Can Alternate Day Fasting Help You Lose Holiday Weight?

It happens to the best of us: a few extra gingerbread cookies and glasses of eggnog over the holiday season changes us from fit to flabby. Unfortunately, the first thing most people do to get back on track is to shave off calories like a Gillette razor. Bad idea.

More and more research is showing that the typical: “eat less, exercise more” approach to weight loss flat out doesn’t work. Although you may be able to drop pounds temporarily, wait long enough, and you’ll see the needle on the scale creep back up to where it was before you started.

Fortunately, there’s a fairly simple, yet remarkable new approach to weight loss that’s turning heads within the scientific community: alternate day fasting.

The Real Paleolithic Diet

Even though a Paleolithic diet, made up of lean meat, fresh produce, and legumes, best reflects the way our bodies were designed to eat, it ignores the good portion of the time cavemen spent not eating.

Researchers are suggesting that we are simply made to fast.  Our current daily eating habits are wreaking havoc on our metabolism and weight. Or as one study on alternate day fasting put it: “This lifestyle collides with our genome…”.

That’s why a number of recent studies have shown that alternate day fasting has a number of advantages over calorie cutting:

More Fat Loss: When you fast, your body preferentially uses up fat and preserves muscle. In fact, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that alternate day fasting beat out reducing caloric intake in terms of total fat lost.

Metabolism: One of the first things that happen during a typical diet is that your body goes into “starvation mode” , essentially shutting down metabolism. Surprisingly, research on alternate day fasting has found that metabolism doesn’t budge –even as people are losing weight.

Easy: Because it requires no calorie counting or portion control, alternate day fasting is extremely easy to follow. Researchers in one study were able to illicit weight loss with an alternate day fasting regimen, even though they didn’t ask them to eat less.

Fortunately, you can start alternate day fasting tomorrow. Simply limit your calories on fasting days to 0-20% of your normal intake and eat 125-150% of your normal intake on non-fasting days.

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