Chronic disease is taking too many too soon. On top are 2 particular diseases. A simple approach can show you how to prevent diabetes and avoid heart disease.
Everyone wants to live as long as they can with the greatest health they can. Longevity is the goal, but without health it may not seem worth it. Technology has a good way of keeping you alive long after it was your time to go. That’s not exactly on my wish list for my lifestyle as I age.
So how can we age gracefully and do our best to avoid chronic disease? The research has consistently pointed to calorie restriction without nutrient restriction to maintain an ideal body weight and stave off disease. This usually means that your 1200 calories per day comes from broccoli and not from a Big Mac Value Meal.
But not everyone wants to live life in a restricted calorie fashion. Actually, to be honest, few do. And society certainly does not support this lifestyle with the near elimination of the “small” size in the fast food industry (really–does it make us feel better to order the “medium” sized value meal? Do we somehow feel cheated if we were to only buy a “small” value meal??).
Luckily, there has been research looking at how effective modifications to the calorie restricted lifestyle are. One of the ones that seems to rise to the top is alternate day calorie restriction. The name describes it well, but basically you would restricted your calories to about 50% of normal every other day. During the non-restricted days there are no calorie restrictions, although the quality of the foods you eat should remain high.
This particular study looked at two different variations of alternate day calorie restriction and compared the outcomes. Both variations used an alternate day calorie restriction (as mentioned, this is typically 50% of your normal caloric intake), but on the off days, one variation used a high fat diet (45% of calories) while the other used a low fat diet (25% of calories). The diet lasted for 2 months and had some pretty surprising results:
- Weight dropped 4.8% in the high fat diet and 4.2% in the low fat group.
- Fat mass decreased almost 12 lbs in the high fat and just over 9 lbs in the low fat group.
- LDL cholesterol and triglyceride dropped 18% and 13.7% (high fat) and 24.8% and 14.3% (low fat).
- Here’s the real info: fat free mass remained unchanged-basically all weight lost was fat (Tweet this).
Overall, in a mere 2 months, 12 pounds of pure fat was lost and LDL cholesterol tanked almost 25% in the low fat group. The results from both groups were strong, but the low fat group seemed to have better results when it came to lowering the heart disease markers. These are powerful results for such a simple intervention.
Of all the diets that have come and gone, this is one approach that has never really been publicized, and yet the results are strong and the ability to continue the diet as a permanent lifestyle is very realistic.
Based on this study, would you be willing to cut your calories every other day for 2 momths to lose 12 pounds of fat?