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Alternate Day Fasting – What You Need to Know

Alternate Day Fasting
Alternate Day Fasting

As the name hints, alternate day fasting is a diet where you shift between eating and fasting—fasting benefits by flipping your metabolic switch so that you begin burning fat for energy rather than glucose stored in your liver. Several types of alternate fasting plans can fit into your lifestyle. Finding an alternate-day fasting schedule that suits your lifestyle can be challenging. Fortunately, many alternate-day fasting schedules exist. Here’s what you require to know about the calendars, the number of calories you can intake on fasting days, the advantages and drawbacks of each, and how they hit the risk of chronic health situations, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Alternate Day Fasting Reddit
Alternate Day Fasting Reddit

Alternate Day Fasting Schedule 

Also named every-other-day dieting, the fasting schedule alternates typically four days of calorie limitation (500 for women and 600 for men), with eating freely for three days.

Foods to Eat and Drink on Fasting Days

The calorie limitation for short days is 500-600, along with which you can have as several zero-calorie beverages as you want. Zero-calorie beverages have a cucumber drink, coconut water, green tea, turmeric tea, and ginger tea. One should target 50 grams of protein and some low-calorie vegetables such as a salad with grilled chicken to sense fuller for longer. If you are a vegetarian, a cup of lentil can give you 18 grams of protein. As a rule of thumb, per gram, protein gives you four calories.

Foods to Eat on Non-Fasting Days

On non-fasting dates, one can eat whatever they desire. Studies have discovered that people who follow alternate-day fasting do not eat too countless calories on fasting days. Comparison research found that people following alternate day fasting only utilized 10% more calories on non-fasting days. Alternate Day Fasting and Weight Loss Although alternate day fasting may help support weight loss, researches have suggested that this type of calorie limitation is no more effective for weight loss than traditional daily calorie restriction. Studies among young with overweight and obesity reveal that engaging in alternate-day fasting may help you lose 3–8% of your body weight in 2–12 weeks. Research recommends that this process is not superior to traditional daily calorie limitation for promoting weight loss. Research has shown that Alternate-day fasting and daily calorie restriction effectively reduce harmful belly fat and inflammatory markers in those with obesity. Although alternate day fasting may benefit fat loss, recent research shows that ADF is no more effective than traditional calorie limitation for promoting weight loss or preserving muscle mass. Moreover, like other calorie restriction, weight loss during ADF may be expedited when combined with increased physical activity. For instance, combining ADF with diligence exercise may cause twice as much weight loss as ADF alone and six times as much weight loss as diligence exercise alone. ADF seems to be equally capable regarding diet planning, whether it’s done with a low or high-fat diet. The newest study into ADF finds significant health benefits such as reduced body weight, belly fat, and cholesterol levels. According to specialists, it’s not required to stop eating entirely on fast days or fast for a long time to see benefits. Both studies and specialists agree that ADF is an unnecessary intervention. It may not be the most effective diet method for long-term health.


The diet is not simple to catch. In research published in 2017 by JAMA Internal Medicine, 38% of the alternate-day fasters fell out, compared to 29% of the regular dieters who restricted calories. People who were fasting gained more control over their hunger in 12 days and began feeling energetic on fast days.

Alternate Day Fasting Results
Alternate Day Fasting Results

Tips for Trying Alternate Day Fasting

  1. Always verify with your doctor first. This eating regimen may not be appropriate for people with type 2 diabetes or cardiovascular disease.
  2. Attempt skipping breakfast and lunch, but having dinner to ease into the regimen, and then increasing to a full 24-hour fast.
  3. Some people favor a revised version of alternate-day fasting where they adhere to 500 calories one day, then still taste anything they desire the next. In this state, run for at least 50 grams of protein on fasting days to better keep hunger at bay. The right choice may be a salad with beans or some chicken.
  4. Don’t soak any sweetened liquors on fasting days, even if they carry artificial sweetener, because the sweet flavor can cause hunger. Water is excellent, though black tea or coffee also works. But don’t exceed it; being hungry and caffeinated can be a disastrous combination. Hot beverages can help you curb hunger.


Q: Which is excellent alternate-day fasting or intermittent fasting?
A: ADF offers faster weight loss, about 15 – 20 pounds in 4 months, equaled with time-restricted feeding. But it is harder to follow because you have to calculate calories every other day in alternate-day fasting.
Q: Can you exercise on the alternate-day fasting days?
A: For instance, a person doing 16:8 or regularly fasts can do either anaerobic or aerobic exercise during their times of eating. Though, if someone is performing alternate days and needs to exercise during their day of not eating, they should stick to less intense aerobic exercise.
Q: Is alternate-day fasting challenging?
A: Strict fasting can create extreme weakness, a lack of attention, and disturbed sleep. Nevertheless, adjusted alternate-day fasting, consuming 20-25% of your regular calorie intake, is possibly more realistic and simpler to follow.
Q: Is alternate-day fasting reliable long term?
A: Named alternate day fasting, the diet enables you to indulge a lot – followed by eating in a manner that severely limits calories. But according to one new research, this method isn’t beneficial for weight loss, particularly in the long term.


Alternate day fasting is a compelling way to lose weight for most personalities. It is not advised for children, people with eating dysfunctions, or pregnant, lactating, or living with unique disorders such as Gilbert Syndrome. It may have profited over traditional calorie-restricted diets in some states. It’s also associated with significant improvements in various health markers. The great part of all is that it’s surprisingly simple to stick to, as you only require to diet every other day.