Dieting can be both stressful and a challenge for many people, especially when there are so many diet plans, many of them fad diets, from which to choose. The alternate day diet plan, also commonly referred to as the Johnson upday downday diet, is a popular dieting option with dieters because it allows dieters to eat as much as they want of whatever foods they want one day while essentially fasting the next day. The cycle continues for as long as weight loss is desired.
Developed by Dr. James Johnson, the alternate day diet is based on research that found that those animals that eat between 30 and 40 percent fewer calories than they normally would tend to have an increased lifespan, living up to 40 percent longer than those animals who had a normal daily caloric intake.
Encouraged by those findings, Dr. Johnson created the diet, which is said to increase the dieter’s metabolism thus allowing the dieter to burn calories faster which, in turn, will lead to faster weight loss. Generally, however, lower calorie diets result in a slowing of the dieter’s metabolism.
The alternate day diet calls for dieters to eat as much as they want one day, typically referred to as the up day. While dieters can eat whatever foods they want and as much as of those foods as they want, they should not purposely stuff themselves. However, it’s important that dieters feel satisfied on up days.
The following day, also known as the down day, dieters are to cut back their caloric intake to between 300 and 500 calories. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) bases nutritional information on a 2,500 and 2,000 calories per day diet, but depending on your activity levels and Body Mass Index (BMI) your appropriate daily intakes may be much different.
For the first two weeks of the diet, dieters are advised to only consume protein shakes on their down days. After the first two weeks on the alternate day diet, dieters can begin to eat food on their down days, provided they keep their caloric intake to 500 calories or less.
However, not everyone believes this diet is a safe or an effective way to lose weight, with some opponents asserting that it is a fad diet that is strikingly similar, with its binging one day and fasting the next day, to bulimia. Many opponents believe that a balanced diet is essential to weight loss rather than dieters resorting to fad diets like the Johnson upday downday diet.
In addition, some who have tried the fad diet have reported feeling tired, lightheaded, and hungry on their down days. The side effects of the alternate day diet will likely vary from dieter to dieter.
Before trying a new diet like the alternate day diet, dieters should always consult their physicians to discuss whether they are healthy enough to diet and to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a particular diet.