can you select Alternate Day Fasting? Yes, for sure. If you are a healthy individual, who is not taking treatment for medical conditions, and if you are not an expectant or lactating mother and over 18 years of age, you can find ADF a great way to lose weight.