The The Alternate-Day Diet: Turn on Your “Skinny Gene,” Shed the Pounds, and Live a Longer and Healthier Life is a diet book written by Dr. James Johnson.
This book (which is also known as the Up Day DownDay diet) is an attempt by Dr. Johnson to provide an eating plan that eliminates the deprivation of many foods, as other diets preach. You can eat any kind of food while using this diet plan. There are virtually no restrictions.
You begin the diet by calculating your RMR (resting metabolic rate) to find out how many calories you actually need to function. You then divide the days into two groups:
Down days – in which you cut down your calorie consumption to 20 – 60% of your RMR.
Up days – in which you can eat practically anything you want and how much you want, although the suggestion is that you shouldn’t stuff yourself, just eat until satisfied.
Dr. Johnson was inspired to create the diet following a 2003 research by Mark Mattson and his colleagues at the National Institute on Aging which studies the effects of calorie restriction and alternate-day calorie restriction on mice.
The mice who underwent an alternate-day calorie restriction were actually deemed healthier than those who just had their calories restricted overall.
Dr. Johnson then examined the effect of alternate-day calorie restriction on human Asthma patients and found that it helped to reduce asthma and inflammation. In addition, many of those who went on this eating routine lost a good number of pounds.
This is how the diet was actually created and formulated into a book. Dr. Johnson claims that the benefits of the diet include: reduced inflammation, reduce blood pressure, delay aging, and so on.
How the Up Day Down Day Diet works?
The diet begins with a two week induction phase. During this phase, you should only have protein shakes and bars on your Down Days and limit your overall calorie consumption to 500 calories. This is supposed to “turn on” the SIRT1 Gene (Skinny Gene) which should help to boost fat burning.
Naturally, these down days may seem challenging, but the premise is that since each Down Day is followed by an Up Day, it shouldn’t be too hard.
Later in the diet, you can gradually increase the amount of calories you eat on your Down Days. While you still need to lose weight, you should eat 35% of your RMR calorie amount. Once you’ve reached your target weight, you can increase this to 60% consumption. All the while, on the Up Days, you can eat as much as you want without intentionally stuffing yourself.
Some tips include:
- Training regularly on Up Days.
- Drinking a lot of water.
- Weighing yourself weekly to maintain motivation.
Alternate Day Diet Pros and Cons
- Simple to follow diet.
- Does not restrict any food items.
- Has a collection of recipes and menus.
- Based on scientific research.
- May have other health benefits beside weight loss.
- Down Days may prove very hard to stick to.
- May lead to overeating on Up Days, especially if one suffers from Emotional Eating or other eating disorders.
The Alternate Day Diet is a weight loss plan that does have some benefits and advantages. It may be the perfect fit for some kind of people, especially those who can exert control over themselves in the Up Days. However, for those with a vulnerability to eating disorders, it may prove disastrous.
In addition, not enough emphasis is placed on wise food choices as may have been like.
Note: this diet should not be confused with the Every Other Day Diet by Jon Benson.