One review study also showed that intermittent fasting caused less muscle loss than continuous calorie restriction. Typically, a weight loss diet involves reducing the calories you eat by 15%-60% which normally results in fat loss BUT also results in muscle loss. Losing muscle means you have less calorie burning machines working for you, which can result in a lower metabolism and what some like to call “starvation mode” over a long term period like 3 months. However, one study compared a continuous calorie restriction diet and an alternate day fasting program and found that both were equally effective at fat loss BUT only the alternate day fasting proved more effective at retaining lean muscle mass.
Easier to adjust to lifestyle
For me, I find it psychologically easier to adjust to just being very strict in my diet 3 days per week, instead of every day. I can still eat cheat meals, have a beer on the weekend, and I can still eat ice cream if I chose. I find it easier to chalk up those fasting days as the equivalent of when I am really busy and just simply cannot find the time to eat. So I just drink lots of water, have a light dinner and go to bed. I would much rather do this than every meal of every day be counting calories and have to cut out fun things from my diet forever.
Actually increases your metabolic rate
Lower insulin levels, higher growth hormone levels and increased amounts of norepinephrine (noradrenaline) all increase the breakdown of body fat and facilitate its use for energy. For this reason, short-term fasting actually increases your metabolic rate by 3.6-14%, helping you burn even more calories. In other words, intermittent fasting works on both sides of the calorie equation. It boosts your metabolic rate (increases calories out) and reduces the amount of food you eat (reduces calories in).
It can increase your lifespan
Studies in rats have shown that intermittent fasting extends lifespan in a similar way as continuous calorie restriction. In some of these studies, the effects were quite dramatic. In one of them, rats that fasted every other day lived 83% longer than rats who weren’t fasted. So alternate day fasting gets the same result for longevity as continuous calorie restriction but you can still drink coffee and alcohol (in moderation, obviously). Bonus!
Still want to ask a few questions about our Schkinny Days Program? You can email me directly at Catherine@schkinnymaninny.com.au or visit the program online here: http://www.schkinnymaninny.com.au/products/alternate-day-fasting-program
Why is alternate day fasting better than regular calorie counting?
- by Catherine Craig
- 30 January, 2017
- 2 min read