First, the concern has been raised that if one does not eat food for an entire day, for example, then the basal metabolic rate of the individual will decrease. However, research has shown this not to be the case. A study compared alternate day fasting (eating every other day) to daily caloric restriction (400 calories less than usual). After 8 weeks, the metabolic rate in the caloric restriction group fell 6%, while it only fell 1% in the alternate day fasting group, although the same amount of weight was lost. After 24 week follow up, the caloric restriction group still had a lower metabolic rate by 4.5%, while the alternate day fasting group had maintained their normal metabolic rate (1).
Be aware it may be easier to stick to than other types of fasting diets, but the weight loss will be smaller. Other options include alternate day fasting, which calls for eating 500 calories or so one day, then eating whatever you’d like the next; and the 5:2 Plan, which involves eating normally five days a week, then consuming fewer than 600 calories two non-consecutive days a week.
This is due primarily to the fact that the organism of the famine begins to actively assimilate the constituent parts of air (nitrogen, carbon, oxygen) and use them in their own biosynthesis. Actively moving day, we increase the amount of inhaled air, respectively, increased intake and absorption of substances from the air. At night, our gas exchange is reduced and the organism has to more actively use its own resources. Remember - the movement during fasting - it is a kind of food! The main rule - not to overload.
Even if you manage to meet your goal, it probably won’t be sustainable: “The amount of restriction required will make you so hungry that you’ll eat everything in sight—it’s survival instinct,” Dr. Seltzer says. What’s more, your body will be less prepared to burn the foods you binge on, since calorie restriction gradually slows your metabolism, he adds.
Raw nuts and seeds provide healthy fats and protein. Dried beans and legumes, such as lentils and chickpeas, provide protein and phytonutrients. Brown rice, quinoa, teff and millet are whole grains that you can find in the bulk bins at health-food stores and in some grocery chains. The fiber in the whole grains and produce will help keep you full and helps regulate your digestive tract.
So, basically, I have used every-other-day fasting to get down to 200 pounds, and will use it again whenever I go over that. But I’m now easing up to an every-third-day regimen for the 190-200 pound range. Hopefully, I’ll continue to lose weight on that, even if a bit more slowly. And once I get below 190, the plan is to fast once a week, even if it isn’t needed to stay below 190. (This is in part because there is reason to think there may be health benefits beyond weight control [largely cognitive benefits] associated with intermittent fasting, and also in part because I find intermittent fasting to be a good exercise, in large part because it makes me more cognizant of how blessed I am.)
With this new-found popularity, the number and type of cleanse diets has soared, from food-based "liver detoxes" to liquid-only fasts for several weeks and everything in between. While the extreme cleanses often get a bad rap—Beyonce confessed that drinking the maple syrup-lemon-cayenne pepper concoction made her "cranky"—many women swear by cleanse diets to lose weight, increase energy, and even help clear up acne.