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So for 5 years I have been intermittent fasting at some level. And recently, I have discovered how much I really enjoy Alternate Day Fasting also known as ADF. In this post I will describe what ADF is, the benefits of it, and how I myself implement it in my everyday life.
Again, I am reminding anyone reading this, I am not a doctor or medical professional in any way. I am simply sharing my own experience, personal research, and what I have learned. I highly recommend you do your own fact-finding and make an informed decision. Consulting your ‘health care’ person is also a good idea.
What Is Alternate Day Fasting?
Alternate day fasting is the schedule of fasting one day (down day”) followed by a feast day (up day) in which you eat two meals over a 6 – 8 hour period.
On your fasting days, you either fast all day while just consuming ‘fasting-approved’ beverages. Or you fast most of the day, but allow yourself one small & quick 500 calorie meal somewhere in the middle of your fasting day.
Yes, this does technically break the fast, but it is a quick interruption and some people deal better mentally with this approach than going a complete day without eating anything.
With this fasting regimen, you have the opportunity to decide for yourself which approach is best foryou. And you can do like me and freely combine both options.
Gin Stephens goes over (in -depth) this approach in Chapter 7 of her book – Fast Feast Repeat – (recommended read). There are also studies that show that people who did the 500 calorie approach had the same and sometimes better results with weight-loss and body recomposition. Something to consider if that is what you are mainly fasting for.
You can purchase the book here
Benefits Of ADF (alternate day fasting)
One of the top benefits that I have found with alternate day fasting is the ease of following it. I really like the freedom of not eating for a day. And if I choose to have the 500 calorie quick meal, it is usually planned and very much enjoyed!
I know it may sound weird but, the truth is some days I am really busy and the ability to forego worrying about eating is a great feeling.
Also, on my fasting days I have so much energy and I can get many things done more efficiently. And I can confirm that for me it has increased my weight loss and ability to keep weight off. I have also noticed increased muscle definition due to this approach.
My body recomposition is apparent in the measurements of my arms, legs, hips and waist. I have not only lost weight on the scale, but I have lost inches and my clothes fit better with seemingly little effort.
Weight loss, increased muscle mass, decreased bodily inflammation, and high energy levels, are just some of the many benefits experienced by many who follow the ADF protocol .
How I Alternate Day Fast
I usually have my down days on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. It is easier for me on these days because I have obligations clear into the evenings on these specific days and therefore am very busy. My busy schedule on these days makes it very easy to fast. And if I decide to I can easily have the 500 calorie meal in the early afternoon.
In the pictures below is an example of a 500 calorie meal I had on a recent down-day (including iced-coffee). I don’t always have the 500 calorie option, but when I do I certainly make sure to enjoy it!
Look how tasty a 500 calorie meal can be. Prior to this particular meaI, I had fasted over 20 hours and was finished eating within 25 minutes and continued to fast until the following day. I opened my ‘eating’ window at 20 hours the following day and had 2 good meals within 6 hours.
I make sure to ALWAYS follow a down day with a true up day. Gin reiterates how important it is to make sure you do this to keep your metabolism humming along. And, I’m not going to lie, I absolutely love ‘up days’ 😋
I love food and I enjoy eating, so the up days are not a chore. Making sure, for the most part, to eat foods nutrient dense that truly feed and nourish my body and give it what it needs to maintain my health.
I do also have treats during my eating windows, and I enjoy them very much!
On Sundays I usually have a OMAD day which is one meal. It is usually a bigger meal and I am done eating within a few hours.
In some instances, I may have to change my fasting days around due to some conflict, unforeseen circumstance, or special occasion. This is the great freedom that comes from this lifestyle, I can easily decide to open my window if need be and adjust my days accordingly.
There You Have It
You now know what Alternate Day Fasting is. What the benefits are and how I myself follow it.
With intermittent fasting there is so much freedom and you get to choose how to do it – for you. You can combine schedules and tweak it until it works.
Let me know below if you have any further questions and if you are Alternate Day Fasting 😊
A Catholic mom of 10 & a Deacon’s wife.
A Christian who lives an intermittent fasting lifestyle, my days faithfully begin with prayer & black coffee.
I want to encourage women to realize their life’s purpose, share their faith, embrace God’s Word, grow in confidence, and commit daily to reclaiming overall health while living a life dedicated to their vocation.