Do the Up Down Day / Alternate day fasting diet - A real life experiment

Edited by Anonymous, Lynn, Ephraim, Rebecca M. and 1 other

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The Up/Down Day Diet, or Alternate Day Fasting Diet, is a relatively new idea in dieting. The concept behind these diets is quite simple - to eat regularly one day and then fast the next day. So mentally you get a chance to take a day off every other day. For those with some will power, but not enough to stay on a diet indefinitely, this is a great idea. But does it work??? This wiki will be my daily experience on this diet.

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Alternate Day Fasting/Reduced Calories

The idea here is to eat low calories on your down or fasting day, and a regular diet on your up days. Perhaps the diet should have been called "Down/Normal" diet. You can find a great calculator to tell you how many calories you should be eating based on your height, weight, age, etc., here - http://www.johnsonupdaydowndaydiet.com/html/how-to-do-the-diet.html . The concept here is that your body does NOT store extra calories on your UP days, and on your down days you lose weight.

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Fasting Techniques

I have looked around YouTube and found all kinds of people with different techniques. I found this youtube video very helpful in understanding how GH and other good hormones go up while you are fasting, while your insulin goes down by 70 percent within 24 hours of fasting. The insulin drops rapidly during fasting, as you can see in the video, with the bulk of the benefit being reached at about 12 to 18 hours. Twenty-four hours would be optimal, but I don't think I can do a 24-hour fast. I just don't like going to bed hungry. I can hold off eating all day if I know I am going to be satisfied before bed. That is my personality. It is important to match your strategy doing this diet with your personality.

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Weighing Yourself

Apparently you should only weigh yourself once per week, after a DOWN day, but I understand that sometimes I will have fluctuations, and I am very mathematical, so I think I can handle weighing in daily. You should probably follow the instructions unless you understand water weight fluctuations and can push through discouraging weigh-ins even after dieting properly.

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My Diet History

  • My first success dieting was back in my university years, when I took off about 30 pounds on the carbo-cal diet. It was a carbohydrate restrictive diet that tried to balance your carbohydrates by using a mathematical formula to more heavily weight carbohydrate rich foods like rice, potatoes, sweets, etc. I came to the point where I was overweight and I would eat, and I would be hungry an hour later. I said to myself, I might as well lose weight and be hungry. So that was my attitude and it worked. But back then I didn't have a family and work responsibilities, so I could focus on just school and diet. My life is so much more complicated with many more demands on me now. I am sure you can all empathize. Everybody is so busy these days.
  • I tried this diet again after about 20 years of marriage, where I had gained a few pounds a year. This time I found I didn't have the will power to eat only 100 carbo-calories a day (about 1000-1200 carbohydrate reduced calories).
  • Then came Atkins. I lost about 15 pounds on the Atkins diet easily, but my fat intake was horrible. Eventually I learned how to cheat on this diet and I stopped losing weight at about 215 pounds (where I am now).
  • After another decade of not dieting, I found myself at almost 250 pounds! I decided to go vegan, not just for the weight loss many people experience, but also to bring down my cholesterol, bring down my blood sugar (borderline-diabetic now), bring down my blood pressure (weight loss is a factor in blood pressure), etc. The great news was that I went down to 199 pounds at my lowest weight AND ALL MY CHOLESTEROL, BLOOD SUGAR, AND BLOOD PRESSURE NUMBERS GOT MUCH MUCH BETTER. But unfortunately I adjusted my portions to compensate and crept back up to 215 pounds, which I am, as of today (the start of this diet I am writing about here). My big question to myself now is "Should I stay vegan?". There is no reason why I can't be vegan and do this diet. However on my down days, a nice piece of lean chicken would be a nice treat to look forward to. So I think for now I will be vegan on my UP days and have one serving of meat on my down days. I will report to you how that works out in my comments below.

My Real Life Experience doing Alternate Day Fasting

My start weight is 215 pounds, right after Thanksgiving. I will count Thanksgiving as day 1, and as an UP day.

Day Weight (lbs) Estimated Calories Comments
1 215 3000 UP day. The day after Thanksgiving, I weighed in at 215 pounds, a new high. Time to get this weight gain under control !
2 212.6 1000 DOWN day. I fasted all day yesterday until 6 pm, but my goal was to eat a nice plate of chicken, sweet potatoes, and cabbage salad at 9 pm. So I had a glass of wine at 6 pm instead of eating (100 calories). I had planned to eat 600 calories, but lost control and ate some other goodies for about 300 more calories. So I ate 600+300+100 = 1000 calories - Not so good but I am down 2.4 pounds!! Of course much of this is probably water weight, but Hi,, it's still encouraging. :) My plan for today is to fast until I am reasonably hungry around 12 noon. I am hoping that way, I don't go overboard today. Once I start eating, it seems my hunger increases. So even though its an up day, I will fast as long as it is tolerable. It is 9:15 am and I am only moderately hungry.
2 215.4 2300 UP day. I fasted till noon then ate a large vegan lunch, totaling about 700 calories. It was a large plate of eggplant, topped with a sliced tomato, one can of beans in tomato sauce, five olives, tomato sauce, and one green pepper. For dinner I ate about 1200 calories, then had some chips I will count at 200 calories, and finally a bed time snack consisting of a banana and about 3 tablespoons of peanut butter. I think that was about 400 calories. So the total was about 2300 calories. I weighed in at an all time high. NOT GOOD. So far this might be a good weight gaining diet.
3 DOWN day. It is 9:45 am and I am already fairly hungry. I am seriously doubting I can fast today. This diet might not be for me.

Note: I gave up on this diet for now...

I couldn't keep the fasting up. Sorry to anyone out there I let down. Please post if you do better. Maybe I can learn some tricks.

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Categories : Weight Loss | Physical Activity & Diet

Recent edits by: Rebecca M., Ephraim, Lynn

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