Long Read

What is the 4:3 diet?

Intermittent fasting diets have gained considerable popularity over the last decade, with research supporting their effectiveness in facilitating weight loss (1). Research also suggests there is little evidence that intermittent fasting regimens are harmful physically or mentally (i.e., in terms of mood) for healthy, normal weight, overweight, and obese adults (2).

The 5:2 diet which consists of 2 fasting days (800kcal for exante 5:2) with 5 days of normal healthy eating (approx. 2000kcal for women and 2500kcal for men) is arguably the most popular method of intermittent fasting. It has been difficult to escape the media attention surrounding the 5:2 diet as of late. However, there has been less attention regarding another fasting method, the 4:3 diet (also known as alternate day fasting) which consists of 4 days of normal eating and 3 days of fasting.

Did you know you can follow the 4:3 diet with the help of exante? Our 3 day trial pack is perfect for those who want to try out this diet as it provides you with all necessary meal replacements for fasting days.

Or alternatively, you can choose from a selection of exante meal replacements such as soups, bars, shakes and more to help you keep to a very low calorie diet on your fasting days.

Why choose the 4:3 diet?

The 4:3 diet is an unconventional method of dieting which some individuals find to be easier to stick with compared to traditional diets (3). In one study, subjects who were prescribed the 4:3 diet over 12 weeks reduced body weight by 5kg, decreased levels of leptin by 40% and reduced blood triglycerides by 20% compared to participants who ate normally (3). The authors of the study went on to suggest the diet is a viable weight loss strategy for normal and overweight individuals who want to lose a moderate amount of weight in a short time period.

Why do some people dislike the 4:3 diet?

The issue with the 4:3 diet is that the 3 days of fasting can be challenging for some individuals to adhere too, especially in the long run. Exercise is also not advised on fasting days due to the low energy intake consumed.

4:3 diet vs 5:2 diet

A recent review article suggests that both of these methods are equally as effective as traditional calorie restriction diets for weight loss, as well as comparable in reducing in visceral fat mass and reducing diabetes risk factors (1). However, the 4:3 diet should in theory result in quicker weight-loss due to the extra day of fasting. Nevertheless, this extra day of fasting can be much more difficult to adhere to in the long run.

How can I follow the 4:3 diet with Exante?

Following the 4:3 diet with exante is simple and easy. Follow 4 days of normal healthy eating a week, within your recommended intake of calories (approx. 2000 for women and 2500 for men). On your 3 fasting days, enjoy 3 exante meal replacement products per day plus high protein food from our approved food list, reducing your intake to 600-800 calories.

1. Barnosky, A. R., Hoddy, K. K., Unterman, T. G., & Varady, K. A. (2014). Intermittent fasting vs daily calorie restriction for type 2 diabetes prevention: a review of human findings. Translational Research, 164(4), 302-311.
2. Patterson, R. E., Laughlin, G. A., LaCroix, A. Z., Hartman, S. J., Natarajan, L., Senger, C. M., & Gallo, L. C. (2015). Intermittent fasting and human metabolic health. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115(8), 1203-1212.
3. Varady, K. A., Bhutani, S., Klempel, M. C., Kroeger, C. M., Trepanowski, J. F., Haus, J. M., … & Calvo, Y. (2013). Alternate day fasting for weight loss in normal weight and overweight subjects: a randomized controlled trial. Nutrition journal, 12(1), 146.

Kearns Leighton

Kearns Leighton

Writer and expert

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