According to science, you can have your (gluten-free, vegan) cake and eat it too. All you need is this guide to alternate-day fasting.

We’ve been learning a ton about the new studies on alternate day juice cleansing. Alternate-day fasting hasn’t received as much hype as the whole juice cleanse trend — which we think is a good thing. Detoxification was never intended to be a “trend” in the first place.

The research-supported benefits of habitual intermittent fasting span from weight management to longevity  — learn more about it here — so why don’t more of us actually do it?

The year’s most DGAF season is officially right around the corner but balance is in our reach. Dr. Lisa Davis of Pressed Juicery’s Medical Advisory Board, suggests this balanced protocol designed to harness the power of a short term cleanse. We’ll just leave this guide to alternate-day fasting for you here…

What’s the Deal With
Alternate-Day Fasting?

Intermittent fasting won’t just improve your waistline but can add years of quality life as well. Instead of counting calories, try alternate-day fasting (ADF): Eat what you want on some days, then fast on others. Depending on the regimen, fasting can mean taking in no calories at all on ‘fast’ days, or cutting back to about 20-25 percent of a normal day’s intake or roughly 350 to 500 calories.

A study published in JAMA found no significant difference in weight loss between fasting and simply restricting how many daily calories you consume [1]. It has been shown to perform as well as following a very low calorie diet (VLCD) of about 800 calories everyday [3]. Perhaps more importantly, alternate-day fasting may do a slightly better job of preserving lean muscle tissue while you’re shedding pounds of fat [2].

In addition to weight-loss benefits, there also appear to be anti-aging and health benefits of fasting. Cutting calories by 15 to 40 percent is associated with a longer lifespan (by up to 80% in rodents) [2] and has been shown to yield health benefits, including a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and many forms of cancer, as well as reduction in inflammation and neurodegeneration.

Aging and disease are, after all, really the accumulation of damage to cells and organs over time. And as we age, we lose the ability to recycle damaged cells like we could when we were younger.

Forms of fasting, like intermittent fasting, restore a cellular renewal process closer to what it looked like when we were younger. Damaged cells are broken down and recycled in a cellular self-cleansing process.

The Right Way
to Try Alternate-Day Fasting

A juice cleanse program like the one Pressed Juicery offers is an easy way to stick to an alternate-day fasting diet, and is backed by scientific evidence. That’s because in addition to aiding with compliance, juice is an effective strategy for consuming a high level of nutrients in a small number of calories.

A study conducted by researchers at UCLA found that using antioxidant-rich Pressed Juicery juices [4] as part of a 3-day juice cleanse yielded losses in body weight and reductions in body mass index (BMI), accompanied by improvement in markers of cardiovascular health (decreased lipid peroxidation and increased nitric oxide) [5].

How Do I Do It? Fast with juices 3 days of the week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On these days, we recommend a 75-80% reduction in calories. This means eating about one quarter or one fifth of what you would typically eat in a day. For most people, that means drinking four juices per day, depending on your juice choices and your body weight (see chart).

here’s how it works: Let’s use “Olivia” as an example. Olivia is a 25-year-old female weighing 125 pounds who performs a light level of physical activity (40-54% of maximum heart rate) on most days.

Based on the chart below, we recommend that Olivia’s caloric intake be 450 calories every other day for 3 fasting days a week. Her daily regimen will consist of four juices: two green juices, one citrus or roots juice, and one nut-based juice. On the other four days of the week, Olivia’s non-fasting days, she can eat whatever she wants.

After using the below chart to determine the number of juices to consume, Olivia can customize her own alternate day fasting regimen here to either order a delivery or pick-up location of juices for the week.

Body Weight  / Approx. Calories per day to Maintain Weight / Calories on Fasting Days / recommended Juices:

125lb / 1800 / 450 / Chocolate Almond, Greens 2, Greens 3, Roots 2
150lb / 1950 / 490 / Chocolate Almond, Greens 2, Roots 2, Citrus 2
175lb / 2100 / 525 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Greens 3, Roots 2
200lb / 2250 / 565 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Roots 2, Citrus 2
225lb / 2400 / 600 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 2, Citrus 2, Roots 2, Roots 1
250lb / 2600 / 650 / Vanilla Almond, Greens 1, Greens 2, Greens 3, Citrus 2, Roots 2

The length of time you stay on an alternate-day fast depends on your needs. Does your body need a reboot? Here are four tell-tale signs it’s time to try a cleanse or an intermittent fast.

Leave us your comments and questions below for Dr. Lisa. Remember to check in with your personal care doctor before beginning any fasting diet.

The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. 
All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health related program.

[1] JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(7):930-938. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.0936.

[2] Alhamdan BA, Garcia-Alvarez A, Alzahrnai AH, Karanxha J, Stretchberry DR, Contrera KJ, Utria AF, Cheskin LJ. Alternate-day versus daily energy restriction diets: which is more effective for weight loss? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Obesity Res Practice, In press, 2016.

[3] Varady KA, Hellerstain MK. Alternate-day fasting and chronic disease prevention: a review of human and animal trials; 2007: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/1/7.full

[4] Lu QY, Lee R-P, Huang J, Henning SM, Li Z. Mixed fruit and vegetable juices exhibit high antioxidant activity and are rich source of phenolic compounds, 2015 (UCLA Abstract).

[5] Henning SM, Shao P, Lu QY, Yang J, Huang J, Lee R-P, Thames G, Heber D, Li Z. Health Effects of 3-Day Fruit/Vegetable Juice Fasting, 2015. (UCLA Abstract).


From our friends


  1. Really interested in this! I’m currently on a kept diet (as a vegan) and it’s so hard because I feel like I’m missing out on so many nutritions food because they have carbs in them. Wish you guys were in Canada!


    Shelby | 11.18.2017 | Reply
  2. What about fasting for people who are (naturally) underweight or who loose weight easily and quickly? This type of article tends to assume everyone can and should shed a few pounds. I’d like to know about how to fast in a way that won’t translate to weight loss.

    Alison | 01.03.2018 | Reply
    • Unfortunately cutting calories (usually and typically) results in weight loss so even if you were eating normal food and not juices for those 3 days, your calorie intake would be lower and therefore you’d probably lose weight (or at least water weight). I would guess you’d have to then increase your calorie intake the days you aren’t fasting to cancel out the fasting days if you truly are trying to avoid losing weight while fasting, or maybe fasting for 1 day would be an option since it’s only 24 hours/wouldn’t make that dramatic of a difference.

      Becca | 02.07.2018 | Reply
  3. I am so happy I tried the Pressed Juice Cleanse! I didn’t know anything about it and walked by the shop one day and decided to give it a try! I started with Cleanse 1 on December 14th, 2017. I did a 3 day cleanse. It was a bit rough on Day 2, but completely manageable. It actually worked out great because I was busy with holiday shopping for those 3 days, so I carried my drinks with me and I didn’t feel the need to grab something quick to eat while shopping. Now, fast forward to today. I do a 2 day cleanse every Monday and Tuesday, kind of like a re-boot from the weekend because we always have events and dinners out. I have lost 10 legit pounds, my skin looks and feels AMAZING and I really feel great! My husband is on board with me now and he loves it just as much as I do! Thanks Pressed! You’ve changed my life!

    Denise D'Ambra | 02.08.2018 | Reply
  4. There is no way to be under 500 calories a day when you include any of the nut milks. Am I missing something in the above calculations?

    sks | 02.08.2018 | Reply
  5. I love pressed juice, I even have their recipe book! Would this work for anyone with hoshimotos?
    Also, the chart is to maintain weight; what if you want to lose a few pounds?

    Cameron | 02.08.2018 | Reply
  6. I think you need to do a little more research on this…suggesting to eat whatever you want on some days and fasting on the others may be the wrong thing for a lot of people, especially those with eating disorders, and does not touch on healthy eating when not fasting. I believe intermittent fasting is great, but this article is poorly researched.

    Shane | 02.08.2018 | Reply
    • Thanks Shane, I would hope ppl wouldn’t just eat anything they want, but choice healthier food choices. You’re right though, I looked a little more research.

      Cameron | 02.10.2018 | Reply
  7. So the fasting days… limit exercise? Otherwise, for example, I can over exercise and then my net might be zero on fasting days…

    C.C. | 02.25.2018 | Reply
  8. Do you gave a regiment to lose weight? I am very interested in losing weight and keeping it off.
    Thank you

    Vonda | 02.26.2018 | Reply
  9. So I was very convinced by your article and went to PJ to purchase the first 4 juices. As I’m walking back home I realize each bottle is actually TWO servings. Should I have half a bottle of all four juices on fasting days? I wish you had been more clear about that. * sighs*

    Beatriz | 05.08.2018 | Reply
  10. I have tried juice fasting for 6 days and lost 6 pounds. But I had no guidance at that time. I only changed color of the fruits. I think combination of greens, citrus and roots are good suggestions.

    Anna | 08.14.2018 | Reply

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