We recently discussed intermittent fasting, though it wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t fully cover an option known as alternate day fasting. Sometimes called ADF for short, this approach to intermittent fasting allows you to fast on one day while eating roughly what you want on the following day.
Dr. Jason Fung discusses alternate day fasting as well as other forms of intermittent fasting in his book, The Obesity Code: Unlocking the Secrets of Weight Loss. In brief, he discusses how insulin levels must be lowered in order to effectively lose weight. Intermittent fasting can take you there, though many people find success through the alternate day method because of its ease and flexibility. Studies even back that up!
How ADF works
Following alternate day fasting is easy. You fast one day and eat a sensible amount of calories the day after. Repeat. You’re only restricting your eating half the time, a much easier way to go through intermittent fasting. On your fasting days, you can drink all the calorie-free drinks you want like water or coffee and tea that have no sweeteners or creams added in.
Dr. Fung’s modified suggestions of alternate day fasting allows you to eat 500 calories on the days you fast which is much more ideal that fully fasting on those fast days with the same effectiveness.
Science-based benefits for this method
As Dr. Fung has a great case built for insulin getting in the way of weight loss, his ideas are research-based and can promote plenty of benefits. Some key benefits of alternate day fasting and intermittent fasting follow below.
– Better weight loss
Dr. Fung mentions that this type of fasting helps regulate your insulin levels. When that happens, it enhances your body’s ability to breakdown fat. In the short-term, which is very ideal for these types of fasts, metabolic rates jumped up by nearly 14%.
– Reduces type 2 diabetes risk
More on that insulin which is central to Dr. Fung’s ideas, type 2 diabetes is a condition that is born from insulin resistance. Minimizing that resistance is the key to staying healthy and avoiding complications. With ADF, it drastically reduces blood glucose levels all by simply restricting the times you’re eating.
– Helps tame inflammation
As science mounts even more evidence that chronic inflammation brings on serious health problems like cancer, heart disease, and rheumatoid arthritis, it definitely can’t hurt to decrease the inflammation in your body. Dr. Fung cited a study where 50 healthy adults engaged in intermittent fasting for a month and had majorly decreased levels of inflammation. Even those that fasted for 12 hours daily in a month had the same benefits.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg though. The scientific studies currently cement Dr. Fung’s theory that lowered insulin levels can help with weight loss as well as benefit the body in numerous ways. From better heart health to blood sugar control and a longer lifespan to fitting back into those jeans you’ve had in the back of your closet for a decade, alternate day fasting poses an approachable way to make intermittent fasting feasible and deliver results.
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