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The Alternate-Day Diet

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  136 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The original intermittent fasting plan: easy to follow, effective, and science-basedThe Alternate-Day Diet is based on scientific and clinical studies that show how restricting calories only every other day activates a gene called SIRT1?the ?skinny? gene?which results in reduced inflammation, improved insulin resistance, better cellular energy production, and releasing fat ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published April 10th 2008 by G.P. Putnam's Sons (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 207)
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Julia
Feb 28, 2009 Julia rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: own
I have been following this lifestyle for just over 9 months since discovering it online, and I consider it utterly revolutionary; I plan to do it for the rest of my life, and I believe that everyone (who is medically capable) should do so as well. Few things have changed my life as dramatically as this diet. I moderate an online community with over 300 members and the overwhelming majority agree with me.

Most notably, in addition to the obvious benefit of achieving and maintaining a slender figu
...more
Anna
An interesting alternative for a diet in a well-written, compact book with good documentation, resources to find out more, and with plans any reader (although if with serious medical problems, check with doctors first) can apply to make their own version of this that will work for them.

Essentially, you'll have two days in this diet that you repeat as long as needed.

Day one is the eat less day. Johnson recommends you eat about 20% of the calories your body needs now (so let's say your current num
...more
Patricia Green
All I can say is, this works!! (You might want to skip the recipe section, though. All that low-fat stuff is a turn-off, and is unnecessary.)
Sarah
I like the concept of intermittent fasting, but I don't think this guy presented it as well as other authors. The science seemed forced and without context. The chapters themselves were confusing. One was on how the most important factor was weight, preferably having a BMI of 21, followed by a chapter on how you could be overweight and healthy (if you're an intermittent faster), and weight didn't really matter that much. The sources for this book seemed less that similar books on this type of di ...more
Heather
While most of the information you need to do this "diet" is available online free, I appreciated having so much of the science explained in one book. While I am very interested in the weight loss potential, I am even more sold on the other health benefits. Just in the week since I've started this, I've seen a tremendous reduction in the inflammation of psoriasis, and the plantar fasciaitis I've been fighting is also nearly gone. I agree with other reviewers that there are much better, and more u ...more
Ed
Feb 05, 2014 Ed rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ready to try a different diet
I was impressed with the rationale but unimpressed with the writing. I think he makes the whole process more complicated than it needs to be, perhaps to fill up the number of pages. His approach to calculating what to eat on the "down" days is also over-complicated in my opinion. He certainly works hard to scientifically justify his approach. Some of the recipes look good.

Perhaps I'm being naive but I like the simpler approach of "The Every Other Day Diet".
Autumn
I thought this book was a much better source of information than "The Fast Diet", but less so than "The Every Other Day Diet". His info on SART1 was unique though and made the time worthwhile. As one other review pointed out, the writing was a little tedious and the author did seem to complicate a fairly straightforward program. Still, I'm glad a read it even if it's not the best of the pack so far.
Anne Green
An interesting philosophy based on the idea that alternate "fasting" and "feasting" can lead to not just weight loss but better health outcomes, longer life expectancy and reduced susceptibility to a number of diseases. Well written and based on solid research. "Fasting" in this case really means intermittent calorie restriction as you can eat on the alternate fasting days, just not very much.
Mark Bruce
Hey, why not starve yourself every other day to lose weight? Or here's a better idea-- lop off your arms so that you can't put a fork to your mouth! Simple!
I actually tried this for two to three months. In the beginning I was ecstatic that I could fast every other day. In the end I was not happy when fasting day came around and abandoned it all soon after...and gained back every goddamed pound, and then some. I would have made a lousy medieval saint.
You need a lifelong plan that will address you
...more
Rebecca
The basic principle of this diet, alternating normal eating days with very low calorie days, is not as new as author suggests. Thomas Sharkey wrote The Eating Man's Diet in late 60's with the same process based on different principle.
Michael
tl;dr: The one take-away from the book that's worth mentioning: Eat 20-40% of your normal caloric intake every other day; otherwise, eat your normal caloric intake with healthy foods. The statistics show, ceteris paribus, you'll likely live longer, happier, and with more energy.

Otherwise, pick a book from a nutritionist who understands macro- and micronutrients a bit better as well as US food supply. For instance, naturally-raised grass-fed beef is wholly better than corn-fed beef. The author m
...more
Clydie
Fascinating!
Divia
I had read about the rat studies that said rats lived longer if they ate only every other day, so I wanted to find out about any other relevant studies and understand the technical details, specifically why the author thought it would still work when calories on the fasting day were increased from zero. There was a little of that in this book, but the rest of the nutritional advice in it was pretty bad.
Jeremiah
part one, regarding the potential benefits of fasting, was enthralling; however, the author's nutritional recommendations strike me as outdated echoes of conventional wisdom. i would recommend part one for anyone interested in stoking their enthusiasm about fasting.
Lisa
The research in the book is interesting. Definitely got me to thinking more about fasting and such. Some of the recipes look pretty good so I might try a few if I get around to it before returning to the library.
Salehcoder
Haven't finished the book. I finished like 70% but it turned out it is not the kind of diet I'm looking for. I don't think it is healthy diet to eat a lot a day then starve yourself the next day!
Beka
A doable diet? Yes, this diet seems to work (I've lost 2 1/2 lb. in 2 weeks already), and I feel that I can actually keep it up, which is amazing. Thank you Dr. Johnson.
Lori Mason
Interesting concepts. Suggests severe calorie restriction every other day. Not sure if I could do this.
Mmncedi Mmgwigwi
Workable lifestyle adoption that I am now following. Great thing is that it works.
Carrie
Interesting theory but not a diet I can do. Good luck if you give it a try.
Michelle
Hmm. Not so sure of the science in this one, will take more checking.
Shelley
Well-researched and written. Will give it a try.
Nev Britton
Very informative and interesting!
G Dup
G Dup marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
Brian
Brian marked it as to-read
Aug 24, 2015
Salisa Stinchcomb
Salisa Stinchcomb is currently reading it
Jul 31, 2015
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