Alternate Day Diet
The Alternate-Day Diet achieves calorie restriction by severely limiting the intake of calories every second day so the result over time is a reduced calorie diet. This program is based on animal studies that indicate that reducing caloric intake on alternate days can turn on the “skinny” gene. This theory of an alternate day diet plan has been applied on humans as well and it has been discovered that not only does this approach promote weight loss; it also proves to be highly beneficial for our health. People who volunteered for this diet sample lost around 8% of their body fat in around 8 weeks. They experienced a number of health benefits such as reduced inflammation, improved insulin resistance and better cellular energy production. An alternate day diet can also help in keeping the blood pressure low, alleviate arthritis and reduce levels of potentially harmful free radicals in the bloodstream.
You can eat your meals dividing them in UP and DOWN days, On the UP day; you are free to eat everything. But on the DOWN day, you will be restricted to eat very low calorie foods. In an alternate day diet it’s is better to avoid over-eating but you should have enough food to keep you satisfied. In the first two weeks of the diet, you should consume no more than 20% of your usual calorie intake on Down Days. Meal replacement shakes are recommended as the only food that you consume on the Down Days. This is because of the fact that alternate day diet plans are convenient and they make it easy to monitor your calorie intake. You only have to diet for one day at a time. The next day is your Up Day where you are free to eat anything you want.
The longer-term Alternate Day Diet plan is not as restrictive as the first two weeks of this diet. You can eat real food on Down Days and can also increase your calorie intake to up to 35% of your normal amount if you want to lose weight. If you have reached your target weight, you will be required to eat up to 60% of your normal calorie requirements in order to maintain your weight.
The following foods are recommended in this diet:
- Meal replacement shakes
- Egg whites
- Whole wheat Pasta
- Whole wheat bread
- High-fiber cereal
- Shirataki noodles
- Red wine
Here is a sample of the Alternate Day diet plan, telling you how to eat and what to eat
- Veggie omelet
- High-fiber toast
- Garbanzo bean spinach salad
- Soft fish tacos
There are many advantages and disadvantages of this an alternate day diet plan. These include:
- This alternate day diet plan does not limit us to avoiding all foods, only quantities are specified.
- It is easy to follow
- It reduces feelings of deprivation that occur with long-term dieting.
- It can improve health conditions like asthma.
- It can also improve metabolism and increase lifespan.
- People following this alternate day diet may become victims of hunger and fatigue on down days.
- It is not suitable for those who have a history of eating disorders.