Alternate Day Fasting: a healthy way to lose weight, or dangerous new fad diet?
Alternate Day Fasting is the new diet trend on everyone’s lips and according to a new study dieters can eat whatever they like, lose weight and live longer – as long as they practically starve themselves every other day.
The latest diet trend requires women to eat normally one day but restrict their intake to a tiny 500 calories, or 600 for men, the next - which is just one quarter of your recommended daily allowance.
The research from the University of Illinois found participants following the programme lowered their risk of cardiovascular disease and most surprisingly they could eat whatever they wanted on the days they ate normally and see results.
And the results have already been put to use: the 5:2 diet is based on eating normally for five days and fasting on two. Michael Mosley tried the 5:2 diet and told the BBC: “I could get through my fast days best if I had a light breakfast, lots of water and herbal tea during the day, then grilled fish with lots of vegetables at night. On my feed days I ate what I normally do and felt no need to gorge.
“I stuck to this diet for 5 weeks, during which time I lost nearly a stone and my blood markers, like IGF-1, glucose and cholesterol, improved. If I can sustain that, it will greatly reduce my risk of contracting age-related diseases like cancer and diabetes.”
Although the 5:2 diet seems more sustainable than Alternate Day Fasting, there have been few human trials meaning more research needs to be done to confirm both the results and the safety.
Would you try Alternate Day Fasting or the 5:2 diet? And what motivates you more, losing weight or living a healthier lifestyle?