BOOK REVIEW | The Every Other Day Diet

Fast Days Healing Days review’s the latest alternate day fasting diet book, The Every Other Day Diet by Krista Varady, Phd. Move over 5:2 Fast Diet and JUDDD, there’s a new boss in town and she’s gunnin’ for bear. Join us to discover the weight loss wave sweeping the nation and how to lose weight fast!

krista-varady

Krista Varady studies alternate day fasting at UIC along with its implications on health and weight loss. (Photo courtesy of UIC Photo Services.)

For over 5 years, Krista Varady, PhD, author of The Every Other Day Diet, and associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at University of Illinois at Chicago, has been conducting alternate day, intermittent fasting, nutritional and weight loss studies on real, live, human beings. Not lab rats. Not mice. Not monkeys. Not bunnies. HEWWWWMONNNS, man.

Do you want to lose weight fast and only diet every other day? Let me now explain, that means, on alternating days, you have no “diet rules” to follow. You simply, eat. Just eat. No measures. No weighing. And Dr. Varady’s studies suggest you can drop as much as 30 pounds in eight weeks. We wouldn’t blame you if you thought it sounded too good to be true; there has to be a catch, right? But the results have come back and on alternating days, people only tend to consume 110% of a normal day’s calories–not enough to override the effects of dieting on alternating days. But of course there is a catch…every other day you limit calories to 500 calories. Can it be done? You betcha!

And the studies are fascinating! Many of her studies at UIC (University of Illinois at Chicago) seek to answer questions posed during her doctoral thesis on alternate day nutrition and weight loss.

 

Questions Such As:

Can you exercise while alternate day fasting?

What’s the preferred fat content in alternate day fasting?

What’s the ideal calorie restriction in alternate day fasting?

Can dieters really eat whatever they want on alternating days if they restrict calories to 500 on the remaining days?

Can you keep the weight off with alternate day fasting; and what does maintenance look like?

 

Her human studies, which are a little unique, because most studies on nutrition are done on animals or in vitro (test tubes), have delivered interesting results and great food for thought! The Every Other Day Diet fleshes out the exact scientific method she used on over 400 subjects during the last five plus years of ADF weight studies.

eod-diet-bookLet’s call this book what it really is, Dr. Varady’s weight loss methods of highly successful, alternate day, intermittent fasting people, mmm-kay? Because that’s just what they’ve been. Highly successful losers. Big ol’ losers–of fat–that is!

With about a 10% drop-out rate (due to hunger in the initial weeks), Dr. Varady’s methods allow an average weight loss of between 10-30 pounds in eight weeks. That’s smokin’ fast! And in her ongoing three year study, it appears this quick weight loss, stays off! But her studies on humans also show more important success than weight loss (if there is such a thing). One of her studies showed a  drop in LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) of 10-25% and a drop in blood pressure of 10%. Indeed, initial results indicate that the underlying health benefits of intermittent, alternate day fasting (ADF) could have far-reaching impact on health and longevity.

The Every Other Day Diet is very specific on methodology. Fail to do the diet Dr. Varady’s way, and risk losing less weight: Every other day, limit food to 500 calories from any food group (although protein-rich food offers greater satiety) eaten preferably at lunch or early evening. And on alternating days, chow down on whatever the heck you desire! No calorie counting, carb counting or fat crunching required.

Dr. Varady’s work on intermittent, alternate day fasting, forms part of the foundation for diets such as Michael Mosley’s 5:2 Fast Diet and James B. Johnson, MD’s JUDDD Diet (Johnson’s Up Day Down Day Diet or Alternate Day Diet).

Fast Days Healing Days recommend The Every Other Day Diet book. There is one area of contention. EOD Diet is very specific about eating only 1 main meal and a 100 calorie snack. The idea is there is less margin for error (over-eating and underestimating or under-reporting quantities) when only eating 1 meal per day plus a snack. But we’ve observed many fellow ADFers who’ve realized great success, refining ADF to fit their own needs.

We don’t agree with Dr. Varady that all of the nutrition must be eaten at one meal. There is no one-size-fits-all success strategy in dieting and the beauty of ADF lies in its flexibility. If you want or need to eat 3 small meals, do it. If you need to eat a bunch of tiny meals on the hour, every hour, do it! If eating one meal works better, change it up!

If it works for you, great! If not, switch your pattern until you find something that does work! Because we are increasingly convinced that intermittent, alternate day fasting can help save lives, send terrible diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, asthma, auto immune diseases such as MS, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s into remission.

As long as you have a food scale, measuring cups and spoons and a good food resource guide and good tracking program such as My Fitness Pal (MFP), you can accurately report and track alternate day fasting calories and experience amazing results and health benefits.

 

(Disclosure: Fast Days Healing Days purchased this book. No offers, money, nor rewards or benefits were received. No one invited or persuaded FDHD to make this review.)

 


Copyright © 2014 Fast Days Healing Days. All rights reserved

Author: Susie T. Gibbs

SusieT is passionately committed to seeking studies and research detailing the most effective strategies for killing inflammation, boosting health, increasing energy and expanding longevity through nutrition. Seeking health through ancestral principles and making darn good food while traveling along life’s path to better health occupies a key place in her personal food philosophy. SusieT develops recipes and writes about cooking, food, health and nutrition news. Find her latest work in CarbSmart Magazine, a digital magazine from the leaders in low carbohydrate information. A two-year survivor from late stage, hormone-positive breast cancer, SusieT encourages everyone to meet their kitchen and begin a love affair with life and cooking good, clean, nourishing meals. The life you save could be your own. Email SusieT with questions and suggestions for new 5:2 and 4:3 ADF/EOD recipes.

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