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For fast weight loss: Lose 12 lbs, 2 sizes in 4 weeks with Every Other Day Diet

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If you've tried and failed at traditional diets, a new approach that allows you to eat what you want on alternate days just might be your ticket to weight loss success. It's all detailed in a new book by an associate professor of nutrition: "The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off" (click for more information).

Dr. Krista Varady conducts research in alternate day fasting. Based on her findings that the plan provides dieters with an average weight loss of 12 pounds and two sizes in four weeks, she devised her diet to incorporate the latest research on what really works for quick, permanent pounds-off plans.

Included in the book are more than 80 recipes, restaurant options, prepared foods and extensive details on what you need to do to make this diet work for you. You'll need to be willing to plan ahead for your semi-fast days (500 calories).

For a somewhat different approach using the same concept, consider "The FastDiet: Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, and Live Longer with the Simple Secret of Intermittent Fasting" (click for details).

The Fast Diet, as it's sometimes known, allows you to eat normally five days a week. Then on two non-consecutive days, you'll cut your calories to 500 if you're female, 600 if you're male.

Included are meal descriptions for your reduced-calorie days, calorie counting details and the research behind the plan.

And for one more variation, there's the just-like-the-name says "The 5:2 Diet: Feast for 5 Days, Fast for 2 Days to Lose Weight and Revitalize Your Health" (click for more information). Worth noting: The 5:2 diet originated in the U.K., and some of the books that also were authored there may have measurements as well as foods relevant for that locale. If you choose to get a recipe book, be sure to get one that you can targeted at your own locale. Options include (click the links for more details):

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