The alternate day fasting diet is a weight loss plan that is becoming more and more popular these days.It involves days of extreme calorie restriction and days with normal eating or overeating.The diet is based on a large body of research that indicates intermittent fasting might contribute to long-term weight loss, a decreased risk of diabetes, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels and an increased lifespan.
The fasting diet dates back to the times of our ancestors.Three or more meals a day were not a regular everyday routine back then. Instead, our ancestors starved until a pray was killed and then they would overeat. Researchers are suggesting that we are simply made to fast. Our current daily eating habits are wreaking havoc on our metabolism and weight.
A number of recent studies have shown that alternate day fasting has a number of advantages over calorie reduction:
You will lose more fat than muscle
When you’re fasting your body uses fat as fuel and preserves muscle.Researchers from the National Institute of Aging theorized in 2003 that intermittent fasting helped trigger the SIRT1 gene, thought to both stimulate cells to release fat for use as an energy source and to deactivate the genes responsible for promoting fat storage.Other research conducted at the University of California at Berkeley indicate that this type of alternate day fasting can protect against diabetes and excessive weight gain.
Your metabolism doesn’t slow down during the fast
With traditional diets your body goes into “starvation mode” and the metabolism automatically slows down.This is not the case with intermittent fasting however.Because you will eat normally the day before the fast, your Leptin (one of the most important hormones for metabolism regulation) levels will be high so your metabolic rate will be increased.
Fasting is easier than calorie reduction
Fasting usually doesn’t require calorie counting so it’s more easy to follow.The only hard thing is that your body needs some time to adapt on this eating routine.
When you start, limit your fasting days to one or two a week and simply restrict the calorie intake to 0-20% of your maintenance calories on fasting days and consume 100-130% on non fasting days.