If you want to lose weight without giving up your favorite foods, you might consider the Every-Other-Day diet as a possible option. A revolutionary eating plan that includes only one rule, the Every-Other-Day Diet can help you lose weight and improve your health — if you do it correctly.
What is the Every-Other-Day Diet?
As the name implies, the Every-Other-Day Diet allows you to diet one day and then take the next day off — continuously. But what does the diet include on the days you’re actually dieting? And what are you allowed to eat on your days off? As Krista Varady, PhD, author of the book The Every-Other-Day Diet ($13.82, Amazon), explains in the intro of her book, the Every-Other-Day diet only has one simple rule you need to follow.
“Eat 500 calories on the day you diet (Diet Day), and eat anything you want and as much as you want the next day (Feast Day),” Dr. Varady writes. “No keeping track of carbs, fat, or protein. No avoiding any particular food; all foods are allowed. No complex meal plans. And yes, you diet only every other day.”
Varady has conducted several studies on the Every-Other-Day Diet, with positive results published in medical journals like the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Obesity. And according to her book’s reviews on Amazon, Every-Other-Day dieters are more than happy to praise the unique eating approach.
One reviewer wrote, “I just finished my first two weeks on this diet and I’ve lost 8 pounds. It really is the easiest diet I’ve done. Because I know I can have whatever I am craving tomorrow, I don’t feel deprived. The crazy thing is when tomorrow comes, I often don’t even want the food I was craving.”
Another claimed, “I believe that now I will be able to live this way indefinitely, and that makes me very happy. Such a simple concept, but so very effective.”
But we know what you’re thinking: How the heck am I going to eat just 500 calories per day? Luckily, Varady has some tips for anyone who’s uneasy about going on those diet days.
How to Do the Every-Other-Day Diet Right
According to Varady’s website for the Every-Other-Day Diet, the first 10 days of the eating plan can be quite a bit difficult. That said, there are ways to curb your hunger on the “diet days,” even when you’re first starting out. For example, she suggests drinking black coffee or black tea (which are both extremely low-cal beverages) to stave off hunger.
When it comes to figuring out what to eat on the diet days, Varady explains that meals high in protein may have the best hunger-suppressing effects, according to research. So picking out lean meats such as chicken or plant-based protein like beans might be your best bet. And if you’re really trying to avoid being ravenous on diet days, you might also want to avoid meals that are full of sugar and carbs — such as pasta, rice, or bread. But the good news is that if you’re still craving those starchy snacks the next day, you can enjoy them then. Even better? The book includes several lunch and dinner recipes that can help keep you satisfied — without requiring you to think too hard about what to eat.
Remember, always talk to your doctor before starting a new diet, especially one with specific restrictions.
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