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  • Limiting intake to 500 calories every other day caused weight loss of 11.4 lbs in 3 months

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, October 26, 2016 11:15 am Email this article

    Having people limit their calorie intake to 500 calories every other day, which is 25% of their calorie needs, and allowing them to eat as much as they wanted to on the other days, caused them to lose an average of 11.4 lbs in 3 months, dropping from an average of 169 lbs to 158 lbs, according to a study by Krista Varady, PhD from the University of Illinois in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

    Krista Varady, PhD has noted that their research has found that eating 25% of calories every other day (roughly 500 calories every other day) works BETTER than eating 0% of calories—eating NO calories on the “fasting” day—and better than eating 50% or 75% of calories every other day.

    They have found that compliance with this type of diet—limiting intake to 500 calories per day (25% of your calorie needs)—is MUCH higher than when people are told to eat NO calories on the “fasting” day.

    They have also found that eating 500 calories every other day causes most of the weight loss to be fat, and preserves muscle.

    Fat Loss

    Fat Loss: 7.9 lbs

    Subjects lost an average of 7.9 lbs of body fat, which means that 69% of the weight loss was fat.

    Modified Fast

    Every Other Day Modified Fast

    This is called an “every other day modified fast”.

    “[S]ubjects were permitted to consume energy-free beverages, tea, coffee, and sugar- free gum, and were encouraged to drink plenty of water,” the paper notes.


    Subjects: 32 normal-weight and overweight people

    The study involved 32 normal-weight and overweight subjects with a body mass index (BMI) of 20–29.9 who were 35-65 years-old.

    Thirty of 32 (30 of 32) people completed the study, and there was 98% compliance with limiting calorie intake to 500 calories on the modified-fasting day.

    Previous studies done by this group found similar results in obese subjects.

    This article was first published on Sept 23, 2015.


    Varady KA, Bhutani S, Klempel MC, Kroeger CM, Trepanowski JF, Haus JM, Hoddy KK, and Calvo Y. Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutr J, 2013; 12(1): 146.

    The paper is posted here and here.

    Author’s Contact Info

    Krista A Varady, PhD
    Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition
    University of Illinois at Chicago
    1919 West Taylor Street, Room 506 F
    Chicago, IL 60612, USA
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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