According to science, you can have your (gluten-free, vegan) cake and eat it too. All you need is this guide to alternate-day fasting.

We’ve been learning a ton about the new studies on alternate day juice cleansing. Alternate-day fasting hasn’t received as much hype as the whole juice cleanse trend — which we think is a good thing. Detoxification was never intended to be a “trend” in the first place.

The research-supported benefits of habitual intermittent fasting span from weight management to longevity  — learn more about it here — so why don’t more of us actually do it?

The year’s most DGAF season is officially right around the corner but balance is in our reach. Dr. Lisa Davis of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Advisory Board, suggests this balanced protocol designed to harness the power of a short term cleanse. We’ll just leave this guide to alternate-day fasting for you here…

What’s the Deal With
Alternate-Day Fasting?

Intermittent fasting won’t just improve your waistline but can add years of quality life as well. Instead of counting calories, try alternate-day fasting (ADF): Eat what you want on some days, then fast on others. Depending on the regimen, fasting can mean taking in no calories at all on ‘fast’ days, or cutting back to about 20-25 percent of a normal day’s intake or roughly 350 to 500 calories.

A study published in JAMA found no significant difference in weight loss between fasting and simply restricting how many daily calories you consume [1]. It has been shown to perform as well as following a very low calorie diet (VLCD) of about 800 calories everyday [3]. Perhaps more importantly, alternate-day fasting may do a slightly better job of preserving lean muscle tissue while you’re shedding pounds of fat [2].

In addition to weight-loss benefits, there also appear to be anti-aging and health benefits of fasting. Cutting calories by 15 to 40 percent is associated with a longer lifespan (by up to 80% in rodents) [2] and has been shown to yield health benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and many forms of cancer, as well as reduction in inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Aging and disease are, after all, really the accumulation of damage to cells and organs over time. And as we age, we lose the ability to recycle damaged cells like we could when we were younger.

Forms of fasting, like intermittent fasting, restore a cellular renewal process closer to what it looked like when we were younger. Damaged cells are broken down and recycled in a cellular self-cleansing process.

The Right Way
to Try Alternate-Day Fasting

A juice cleanse program like the one Pressed Juicery offers is an easy way to stick to an alternate-day fasting diet, and is backed by scientific evidence. That’s because in addition to aiding with compliance, juice is an effective strategy for consuming a high level of nutrients in a small number of calories.

A study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that using antioxidant-rich Pressed Juicery juices [4] as part of a 3-day juice cleanse yielded losses in body weight and reductions in body mass index (BMI), accompanied by improvement in markers of cardiovascular health (decreased lipid peroxidation and increased nitric oxide) [5].

How Do I Do It? Fast with juices 3 days of the week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, we recommend a 75-80% reduction in calories. This means eating about one quarter or one fifth of what you would typically eat in a day. For most people, that means drinking four juices per day, depending on your juice choices and your body weight (see chart).

here’s how it works: Let’s use “Olivia” as an example. Olivia is a 25-year-old female weighing 125 pounds who performs a light level of physical activity (40-54% of maximum heart rate) on most days.

Based on the chart below, we recommend that Olivia’s caloric intake be 450 calories every other day for 3 fasting days a week. Her daily regimen will consist of four juices: two green juices, one citrus or roots juice, and one nut-based juice. On the other four days of the week, Olivia’s non-fasting days, she can eat whatever she wants.

After using the below chart to determine the number of juices to consume, Olivia can customize her own alternate day fasting regimen here to either order a delivery or pick-up location of juices for the week.

Body Weight  / Approx. Calories per day to Maintain Weight / Calories on Fasting Days / recommended Juices:

125lb / 1800 / 450 / Chocolate Almond, Greens 2, Greens 3, Roots 2
150lb / 1950 / 490 / Chocolate Almond, Greens 2, Roots 2, Citrus 2
175lb / 2100 / 525 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Greens 3, Roots 2
200lb / 2250 / 565 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Roots 2, Citrus 2
225lb / 2400 / 600 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Citrus 2, Roots 2, Roots 1
250lb / 2600 / 650 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 1, Greens 2, Greens 3, Citrus 2, Roots 2

The length of time you stay on an alternate-day fast depends on your needs. Does your body need a reboot? Here are four tell-tale signs it’s time to try a cleanse or an intermittent fast.

Leave us your comments and questions below for Dr. Lisa. Remember to check in with your personal care doctor before beginning any fasting diet.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

[1] JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(7):930-938. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936.

[2] Alhamdan BA, Garcia-Alvarez A, Alzahrnai AH, Karanxha J, Stretchberry DR, Contrera KJ, Utria AF, Cheskin LJ. Alternate-day versus daily energy restriction diets: which is more effective for weight loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Res Practice, In press, 2016.

[3] Varady KA, Hellerstain MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials; 2007: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full

[4] Lu QY, Lee R-P, Huang J, Henning SM, Li Z. Mixed fruit and vegetable juices exhibit high antioxidant activity and are rich source of phenolic compounds, 2015 (UCLA Abstract).

[5] Henning SM, Shao P, Lu QY, Yang J, Huang J, Lee R-P, Thames G, Heber D, Li Z. Health Effects of 3-Day Fruit/Vegetable Juice Fasting, 2015. (UCLA Abstract).


Bottom banner image
From our friends