Should You Try Alternate-Day Fasting? Here’s What the Experts Say – The Beet
Weight loss trends come and go as quickly as the DoorDash delivery guy, but the intermittent fasting phenomenon may prove to be an exception that sticks around, in part because its benefits appear to go beyond the weight loss other diets promise. Intermittent fasting has been linked to better immunity and lower rates of disease and illness because not eating for a short period has been shown to help the body’s immune system fight off infections.
The most popular type of intermittent fasting is time-restricted eating, or only eating within an 8-to-10 hour window each day. Another well-publicized alternative method of fasting is known as alternate-day fasting, which involves fasting for longer windows of time, such as 24 hours or even 36 hours. Why is alternate-day fasting so popular? It appears to work for weight loss and disease prevention. Read on for everything to know about alternate-day fasting, and whether it’s right for you
What research shows about alternate-day fasting
Research into alternate-day fasting is coming out of review studies as well as practical advice provided by nutritionists who have used it as a strategy for their patients. Here’s what the research studies and experts have to say about alternate-day fasting and whether it’s better or worse than calorie-restricted diets for health and weight loss. We spoke with two nutrition experts share their take on the popular diet: Skylar Griggs, MS, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian and owner of Newbury Street Nutrition as well as lead dietitian for the preventive cardiology division at Children’s Hospital Boston; and Jill Edwards, MS, CEP, Director of Education for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
What Is Alternate-Day Fasting?
The alternate-day fasting is a method of intermittent fasting that allows for unrestricted eating one day, or “feasting,” followed by a full day of fasting. On fasting days, advocates for this style of intermittent fasting suggest consuming only 25 percent of your normal caloric intake, rather than foregoing food altogether. So if your normal food intake amounts to 2,000 calories a day, you would eat 500 calories on fasting days, according to this plan.
Comparing alternate-day fasting with calorie-restricting diets, studies have suggested that they work equally well for weight loss since at the end of the week you’ve had approximately the same number of calories on each. People on an alternate-day fasting diet eat about one-third fewer calories overall for the week, which is comparable to a calorie-restricted diet.
On an alternate-day fasting diet, you would eat about 9,500 calories over the course of a week, or about 1,000 less than if you ate 1,500 calories per day on a calorie-restricted diet. This is significantly less than the standard 2,000 …….