“The benefits of alternate fasting are currently unproven in humans, but have been observed in animals much more than human subjects. However, the benefits are thought to be as follows –
- Weight loss
- Improved lifespan
- Improved bodily repair function
- Better survival rate after major disease or trauma
Numerous studies have been done on alternate fasting. One of the most interesting involved mice which were studied for 20 weeks. They followed the diet, being allowed to eat as much as they liked on one day and were not fed the next day. The mice lived longer and it was also noted that their levels of glucose and insulin were lower than those of mice who followed a normal diet.
Another interesting aspect of the study was that another group of mice were also studied – these had their calorie intake reduced by 40% every single day. This group of mice also experienced similar health benefits – but these were improved upon by the mice following the alternate day fasting diet.
The results of the study seem to support the thinking that reduced calorie intake in any form is beneficial, although some forms are better than others.
The big question is – does alternate day fasting work in humans? This is currently unknown – there are a number of ongoing studies taking place which are looking into this, but these are long term studies, so results might not be available for a while.
One of the other benefits of alternate day fasting over normal diets is that, unlike normal diets, you won’t feel hungry every day – you will only feel hungry on fasting days.
“No medical downsides have yet been observed in alternate fasting, however many people who have tried to follow an alternate day fasting diet have struggled, because cutting calorie intake to a minimal level on fasting days can be quite tough psychologically due to the hunger involved. Some people have found it easier to adjust the diet and take in slightly more food on the fasting days, in the form of low calorie snacks and drinks, to keep hunger at bay”.
“Alternative fasting is becoming very popular and you should definitely give it a go if you are looking to try out a diet and other diets have failed for you. The method makes perfect sense when analysed in detail and although there are no large scale studies on alternate day fasting, the small ones that have been done look very promising indeed”.
We do advise you to have a check up with your GP before embarking on any weight loss plan.