If you gorge on food on day, and then eat half as much or fast the next day may, it may help you lose those extra pounds, for a new study has found that doing so shrinks fat cells and boosts mechanisms that break down fats.
The study was conducted by Krista Varady and colleagues, at the University of California.
As a part of the research, the team studied the effects of alternate-day fasting on 24 male mice for four weeks to assess the effects of Alternate-Day Fasting (ADF).
ADF is a diet method in which people consume energy-free beverages, tea, coffee, and sugar-free gum and they drink as much water as they need.
In their study, the scientists followed five groups of mice: one which didn't follow an ADF diet, one that followed the diet only partially, one which consumed 50 percent of their regular diet every other day (ADF-50pct), and one which consumed 75 percent of their regular diet every other day (ADF-25pct), and one which followed it completely (ADF-100pct)
The researchers found that mice that followed the complete ADF diet (ADF-100pct) lost weight.
They also noted that the fat cells of both the ADF-100pc and ADF-50pc groups shrunk by more than half and by 35 percent, respectively. Also, in these two groups of mice, fat under the skin - but not abdominal fat - was broken down more than in mice that did not follow the diet.
These results suggest that complete and modified ADF regimens seem to protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes but do not result in fat or weight loss.
However, the researchers insist that more studies are needed to confirm whether the long-term effects of ADF regimens are beneficial for health and reduce disease risk.
"Effects of modified alternate-day fasting regimens on adipocyte size, triglyceride metabolism and plasma adiponectin levels in mice," appears in the October 2007 issue of the Journal of Lipid Research.