Can I Diet Every Other Day Instead?

Can I Diet Every Other Day Instead?

To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn. But eating less -- in most cases, a lot less -- is hard. What if you didn't have to eat less every day -- just some days? This may be a dieter's dream come true: alternate-day fasting diets are just as effective as diets that restrict calories every day, according to researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago. The study: Led by Krista Varady, an associate professor of nutrition, the team followed 100 obese adults for a full year. Each participant was assigned to one of three diet groups: alternate-day fasting, everyday calorie restriction and a control group. Those in the alternate-day fasting group consumed only about 500 calories every other day. On the off-days, or "feast" days, participants ate whatever they wanted. The everyday restriction group reduced their daily calorie intake by about 25 percent, to about 1500 calories each day. The control group had no dietary changes. The results: The alternate-day fasters lost, on average, 6 percent of their body weight, while those who followed the everyday calorie restriction plan lost 5.3 percent.