You must have come across a moment in your life when you have thought of reducing that extra fat. And for that, you may have tried gym, healthy diets, various drinks, and many other strategies. But between all this, you might have heard of something known as intermittent fasting.

Potential Benefits Of Alternate-Day Fasting

Alternate-day fasting (ADF) is a type of that intermittent fasting only. Alternate-day fasting is a term for cycling between periods of eating and not eating every other day, depending on the exact regimen. 

Alternate-Day Fasting Result

After this, you might be wondering, does it work? And possibly, if it does work, what are its benefits? Let’s dig deeper and find out.

1. Weight loss

Not eating anything for a whole day seems like a horrendous task, but researchers suggest ADF may help you lose weight and keep it off without being so strict with your diet since calorie reduction is the key to weight loss. 

You can fast as per your preferences. You can drink only water and black coffee or can also include bone broth. And you can even take up to 500 calories per fasting day. Weight loss depends on energy deficit. Both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are equally effective in improving weight and metabolic risk factors.

Research in 2017 reviewed that overweight adults can lose up to 2.5 percent of their body weight in three weeks with ADF. Another study of 2007 recommended that folks could lose 8 percent of their weight when following ADF in 12 weeks. ADF is most effective in losing belly fat. A small study in 2013 documented that participants lost their waist circumference up to 7.3 cm in 8 weeks. 

2. Moderate weight range

And ADF is not only beneficial for obese people but also works wonders for average-weight individuals. In 2005, researchers studied 16 people without obesity. They found out that participants lost 2 to 3 percent of their body weight, and their fasting insulin levels went down about 57 percent after completing their term of ADF.

The moderate-weight rangers can also reap cardio-protective perks. Since ADF can cause some unwanted weight loss, a slightly modified fasting exercise (eg, eating a smaller meal on fasting days) may be a more sensible option.

3. Reverse Diabetes

Along with some weight loss, ADF may serve up potential health benefits. We all know that type 2 diabetes and prediabetes are common in America. Out of every three American adults, one is diagnosed with prediabetes, and the percentages go up with age. 

The body of diabetic patients does not produce insulin or become resistant to its effects. That led to the rise of glucose levels. ADF improves the body’s response to insulin by more than twice as much as a typical calorie-restricting diet, according to the research of 2017 on obesity. It also helps in weight loss, which may help reverse diabetes symptoms or risk factors. 

4. ADF improves heart health

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that maintaining a healthy weight can positively impact the well-being of your heart. Small research of completing a modified 10-week trial of alternate-day fasting included twelve obese women and four obese men. Researchers found that the participants saw a drop in body fat, low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol levels), total cholesterol, triacylglycerols, systolic blood pressure, and heart rate. 

At the end of the research, they concluded that ADF is not only effective in weight loss but also protects your heart. So it is safe to say that ADF may also encourage other heart health biomarkers in the right direction.

5. ADF and autophagy

Fasting may also switch on a process known as autophagy. It is a natural process that happens when your body engages in deep cleaning, breaking down, and recycling old pieces of cells. Autophagy is an anti-aging process that prevents diseases, chronic health conditions, and other illnesses. 

Conclusion

Now we know that ADF has a lot of health benefits, but it is not safe for everyone. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women. It is not advisable for those who take insulin or other medicines to control diabetes or any medication is taken with food or if you have seizures such as epilepsy. It is also not a good idea for those who operate heavy machine operators at the job or are at risk for eating disorders and disordered eating.

Author

Isla Zyair is a registered nutritionist with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in plant nutrition and sustainability. She has completed a master’s in Sustainable Food Systems, Prescott College. She is known for her love for green vegetation and has been a plant-based dietician. She has a love for natural food and has been living a vegan lifestyle. Isla lived with her parents They were farmers who grew their own food living in the suburbs. She is a knowledgeable person who published books on Nutrition Eating Plans for Achieving Optimal Health. She is one of the most sought-after personalities on social media and has been part of books on nutrition.

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