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Posted on 02-10-2015

Today over 2/3 of adults and 1/3 of children in the US are overweight or obese.  Industrialization has not only increased the availability of food but has also increased the amount of processed and modified foods saturated with sugar.  Serving sizes have increased and nutritional whole foods are becoming less accessible and more expensive.  Most of us have heard about the benefits of fasting, but fasting protocols are too severe for most.  Fasting is a way to reboot the metabolism so the body can begin to burn fat as its primary fuel source.  Sugar is a fast-burning fuel and as long as the body is using sugar for fuel it will send frequent hunger signals.  The Alternate Day Fasting Diet creates the opportunity for the body to shift fuel sources, from sugar to fat, resulting in weight loss and better health outcome.

The Alternate Day Fasting diet offers a correlate approach with potential for greater adherence and success.  With the Alternate Day Fasting Diet a participant eats whatever they choose one day, and then a restricted diet the next day of 500-600 calories between the times of noon and 2pm when the metabolism is at its highest.  On the “fast” day the participant consumes 25% of their energy needs alternated with a “feed” day where the participant’s diet is unrestricted.

The Alternate Day Fasting Diet attempts to replicate consumption behaviors of our ancestors where food was not accessible around the clock.  From an evolutionary perspective food supply was once unpredictable and often inconsistent.  Having the ability to eat large quantities of food and to store fat was at times critical to survival.

Dr. Krista Vardy of the University of Illinois Chicago created the Alternate Day Fasting Diet as she was observing high obesity statistics in her patients and challenges with compliance to caloric restriction.  Her research interests included the psychology of eating.  She states that eating and hunger are not just hormonal responses, but habits.  After interviewing several patients she found significant feedback that most of the participants ate because of boredom, custom, or lack of satiation.  Dr. Vardy states that most people think they are hungry when actually they are thirsty, and that when the body’s primary fuel source is sugar it has less satiation time between meals.  She found through multiple studies that once people made it through the initial transition of changing from sugar to fat fuel sources that the Alternate Day Fasting Diet was easy for participants to follow.

According to the studies conducted the Alternate Day Fasting Diet was effective for weight loss.  Weight loss from this diet was 75-90% directly from fat stores. Other benefits for this diet include increased lean muscle mass, and cardiovascular protection.  In a recent 12-week study participants also experienced decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure, increased plasma adiponectin (which improves glucose metabolism and fatty acid breakdown), decreased leptin, decreased triacylglycerol concentrates, decreased C Reactive Protein (an anti-inflammatory marker), and a 10-25% reduction of LDL cholesterol.  Participants lost 10-30 pounds within eight weeks using this diet.  The patients who ate a higher fat percentage in their diets had better compliance and lost an additional 4 pounds over 8 weeks.

The study concluded that the Alternate Day Fasting Diet is an effective strategy for weight loss and cardio-protection.  Participants stated that the program was easier for them to follow because they knew their diets were not restricted every day.  The strong majority of study participants stated that after a week to ten days they were no longer feeling hungry on the fast days, that they had more energy, and significant reduction in health challenges and symptoms.

At Duggan Chiropractic we offer several whole foods products and nutritional resources to support you in your health and weight goals.  We are happy to assist you in finding a nutritional program that will work for you.  Activate your health and schedule your appointment today.

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