alternate day fasting for health and longevity

Alternate Day Fasting: For Health and Longevity

Wouldn’t you like to be younger next year? As impossible as it might sound there are more and more convincing scientific studies that it’s very possible to turn back the clock on aging. Alternate day fasting for health and longevity is an excellent starting point to rolling back your biological clock.

HOW DOES ALTERNATE DAY FASTING WORK?

True alternate day fasting would mean eating three meals a day on day one and then not eating at all the next day and night. Your next meal would be breakfast on day three. So in reality, it’s a 36-hour span without eating.

During the fast tea, coffee(without cream, and water are allowed, but nothing else. At the time i first saw this fasting diet I was a bit skeptical. Like the rest of the world, I have been trained to believe that humans have to eat every single day. Of course, that’s not true. In a pinch, we could go for two weeks without food so 36 hours isn’t really that much of a stretch.

alternate day fasting for health and longevity
The med diet is very popular.

One school of thought is to eat whatever you want on non-fasting days but if you want to see real improvement in your health or in the weight loss category, it would make sense to eat a sound diet when you do eat. The Mediterranean style diet is the hands-down favorite of most people in the health industry.

This includes doctors, nutritionists, and scientists who will point to the Blue Zones of the world to emphasize their point that the Med Diet is a diet that has proven to increase longevity in centenarian hot-spots around the world called the Blue Zones where people routinely live to be 95-105. Not only do they live that long, but they are healthy and vibrant during their golden years.

IS ALTERNATE DAY FASTING DIFFICULT TO DO?

I don’t believe one can talk about any diet with any sort of credibility unless they have tried it for themselves. As I write this post, I am well immersed in Alternate Day Fasting.

There are several things that I noticed right away. At no time have I ever felt overwhelmingly hungry. This surprised me because as a rule, I always had a huge breakfast before leaving for work.

Alternate day fasting for health and longevity
It’s no fun measuring and weighing everything you eat.

Secondly, I thought I would really notice a lack of energy, but that never happened. The other day when I was on a fasting day I worked a full eight hours at my warehouse job and then came home and went on a one-hour run. It didn’t seem any more difficult than it would’ve been if I had eaten breakfast and lunch before my run.

WHAT ABOUT COUNTING CALORIES?

The problem with diets that are structured around counting calories is that for most people they are just not able to stick with it. After all, who wants to be adding up all the calories they eat every day? That’s one reason why it’s not sustainable. People get tired of it.

With ADF there is no guesswork. One day you don’t eat and the next day you eat the amount that satisfies you without worrying about counting the calories. It’s a much more sustainable diet. Studies have shown that people have gone over six months on this diet with no problem.

The longer you do it, the easier it is and eventually, you just stop thinking about food on your fasting days and just go about your regular routine.

One major advantage ADF has over calorie-counting diets is that it produces greater fat loss while at the same time maintaining muscle strength.

THE ADVANTAGES OF ALTERNATE DAY FASTING

The most obvious advantage is a greatly reduced grocery bill. Well, you are actually cutting it in half. Besides, if you decide to go with a med style diet you will be eating only very small amounts of meat. As a rule, meat is usually the most expensive item you will grocery shop for.

Alternate day fasting for health and longevity
With Alternate Day Fasting waist fat will be reduced.

Weight Loss: Alternate Day Fasting is a great way to lose weight. As a matter of fact, it’s a powerful way to lose weight. The first place where you will notice weight loss on this diet is normally around the waist.

Type Two Diabetes: Fasting will go a long way to reducing the chance of developing type two diabetes. With ADF, blood sugar levels are lower. High blood sugar levels often lead to diabetes or at least prediabetes. Many North Americans who suffer from diabetes are on the doorstep of full-blown type two diabetes.

Heart Disease: The odds of developing heart disease will also be reduced if you can embrace some sort of fasting regime. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the world.

MODIFIED FASTING METHODS

Another name for ADF is intermittent fasting.

There are ways you can alter ADF. For instance, some people choose to eat 500 calories on their non-fasting day. This is not a lot, but for those who feel they have to eat at least something, it’s a good option. It turns out to be about 25% of normal calorie requirements per day for your energy requirements.

But as I stated earlier, I personally have noticed no difference in energy levels on the fasting days.

Another option is to not eat from dinner one day until lunch the following day. Using this method will mean that you are fasting for about 16-18 hours depending on what time you normally have dinner and lunch. Some people find this easier than doing the entire 36-hour fast.

IN CONCLUSION

I really believe that it’s worth giving Alternate Day Fasting a try. You really have nothing to lose and the upside is huge.

To me, ADF makes a lot more sense for seniors than a Vegan Diet, a diet high in fat and protein, or a calorie-restricted diet. If you fast and make great food choices on the days you do eat, you will see positive results if you stick with it.

It’s also important to remember that a regular regimen of fitness enhances the impact of any diet method you choose to use.

Imagine just how long you can live while enjoying the quality of life if you lose weight, stay fit, and greatly reduce the risk of Type Two Diabetes and Heart Disease?

It can mean a second career, an opportunity to travel at will, or more quality time to spend with the grandchildren.

TRY IT OUT

Want to give it a try? How about a 13-day test to see if it works for you?

On the day you begin, mark the date on a calendar and also include your waist measurement and your body weight the morning you start the ADF test.

This is the full Alternate Day Fast and not the short version. I highly recommend doing the long version. From the time you wake up until you go to bed on your first fasting day eat no more than 500 calories. Drink all the water you want. Tea and coffee are also allowed but you will have to count the calories if you add sugar and cream.

A glass of wine is fine, but remember that four ounces are 100 of your daily calories on your fast day.

When you wake up after your first fasting day, beginning with breakfast you can eat whatever you wish for the day. No need to count any calories, but it would still be wise to stick to relatively healthy food as opposed to junk food.

From the time you eat your last meal on your eating day, about 36 hours will pass before the next eating day begins, but remember for about 14 or 16 hours of that 36 hours you will be in bed so you will not be thinking about food for 36 hours. Unless you have dreams of chocolate cake and chunky monkey ice cream.

Alternate your days until you finish seven days of fasting, which will be the thirteenth day of the experiment. Through-out the 13 days do not take your measurements again. Leave it until THE MORNING AFTER YOUR LAST FAST DAY. On the morning of the 14th day(which will be an eating day)take your waist measurement and body weight and compare it to what you recorded when you began the Alternate Day Fasting experiment.

From there you can decide if you want to carry on with the diet or not. Keep in mind that the results you are seeing are coming from just seven days of fasting in total.

I really believe it’s worth a try, after all, it’s just two weeks. At first, you may think of nothing but food on your early fasting days, but soon it fades away as you realize you can do without it. Better still, it’s a great feeling to wake up after your fasting day and realize you can eat what you want.

So there is always a payoff and this is one of the main advantages of this diet. It’s not day after day of avoiding the food you love. It’s just one day at a time and I truly believe most people can manage this diet just fine.

As mentioned earlier, there are people who have stayed on this diet for six months with no problem. If you have pre-existing conditions you might want to discuss it with your doctor before you begin, but for most people, I can’t see ADF being a problem.

The most important thing to remember is that your body has stored excess calories you have eaten around your waist in the form of fat. It does this for easy access in the event it is needed at a later time. Well, if you fast, then this fat will be accessed by your body and converted to energy in order to keep everything running efficiently. This is why you will lose inches and weight around your waist. In short, the body feeds on its own stores of fat for energy when you are fasting. When those stores of fat are gone it will start accessing other fat stores throughout your body, but normally the biggest early impact of weight loss will be around the midsection.

I hope you get the results you want. If you do, be sure to comment below and let me and other visitors know how it went for you.

Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

11 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Thank you very much for the article. I am been trying to convince my husband to try intermittent fasting for weight loss but he is reluctant to it. It sounds very hard to fit not eat for 36 hours but it is doable. It’s great that you didn’t feel hungry when you tried intermittent fasting. When I tried it I felt so hungry and had a headache for first time. But I got used to it after first 2 days. It’s is great way to give your body a break and loose weight fast. Thank you.

    1. Hi Pranali!

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. It’s a funny thing, but from day one of fasting, I never found myself thinking about food. I believe I always knew I was eating way too much. Even though I don’t have a weight issue, I wanted to lose inches around my waist. Wow! I can’t believe how well fasting works in this regard. The process seems quite simple really. If a person normally takes in 2000-2500 calories a day in order to function, but only eats 500 calories on fasting days, there is quite a shortfall of calories available in order to keep functioning. The body senses this and accesses the calories(in the form of fat around your waist)to make up the difference. In other words, your body feeds on itself. 

  2. Love this post. I’ve been following a Ketogenic lifestyle and incorporate intermittent fasting. The 13 day challenge sounds really good. It would be a blast to coordinate a fast thru a private facebook group or something of that nature. Then post results pictures and all!
    Thanks for posting!

  3. Love this post. I’ve been following a Ketogenic lifestyle and incorporate intermittent fasting. You’re spot on wit hthe hunger assessment. Conventional wisdom tells you that you would be starving, but in reality once you get past the point where you feel conditioned hunger, the feeling goes away and you start to feel fantastic…. it’s almost euphoric at times. The 13 day challenge sounds really good. It would be a blast to coordinate a 13 day fast thru a private Facebook group or something of that nature. Then post results pictures and all! 
    Thanks for posting!

    1. Thanks, Bob! What a great idea. What an excellent concept to have a group of people give it a try over 13 days and then reveal the results. I think people would be blown away much as I was when I lost two inches on my waist and 10 pounds in 16 days. I am 23 days in and no longer feel hungry at all on fasting days. Eating is kind of a conditioned response. It’s like when someone quits smoking. They feel out of sorts because they don’t have that cigarette in their hands and don’t know what to do with themselves. Many people are the same when they diet. They don’t feel right if they are not eating throughout the day. Over time, the feeling disappears.

  4. Wow, never thought of this. Great write up. I have actually tried this and it was superb and you don’t feel that much of hungry the next day. The only difference with your recipe was is I used Ovaltine and milk for breakfast instead of a cafe. I also agree with you disputing what we are trained about humans can’t be able to stay without food and proving we could go for 2 weeks without food.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jeff. It was a real eye-opener for me as well when I began to research this. I always like to try any diets I write about so I can speak with some authority from experience. In 16 days(which includes just 8 days fasting on 500 calories a day) I lost two inches on my waist and 10 lbs. What a shocker? It’s the lightest I have ever been in my adult life. One more inch and I will achieve my goal of a 30-inch waist which I haven’t had for about 20 years. Awesome diet, and so much easier on your body as it’s not always being bombarded with way too much food day after day.

  5. Thank you for creating a wonderful article like this.

    i have actually tried the alternate day fasting and i can tell that it was not an easy experience. it only gets better as you try it more often but the 36 hour span is very difficult to maintain. i would like to share this article with some of my friends. thank you. i am grateful for this

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      Strangely enough, I found it very easy to do. We are so used to eating every day(three times or more a day)that I believe it is more of a habit than necessity. I think I always realized that even though I don’t have a weight problem, I often ate way too much. It has been an eye-opening experience and I can already tell that it is far easier on my body to curtail what we eat every other day.

  6. Whoa thank you very much for sharing this information about alternate day fasting. I’ve heard about intermittent fasting before and was preparing to do it. However, during this self-quarantine period, I think alternate day fasting is endurable for me to save some money by reducing meal cost. Do you think it will be better for the body if I tried intermittent fasting first before doing alternate day fasting? Thank yu

    1. Thank you for your comment. 

      Personally, I went right into the Alternate Day Fasting that included eating just 500 calories on the fasting day.

      I never had any problem with it, but there is nothing wrong with trying the intermittent fasting option for a week just to get used to it. As the article stated, we can go for a couple of weeks without food, so one day is no big deal. It’s just that we are so used to eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner that we have to break the habit.

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