Does Alternate Fasting Help with Weight Loss?
Fasting is nothing new to humans. In fact, it's been practiced for centuries - our bodies innately understand it and more and more people are waking up to its incredible benefits for longevity and healing.
One thing that is not widely known about fasting, is its powers in stimulating weight loss. Yes, it can take a little adjusting to at first and it's definitely not for everyone, but there is a particular type of fasting known as "Alternate Fasting", that when you practice it, you will begin to notice sustainable changes to your wasteline and body composition, without too much disruption to your current lifestyle.
Keep reading to find out how Alternating fasting works for weight loss (plus other important health benefits) so that you can determine if it's for you.
1. Easier to Manage
Alternate fasting is a variation of intermittent fasting, which is well known for it's weight management benefits. One of the draws of Alternating fasting, is that it’s a little more manageable than other forms of intermittent fasting you may have tried or read about.
Alternate fasting works by allowing you to eat normally one day and then 'mostly' fasting the next (you still eat a very small amount, approx. 500 calories, on your fasting days). This alternating method can lead to quick and effective weight loss that stays off, and it’s often a much more preferred form of fasting because of how manageable it is.
Alternate fasting tends to make you feel less restricted, versus other types of Intermittent Fasting where each day you need to be conscious of your calorie intake and timing whenever you're fasting to experience the ongoing benefits.
Of course, it doesn't mean you should binge on junk food on your 'non-fasting' days, but it certainly gives you a little more latitude than normal Intermittent Fasting for very similar benefits.
Learn more about Intermittent Fasting in Intermittent Fasting: Health Benefits and How-To’s.
2. More Likely to Last
Alternating fasting doesn't mean that you need to completely abstain from food on your fasting day. It's ok to allow yourself up to 500 of quality nutritious calories on your fasting days, and this can make all the difference in adopting alternate fasting as a lifestyle.
The fact that you can still eat a small amount on your fasting days, generally means you’re able to concentrate better, go about your day-to-day more easily and stick to the program, because you’re not completely distracted by hunger pangs.
3. Trains You to Eat Better
One of the other benefits of adopting this type of Alternate fasting is that it helps you correct unhealthy eating habits.
With Alternate fasting, your body is regularly undergoing a process known as Autophagy, meaning your cells are constantly recycling old or damaged cells.
When this occurs, your cellular nutrient absorption greatly improves, meaning begin to crave less of the foods that made you store fat in the first place.
Additionally, your body and tastebuds will naturally adapt to eating less food as you continue with Alternate Fasting and your body renews and heals itself. These habit changes can lead to long-term weight loss, even after you’ve stopped alternate fasting.
Learn more in Fasting: What You Should Know.
4. Reduces Belly Fat Quickly
One of the most compelling reasons to try alternate fasting is because of its ability to reduce harmful belly fat quickly.
Alternate fasting has been shown to stimulate weight loss (rapid body fat burning) because it reduces insulin, making it easy for your body to tap directly into your fat stores for energy.
Not only that, any type of fasting kicks up Human Growth Hormone (HGH), helping your body to utilise fat as a fuel source and promoting muscle growth.
Belly fat can be a precursor to dangerous health conditions and diseases like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and more, so taking measures to reduce it is important.
Alternating fasting also reduces inflammation and lowers blood sugar, which is often one of the root causes of many diseases. Not only will your overall day-to-day improve by reducing inflammation, but so will your overall health.
5. No Adverse Effects
Sometimes there are concerns that any dramatic diet or lifestyle changes will affect your body adversely. Some may be concerned about losing muscle mass along with fat, whilst others might be worried about a slowed metabolic rate. But the reality is that many studies are now proving that when it comes to any type of Intermittent Fasting, the opposite is true.
Any type of intermittent fasting actually boosts metabolic rate, because your body is not becoming accustomed to the same routine for any prolonged period. You are neither eating a similar amount of calories and at roughly the same time each day, nor are you fasting without any food for days on end (which will eventually slow your metabolism).
Alternate Fasting is one of the best “diets” for preserving muscle mass, and also for stimulating metabolic changes. It simply causes effective weight and fat loss, so that you can quickly and safely become a healthier version of yourself.
Learn more in 6 Healthy Ways to Lose Weight & Keep it Off.
What to Eat and Drink on Fasting Days:
Some people subsist on just water and organic black coffee on 'fasting' days, but you can still experience fantastic benefits by consuming a small amount of calories as explained e.g. no more than 500 calories.
This can be achieve with some fruits, fresh pressed juices, raw nuts, greens, a smoothy, avocados, hummus, or soup on your fasting days.
Try to eat nutritious, whole plant foods as they’ll keep you feeling more satisfied longer, making it easier to resist snacking.
To drink, stick with just water, herbal teas and quality black coffee (add a splash of raw almond or coconut milk if you desire). Avoid sports drinks and soft drinks that have artificial sweeteners or food colourings - even if they're low calorie - as these types of chemicals can throw your body into chaos, particularly whilst fasting.
A few handfuls of Pulse Raw Food is also a great option for fasting days, since it’s nutrient-dense, healthy, and easy to eat on the go. Plus, it comes in seven different flavours so you won’t get bored!
The main take away is that alternate fasting can help you lose weight and even keep it off long term.
Body weight and composition is unique to each person; what works for some might not for others, and it can take time to figure out what works and is sustainable for your body.
If alternate fasting isn’t working for your lifestyle and body, or you don’t see it results in terms of how you look and feel within a few weeks, then it's best to take stock of the process you're following, listen to your body and adjust.
Maintaining a healthy weight is important to help stave off a number of diseases and disorders, so finding a lifestyle that works and that you can easily follow long term is key.
Remember, Alternating fasting is a do-able practice that is much easier than restricting calories constantly. It also tends to work relatively quickly so you can be motivated by results, and it doesn’t cause adverse effects like other diets.
Alternate fasting also teaches you a lot about the correlation between eating and weight loss, while also forcing you to choose nutritious options on your fasting days and avoiding bingeing on your off days. It’s a great way to kick start your weight loss journey, because of how easy and effective it is.
Whether you choose to try alternate fasting or not, remember to always nourish yourself with whole foods, plenty of clean water, moderate exercise, healthy exposure to sunshine and surrounding yourself with good connections and vibes.Tolman Self Care.