Alternate Day Fasting ADF

I recently watched a very interesting documentary on the BBC by the Horizon team about something called alternate day fasting. There are various methods but it basically involves not eating for extended periods of time varying from 24 hours to the more extreme 3-4 days!

There are apparently, many potential health benefits including reduced risk of cancer and heart related disease.

Today is my first fasting day and I intend to try alternate day fasting, you can read more about it here.

Have you heard about this, maybe your'e trying it out already, would you do it?



Please feel free to post any links you find on the subject in the comments.

Thanks for all that info Amy, I'll look at the links. I too suffer from carb addiction but when I stop them and just have complex carbs (no sugar, flour etc) I have much more energy and can feel hungry without feeling sick and faint. It was always my fear that if I tried fasting I'd feel ill all the time but now I know it's just due to simple carb withdrawal. I can fast without a problem. It's good to feel hungry again! A glass of wine is all I can cope with too - I now drink red wine diluted with water because undiluted it's too strong and it lasts longer! Taste not quite the same but then it's what my body wants so I'm resigned to it.

Hi Cate (now I am confused, I thought Kate made the comment about alcohol...), I wish I had an 'intelligent liver' but I am afraid I probably don't! I do believe that having a glass of wine (esp. red) with lunch or dinner can definitely be part of a healthy diet. But I don't drink every day, probably only a couple days a week on average. After cleansing I find that after only one glass I feel it - cheap date!

More info on the Elimination Diet:


Also, I forgot to mention that with the type of cleansing I do with the Clean program, I still had enough energy to continue my daily activities and workouts. Perhaps for the first few days I was low in energy, don't really remember so I guess not too much. A lot of people who do it say they get a surge of energy as their body clears out toxins and works more efficiently. I would much rather do a prolonged, but gentler type of cleanse, than a short but harsher fast. As I said before, with the Clean program I had time to create new habits that I found I wanted to stick with afterwards (12 hours overnight 'fast' every day, making smoothies every morning for breakfast, eating lighter in the evenings, finding substitutes that I like for breads and cakes and crackers and sugar, etc.). Just the other day I turned a recipe for zucchini bread into a 'Clean' one: no eggs (soaked chia seeds replaced them), no gluten flour (rice and chestnut flour), no sugar (dates instead) and it turned out great - moist and very satisfying! On the My Clean site, lots of people share recipes. And I have found websites with good recipes out there - if anyone is interested, let me know and I will post the links.

To Kate: There is no alcohol on the Clean program. The Elimination Diet is about removing all food and drink that tax the digestive/detox system and we all know alcohol taxes the liver. After a few days, all food cravings go away. I was/am def. 'addicted' to sugar, like most of us, and love bread and carbs (pasta, etc.) but since doing the cleanse have much milder cravings for them. Even though it was a few weeks of disciplined eating, I didn't feel deprived and kept a lot of the positive habits from the experience - and didn't gain any weight back even after starting to eat 'normally' again. I used to think: "Great, I can eliminate sugar and gluten grains, etc. from my diet and get good results, but then what? It's not sustainable." But happily now I see that doing a temporary Clean regime occasionally seems to 'reset' the metabolism and I haven't gone back to my previous weight like I did in the past.

Thanks Cate - he loves fruit so that's a good combo to juice up for him. As he's already so picky with his food, I wouldn't put twerp on any additional regime, but incorporating more juices etc will give him the extra vits and boost he needs. My calorie intake is already unfortunately off the charts as I do like to sit in front of the TV in the evening with a bar of chocolate, but I absolutely love the fact that a glass of wine can be incorporated. Happy lady! Right, will see what I can juice up...

Kwashie - how do you cope with going to bed hungry or does that feeling fade after a few days?

Thanks for that Amy - it all makes sense, especially the 7 - 7 thing i.e. not eating late at night. Will try the main meal at lunchtime and not eating after 7pm as routine from now on. Does the clean program mean no alcohol or does he subscribe to the view that 1 drink is better for your heart than none?

I have fasted a couple of times in the past (several days each, first day only rice and veggies, 2nd broth and veggie juice, 3rd day just water, then reversed out of it same way) until I found a program that really works for me (and my husband). It's from a book called Clean written by a cardiologist in New York. Basically, it's an elimination diet for several days, then for three weeks you continue the elimination diet but only have one solid meal per day - preferably lunch - and for breakfast and dinner you have liquid meals (smoothies, soups). On the general Clean website you see they sell shake mixes and supplements - forget about that, just get the book from Amazon and make all your food yourself. Then log in in for even more ideas and support: I was amazed how many new and yummy recipes I came up with and often eat 'Clean' meals even when I am not doing the Clean program. So during the three weeks you have an extended daily fast since you only eat one solid meal per day. One of the important concepts is that if you have your last meal of the day at 7 pm, then you don't eat again until 7 am to give your digestive system a full 12 hours to do it's detox work. This is something we try to follow all the time now, and we have both lost a significant amount of weight since the first time we did the Clean cleansing diet, and kept if off (even though Clean isn't a weight loss diet, it's basically a detoxifying diet - but less aggressive than fasting - it rebalances your system, helping your digestive system do it's work better). We plan on doing the full Cleanse only two times a year (Fall and Spring), but can do mini ones after a time of indulgence (holidays, etc.). Sorry so long, but as you can see I am enthusiastic about it because it works great, we didn't feel very deprived during the cleanse, and so want to share!

Day 7. Of the lunch only fast. Lost 2 kgs. Last day. Maintenance is the challenge…who wants to like like a hermit teetotal monk?

I've been desperate to get back into a healthier lifestyle for both me and Twerp (spending too much time working/house sorting = quick junk food at mealtimes). This could be the swift kick I need.

I wouldn't do a 24 hour fast regime for Twerp but would love to introduce juices etc. Does anyone have any recipes for juice combos that a 7 year old would enjoy? I don't have an electric juicer but must be able to 'mush' a few things with a hand blender.

Apparently the body doesn’t go into “survival” mode until after 36 hours of not eating. When you IF you trick the body so it doesn’t get too comfortable to a routine. The metabolism is suppose to be more efficient with periods of feasting and fasting. That is what I understand the human body was evolved to adapt to.

Ah, ok Brian. All I know is I get *severe* headaches when I I finally gave up trying to.

Ooof, Joseph, I remember the 1960s survival people saying that about fasting. I think a lot of nutritionists, dieticians and others have put that to bed long ago. At the opposite extreme, the really obsessed macrobiotics people were into fasting with minimal protein and carbohydrate intake and loads of them died of malnutrition during their 10 day fasts - so that went out of fashion very, very fast.

Regarding juicing, watch the docu/film "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" about how an Aussie guy goes about changing his unhealthy lifestyle via juice fasting. Here's his website: stuff!

I think juicing is a good complement for diet generally and a way to get a lot of micronutrients into you. As some have said, eating the whole fruit would be even better so perhaps complementing the two is the best way. I have just had a big juice and part of a bag of almonds for lunch in the office today :-)

Ah yes, problemo Catharine there. I am the opposite, I eat a fair bit and variety of fruit every day and it is the only snack I ever take. I take it easy on bananas and advocados though. I prefer veggies really lightly cooked, just had haricots verte that I steamed for about two minutes as a typical. So I am at the opposite extreme BUT I too would swear that they help no end, certainly did this spring and we make lots of salsas from veg when I am in pain and don't feel like eating. Gotta be something in it.

Maybe I'm working with out-dated information here (and I'm surprised no one has mentioned it)...but I've always heard that fasting puts your body in "survival mode" whereby it *stores* calories/fat. Something about a function of evolution or something.

It's supposed to be better to eat every three hours—something small—to "ratchet up" your metabolism so that your body burns everything you put in it.

I'm not discounting the weight-loss success that others have had fasting but that's just what I read/heard. In fact, that's what a very expensive nutritionist I hired told me back when I could afford one. :-)


We have a juicer and a veggie (with a bit of fruit) juice is incredibly energising. The flavours merge together and produce something quite wonderful. And I'd never eat that much veg raw....

Hmm. We started juicing just as I broke my leg and I SWEAR it was the only thing that gave me the energy boost to continue working full time whilst in (quite bad) pain. I don't like fruit and rarely eat it so juicing mainly veggies with a bit of fruit works much better for me.

I agree Kwashie re: juice is wasted the whole fruit as you then have the fruit fibre...if you drink the juice you have the same calories...but its not so filling....I would def. be in the group if we are going to have a go at this...