Alternate-Day Fasting/Introducing myself

Alternate-Day Fasting/Introducing myself

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Jason Hornischfeger

Burnaby, Canada

#1 Feb 2, 2006
Hi. My name is Jason and I'm 32. I'm new to the forum. I made a resolution at the beginning of this year to lose weight and get in shape. After considering several diet methods and not liking any of them, I finally came up with my own idea, which I later found out is also being tried by others with some success.

I sit at a desk and answer telephones for a living. After a decade of this type of work
I've become quite out of shape. I realized I simply don't need all the extra calories I've been consuming for the amount of energy I exert at work. However, I do need enough energy to keep up with my kids and not go insane at home. So finding the balance has been tricky.

I started my diet on January 10th. I now only eat every other day. On the days in-between I consume nothing but gum and low-calorie beverages, such as tea, diet soda, and water.

Before you say to yourself, that sounds amazingly dangerous and unhealthy, which was one of my concerns starting out, you'll be surprised to find out that in fact the opposite is true.

Just by Googling "alternate-day fasting" you'll read how eating every other day not only cuts weight, but can also potentially extend your life, reduce the development of cancer, enhance insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of heart disease.

It has been going well so far. It's been almost a month. Because I will only weigh myself on the 10th of every month, I can't tell you exactly how much I've lost yet. But I can tell you I'm already having to pull my belt a couple notches tighter. So I expect I've lost a few pounds at least.

I'm keeping a web-log of my progress and I invite you all to check it out. Leave me feedback about what you think, if you've tried it, considered trying it, or if anybody's
had any success with this method. I look forward to your "feed"back.(Forgive the food pun.)

Jason
http://everyotherdayfast.blogspot.com
JT Daugirdas

La Porte, IN

#2 Mar 4, 2006
Hi Jason,

Interesting, how this idea of alternate day fasting seems to bubble up from various sources. Actually, it was called the "fast of David" and recommended by the Prophet Muhammad in the first millenium.

There's also a yahoo.group of people doing alternate day fasting at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fasting/ . Some interesting science has been done in this area, also.

I wrote a book about my own version of this diet ( eatqod.com ), which involves taking in about 300-400 (non-protein) calories on the OFF day, plus taking in about 60 g of high biologic value protein powder (mixed with a bit of yogurt) on the OFF day. The protein intake helps preserve muscle mass and does wonders to assuage hunger. Plus, I've been recommending keeping mineral intake (sodium, potassium) relatively constant during the OFF day - mostly by taking in vegetables, which have a lot of potassium and few calories (like tomatoes, squash, etc.), and salt (either via tomato juice or salted vegetable soups). Nice to take in some calcium and vitamin D (esp. if you're inside all the time) as well to keep your bones strong. You wind up losing about 1 lb per week on this version of the diet, using a 4-day running average weight that you can plot using a tool that we've developed.

I think doing this on your own is fine, but it might help you to look at what others have done in this area - may make your life a bit easier.

If you weigh yourself once a month, realize that your weight on a QOD type of diet can fluctuate by up to 5-6 lbs as you burn and store glycogen. Your lowest weight will be the morning of your ON day, and your highest weight will be the evening of your ON day. On your OFF day, your weight will be in-between those 2 values, and will change only a bit.

By the way, I also do a lot of computer work at home. So I set up a treadmill and work either while walking or at least standing, and then run for short distances several times a day - the point is - I'm there on the treadmill instead of in a chair. FYI see http://eatqod.com/treadmill/treadmill.htm . This still didn't do the trick for me, by the way - in the pics, I weighed about 205-210. Now down to 185 after about 6 months of QOD eating.

Good luck!

John
Rebecca

Fort Worth, TX

#3 Mar 25, 2006
I am a "bulk" eater...always have been. I always been interested in food, interesting and exotic food. I have never been famous for denying myself much. These three things have, as one would naturally imagine, contributed to significant weigh gain with age.

So this alternate-day diet works for me. I typically gain/lose 4 pounds a day on the alternate day eating program. On one day, I definitely enjoy having no diet restrictions of any type. I allows for me to experiment with many foods and recipes.

Alternatively, on the fasting day, I experience what I have read from research, that the hunger does not go away on that second day. But this has improved my overall ability to exercise discipline, in a good way.

I had lost a great deal of weight via calorie restriction and exercise during the year preceding this alternate day fasting. Alternate day fasting works for me, because it does allow me to eat what I want on the "food" day. Calorie restriction never permits me to "let up" and eat some fun foods. Alternate day fasting permits this, and that is a genuine treat.

I have not lost much weight on the alternate day fasting regime. However, I haven't been at it that long. It has, however, kept me from regaining the 156 pounds I lost.

I am borderline diabetic. The alternate day fasting seems to be keeping this in check nicely, although I do occasionally experience a few high blood sugar symptoms after a big eating spree in the evening of the "eating" day. I find it is better to "graze" on the eating day rather than having large throw-down meals or lots of sugar.

Another benefit of alternate day fasting for me is that there is ALWAYS plenty of energy for exercise, even on the "off" days....whereas a long term calorie restricted died often left me too weak to really enjoy getting out on long distance walks and other active exercise.

I plan to stick to this program a while, as I am a cancer survivor. I believe there are benefits for cancer patients in this program.

Rebecca Kimber
Age 56
Detox Dave

Sydney, Australia

#4 Apr 30, 2006
Real content, real people, real intention to help others achieve natural lasting health, spiritual health, restore their health...

through the miraculous power of fasting, detox, cleansing...

information packed site...

http://www.detox-cleanse.com

if you have a look around you just might even find "THE PHOTOS" !!!!

(stuff that comes out during properly supervised, properly executed fasting program)
senior in high school

Hallowell, ME

#5 May 31, 2006
I am a senior in high school whom has struggled with anorexia since age six. I was doing okay from 7-8th grade. Than began the diet, that you speak of so highly, and became anorexic all over again. I agree that it is up to you and that considering your mentality, job, and physical state it is alright for you to aply this diet to your living; however you have to consider your children. Children are very likely to form eating disorders by watching dieting take place. What if your child attempts this diet and decides 1 day, 2 day, 3 day and then no days for food. Anorexia forms.
Please just consider your children and their growing stages. Thank you.
g-mizzle

Norco, CA

#6 Aug 2, 2006
ok the to fool that said they did the diet when they were anorexic. why would you do this diet when you are already small and anorexic. jason this diet is great im currently on it and its working. this is obviously for people who are fat not for people that are anorexic.
Anorexic

Indianapolis, IN

#7 Aug 6, 2006
G-Mizzle... have you ever done any research on anorexia? It's a disorder where the sufferer sees themself as fat even though they are underweight.
I have been Anorexic/Bulimic for 7 years now and am actually currently doing this "diet". My whole focus every single day is losing weight and even though my doctor is extremely concerned about my weight- I see myself as obese and believe that I need to lose weight.
I definately agree that this diet is not a good example for children- you should be practicing DAILY BALANCED EATING... not a fast-binge pattern. If you choose to eat ~1500 calories a day with moderate exercise, you will feel better and lose more than this "diet".
Flower

United States

#8 Aug 10, 2006
I tried something a little different that I found worked well. I fasted one day, than eat 200 cal the next, 400 cal the day after 600 after that 800 cal, then back to fast. I was worried that saying too low calorie-wise would puty my body's metabolism in slow mode. This way I tricked it.
Lean-n-Mean

Topeka, KS

#9 Sep 18, 2006
God, now we're getting speaches and dieting advice from anorexics.

For the record all lab experiments on this mode of eating...no it doesn't have to be for weight loss...have shown a huge benefit in health and longivity. Lab rats on this "diet" lived 30 to 40 percent longer...that translates to a life expectancy of 105 years for the average American. This was true whether total calories consumed were reduced or not; in other words you could eat twice as much on your food days, maintain your weight (assuming a healthy weight has been achieved) and still live an extra 30 years. And this mode of eating has been shown to prevent age related dementia, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, lower colesterol, and increase HGH levels...so you are far more healthy for far more of those extended years.

That said, if you have anorexia, you have a serious mental illness and no "diet" or alternate mode of eating (especially one involving fasting) is safe for you. Those of us with a more or less healthy mind are free to reap huge health benefits from this way of eating.

Sorry if I offended...but I hate self-righteous, ill-informed whining.
Lean-n-Mean

Topeka, KS

#10 Sep 18, 2006
Oh, and Flower...that is so not enough food. If I ate 800 calories (your wild-n-crazy splurge day) in a day my metabolism would be so low I couldn't get out of bed. Unless you are seriously overweight, that eating plan isn't even close to being safe.
bodybuilder

Auburn Hills, MI

#11 Sep 24, 2006
I am a muslim and im going to fast during the month of ramadan. I am also a bodybuilder and I wat to know what to eat the day before and how to prevent muscle loss when fasting.
de Vie

Tucson, AZ

#13 Mar 13, 2007
hi.... i tried this for about 10 days, then haven't done it for a week, and now will probably try it again, with the difference of counting the 24 hours as 5 am to 5 am rather than midnight to midnight. thanks.... de Vie
deViemusic ...[that at sign]... yahoo ...[the dot] com
Katie

Korea

#14 Mar 28, 2007
FASTING-ALTERNATE-DAY FASTING
Hi.
I am aware of all the wonderful benefits of water fasting. I am currently doing my 2nd 7-day water fast in the last 6months.
I think for over all health of body and mind this is an excellent way to increase lifespan, lower weight, finally get detatched from certain starchy/sugary food atatchments and have the feeling of achievment or of conquering the mind.
I think some people on this thread have been a little insensitive towards those with eating disorders..or at least those with life threatening eating disorders. I think most people have some form of eating disorder, most people are dissatisfied with their bodies or want to gain/loose weight. Im only around 10lbs over weight in my eyes, but i have often lost and gained over and over...does that mean I have an eating disorder?
Anyways. I think im just a normal person wishing to have optimal health in a world that is going crazy!
7day fasting.
It's very very important to break the fast gently, slowly, even 3 weeks after, if you wish to maintain the weight loss and cleansing effects you must eat small and gentle foods at regular intervals. My own plan is after my week of water fasting, if just juice, vitamins and soups with some mashed rice inside, the2nd week after Iwill introduce solids again slowly, and also maintain an every-other-day fasting/healthy eating plan.
I believe this allows my metabolism to slowly increase again after fasting and as i introduce my usual fitness plans slowly. This means 7-day fast is a kick start to a new eating habit which is comfortable and has been scientifically proven to be beneficial to ones health.
I DO NOT support those who practise fasting one day then binging the next day...this is a definate form of eating disorder. Fasting should help with self control not be used as a means of allowing oneself to be a pig one day and a saint the next..this is like bulimia without vomiting and anorexia the next day.
If you're like me and have a healthy lifestyle, a fit and active body, but tendancies to put on weight easily, I think alternate day fasting is a great life style. Regular 1500-2000 calories on eating day and just water or juice on fasting days. Ofcourse if you feel dizzy or weak to the point where you think its danerous, you should eat a piece of fruit or some juice.
Hey, Im sorry if i sound self-rightious, and for spelling errors.
You contact me on yogini underscore kayte at yahoo dot co dot uk
PEACE
tina marie

Norwalk, CA

#15 Apr 15, 2007
I cannot seem to go a day without food? I find it so umcomfortable, mainly in my taste buds, and a little quizy in the stomache...is it that eazy for some people to fast for a day and am I kinda a panzy or gluton for not finding this ezy..

KAthy
Jordan OHara

Calgary, Canada

#16 Apr 22, 2007
Hello Jason
I am doing alternate day fasting for life. I decided at the start of year after I completed a 14 Day water fast. I eat gorge quality food every second day. My health is better then it has ever been at anytime in my life. My blood pressure when I'm very relaxed is 95/60 and goes up around 120/70-75 when I'm walking around. In the past I had some serious medical issues, now I have none. I'm six feet tall and 190 pounds. I just turned 32. I work out on my no food days, when the body is taking a break from digestion. My body core temp is a few degrees lower then what is considered norm so the workouts are a nice way to warm up and sweat out the toxins from the previous days food. I am now changing my fasting / eating schedule, I will now eat 2 days and water fast 2 days. I think 1 day of fasting may not be as much time as the body would like to detoxify. I base this from the fact that after each 1 day water fast my body signals me to continue the fast but I break it.
Apart from my regular routine of intermittent fasting I also look forward to complete 30 day water fasting at the end of every 4 month. So for all of this June I will be cleansing, reading, working out and sweating allot.
I remember when I first started this life style and friends and family thought I was nuts and would die. Now they don't know what to say. They don't say anything. However one friend who had serious heart issues has now started intermitted fasting and he is starting to improve fast, however he still eats crap on his eating days which slows the healing process.
I can't begin to even explain how this has positively changed my life to the extreme.
Sincerely
Jordan O'Hara
Jason Hornischfeger wrote:
Hi. My name is Jason and I'm 32. I'm new to the forum. I made a resolution at the beginning of this year to lose weight and get in shape. After considering several diet methods and not liking any of them, I finally came up with my own idea, which I later found out is also being tried by others with some success.
I sit at a desk and answer telephones for a living. After a decade of this type of work
I've become quite out of shape. I realized I simply don't need all the extra calories I've been consuming for the amount of energy I exert at work. However, I do need enough energy to keep up with my kids and not go insane at home. So finding the balance has been tricky.
I started my diet on January 10th. I now only eat every other day. On the days in-between I consume nothing but gum and low-calorie beverages, such as tea, diet soda, and water.
Before you say to yourself, that sounds amazingly dangerous and unhealthy, which was one of my concerns starting out, you'll be surprised to find out that in fact the opposite is true.
Just by Googling "alternate-day fasting" you'll read how eating every other day not only cuts weight, but can also potentially extend your life, reduce the development of cancer, enhance insulin sensitivity and lower the risk of heart disease.
It has been going well so far. It's been almost a month. Because I will only weigh myself on the 10th of every month, I can't tell you exactly how much I've lost yet. But I can tell you I'm already having to pull my belt a couple notches tighter. So I expect I've lost a few pounds at least.
I'm keeping a web-log of my progress and I invite you all to check it out. Leave me feedback about what you think, if you've tried it, considered trying it, or if anybody's
had any success with this method. I look forward to your "feed"back.(Forgive the food pun.)
Jason
http://everyotherdayfast.blogspot.com
Jordan OHara

Calgary, Canada

#17 Apr 22, 2007
If you don't drink 8-9 glasses of water a day, start too, this might help. Also if you choose too, you can see that your body is separate from you, and you control it and can master it. This takes time, just keep trying and you will learn over time.
Cheers
Jordan O'Hara
tina marie wrote:
I cannot seem to go a day without food? I find it so umcomfortable, mainly in my taste buds, and a little quizy in the stomache...is it that eazy for some people to fast for a day and am I kinda a panzy or gluton for not finding this ezy..
KAthy
Regular Person

Union City, NJ

#18 Apr 26, 2007
Anorexic wrote:
G-Mizzle... have you ever done any research on anorexia? It's a disorder where the sufferer sees themself as fat even though they are underweight.
I have been Anorexic/Bulimic for 7 years now and am actually currently doing this "diet". My whole focus every single day is losing weight and even though my doctor is extremely concerned about my weight- I see myself as obese and believe that I need to lose weight.
I definately agree that this diet is not a good example for children- you should be practicing DAILY BALANCED EATING... not a fast-binge pattern. If you choose to eat ~1500 calories a day with moderate exercise, you will feel better and lose more than this "diet".
Why don't you try eating everyday? Don't tell other people to do what you can't.
Jordan OHara

Calgary, Canada

#19 May 5, 2007
Regular Person wrote:
<quoted text>
Why don't you try eating everyday? Don't tell other people to do what you can't.
I think your very confused. Fasting is well documented and practiced in the medical community. I maintain a perfect body weight. I have fasted up to 30 days and only good has come out it. Eating every day does not allow the body to detoxify and your digestive system never gets a break. In short this leads to rapid aging and many cancers. I could go on for hundred of pages about this but don't have time right now.
Take care.
Pete Wagner

Minneapolis, MN

#20 May 6, 2007
I have "experimented" with my own diet since the age of 13 when I first tried going a few days eating nothing but peanuts, just to see what would happen. I've always had fun with supplements and unusual eating methods, mostly searching for the best way to both enjoy food and to stay as healthy as I can.

My wife and I first dabbled with fasting in 1980 after we met a chiropractor who advocated a "cleansing diet" (hygenic eating tradition) and mentioned fasting was a way to speed up healing and "cleansing."

I had experienced an involuntary 3-week fast at the age of 20 when I became so sick (still have no idea what it was!) I couldn't eat or get out of bed. It was even difficult to drink water. I thought I was going to die at that time, and just barely pulled through at the end. But I noticed as I slowly recovered and began eating again, that I felt better than I ever had in my life. I also became more muscular.

Since then, I've studied research on fasting where available. Dr. Joel Fuhrman's "Fasting and Eating for health" book, c. 1994, was the turning point for me. I feared permanent damage to my metabolism and other unknown ill-effects from fasting until I read this reassuring book.

I've only fasted 1-4 days at a time, perhaps an average of 2 days per year at most, since then. But I've always felt MUCH better afterwards and have experienced dramatic specific health improvements from some of these fasts and the subsequent healthy eating patterns that ensued for at least a few weeks after most of them. E.G. I reversed an allergy to peanuts and MSG.

I wonder about alternative fasting, and am tempted to try it. I find it VERY hard to control my eating most of the time. Once I start eating, I want to eat to satiety as a general rule. I slowly get fat over a period of months, and then usually fast to break my habits, am able to restrict calories for a few months, slowly lose weight, but then inevitably rebound and start eating for pleasure again.

Maybe alternate fasting for a short period, a week or a few weeks, would speed up the healing/weight loss process. I do find it easier to not eat at all on some days than to eat at a lower rate.
Russell Gardner

Stoughton, WI

#21 May 16, 2007
Am 69 years old and have fasted at least once weekly since May 2003 (now four years). I did this after reading of NIA research involving intermittant fasting such as alternate day eating. I'd long been aware of the oft confirmed 1930s McCay experiments in rats where restricted calories increased health and life span, the new work on the SIRT genes that are stimulated by restricted eating and resveratrol (the health giving agent in red wine). I'm aware that increased energy stems from resveratrol administration in mice from its fostering mitochondria in muscle cells.

My regimen increased to two and more days/week in Aug 2004, after returning from Europe a bit heavier than I wished. After about a year of that I diminished to alternate day eating. I've worked out a comfortable regime as follows: I start the fast midday either after breakfast or lunch depending on whether I lunch with someone. Although I've fasted when with good friends, it's more awkward than eating. So today, having had lunch with a good friend, I will fast for the next 26 hours and commence eating late afternoon tomorrow (predinner snack). I never have breakfast and dinner the same day. The one exception to calorie intake is a glass of red wine in the evening of fast days. On eating days, I eat freely and occasionally consume red meat, but that's rare. I like leafy vegetables and eat many salads.

I exercise vigorously one hour/day five or six days/week. Work out in gym including weights, hanging of art extended over hours (I mount many exhibits), Pilates mat class, walking.

I'm 5'9" and weighed 183 at max perhaps 20 years ago. 172 was the "too heavy" weight of Aug 04. Presently my weight fluctuates between 154 and 156 -- nude weight at the fitness club balance. I take thyroid hormone replacement for a familial hypothyroidism, fish oil for omega 3s, and aspirin for my arthritis and for prophylaxis against inflammation.

My fantasy is that the not eating turns on the SIRT gene. Who knows if this is eating that is restricted enough. But my
internist likes my regime regardless of that: my lipid profiles are now good and haven't had a cold in a few years. Other indices of health are good though I do have prostatic hypertrophy and osteoarthritis that flares up with more joint usage. I am very active, sleep well, and have good energy.

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