LOS ANGELES — A diet of alternating days of calorie restriction with days of no calorie limits has been shown to help people lose weight and keep it off, Krista Varady, MD, associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois Chicago, said in a video interview.
Varady and colleagues instruct diet participants to stick with a single 500-calorie meal on “fast days” and to eat whatever they want with no foods off limits every other day. Dieters do not tend overeat on “feast days,” according to Varady. Participants lose about 7% of body weight early in the regimen and maintain both weight loss and lifestyle for up to a year.
In addition to losing weight, diet adherents have been shown to reduce LDL and total cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol. Although glycemic effects have not been observed, dieters have decreased insulin levels and insulin resistance, according to Varady.