Alternate day fasting diet is a kind of intermittent fasting diet where you fast every other day. But you can eat whatever you want on the non-fasting days. Some people follow a strict no-food policy on fasting days, but a modified version allows 500 calories on those days. This is a very effective weight loss diet. It can also lower your risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
According to a new study, the alternate day fasting diet may be an effective tool for weight loss. This study involved fasting for a total of 36 hours. Researchers followed 16 people who fasted and compared the outcome with 16 other people who didn’t over a 3-month period. Participants alternated not eating for 36 hours with 12 hours of eating as much as they wanted. Fasting participants consumed 25 per cent of their daily calorie requirement on fasting days. Researchers witnessed a reduced weight and body fat and improved markers for cardiovascular disease risk, like lower cholesterol levels, in the fasting group at the end of the study period. The journal Cell Metabolism published this study.
However, researchers caution that this is an extreme diet and may not be nutritionally beneficial in the long run. But it is effective for weight loss in the short run.
THE ALTERNATE DAY FASTING DIET
In this diet, you fast on one day and then eat what you want the next day. On your fasting days, you may drink unlimited calorie-free beverages like water and unsweetened tea and coffee. Some modify it to a less severe version and include bone broth and some consume 500 calories on their fasting days. According to experts, the health and weight loss benefits are usually the same whether the fasting-day calories are consumed at lunch, dinner or as small meals throughout the day.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE ALTERNATE DAY FASTING DIET
Apart from weight loss, the alternate day fasting diet comes with several health benefits. According to researchers from University of Southern California, this diet may reduce risk factors for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other age-related diseases. Let us look at a few of them.
It can control diabetes
This diet leads to better blood sugar control. Blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes patients can decrease significantly after a period of intermittent fasting. According to researchers from American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, fasting or drastically reducing food intake every other day may shrink your fat cells and boost mechanisms that break down fats. It also offered protection against type 2 diabetes. In another report, published in the journal BMJ, doctor say that planned intermittent fasting may help reverse type 2 diabetes. They said this after they witnessed three patients cut out the need for insulin treatment altogether by following this diet.
It reduces inflammation
According to University of Southern California researchers, a clinical trial exhibited a reduction of inflammation in humans and in mice. They say that this diet is particularly good for people with inflammatory bowel disease. Cell Reports published this research.
It boosts cardiovascular health
A scientific review in the British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease suggests that fasting diets may help those with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight, but it also comes with health benefits say researchers. It is especially beneficial for cardiovascular health. In another study from the University of Surrey, researchers say that this kind of diet can clear fat from the blood more quickly. It can, hence, reduce an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The British Journal of Nutrition published this research.
It boosts brain function
This could be due to the reduction in inflammation. Decrease in inflammation is also associated with prevention of age-related mental decline. This diet may also lead to increased growth hormone production vital for metabolism and muscle strength. Well maintained blood sugar and insulin levels can help with growth hormone production.
It may help multiple sclerosis patient
People with multiple sclerosis can find an abundance of conflicting advice suggesting that special diets. But new research shows that multiple sclerosis patients can benefit from this kind of diet. This is because, intermittent fasting can change a body’s immune environment and the gut microbiome by drastically cutting calorie intake. This can potentially change the course of the disease, say researchers from Washington University School of Medicine. The journal Cell Metabolism published the findings of this study.
It can prevent fatty liver disease
Food deprivation can stimulate the production of a protein that adjusts the metabolism in the liver. This can help prevent fatty liver, according to scientists at Helmholtz Zentrum München who were a part of a study along with researchers from the German Center for Diabetes Research and the German Cancer Research Center. The results are published in EMBO Molecular Medicine.
SIDE-EFFECTS OF ALTERNATE DAY FASTING DIET
While the alternate day fasting diet is a very effective tool for weight loss, it may come with some adverse health effects. Prolonged fasting may cause anaemia, a weakened immune system, liver and kidney problems and irregular heartbeat. This kind of fasting can also result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies, muscle breakdown and diarrhoea. It is always better to consult a doctor before going for this kind of drastic diet plan.
Published: August 29, 2019 9:02 pm | Updated:August 29, 2019 9:08 pm