Johnson UpDayDownDay Diet Review

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James B. Johnson, M.D. is an instructor in plastic surgery at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine. Dr. Johnson retired after over twenty years in private practice to follow his longtime interest in alternate-day calorie restriction. He has several articles about the UpDayDownDay diet, also known as the Alternate Day Diet, published in scientific and medical journals, including Medical Hypotheses and Free Radical Biology & Medicine.

The Johnson UpDayDownDay Diet is viewed as an innovative way of eating by those who support the method. Animals were provided a day of eating normally alternating with a day of calorie restrictions. According to the authror, the animal studies indicate that limiting caloric intake every other day can help people lose weight by turning on what is called “the skinny gene” or SIRT1. Dr. Johnson claims to have taken the same model and applied it to humans. He claims that the humans had similar effects as the animals, such as: “reduced inflammation, lower free-radical stress, improved insulin resistance, and better cellular energy production.” Additionally, the diet is reported to have promoted fat loss due to the release of fat cells from around the body’s organs. Some people who stick to the diet state they are able to stay on the diet because they do not have feelings of deprivation for weeks at a time.

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The basis of the Johnson UpDayDownDay Diet is that the dieter can eat as much as they want on one day, but do not overstuff. On the second day eat less than 50 percent of the calories. Continue alternating days while following the diet. Dr. Johnson suggests using canned protein or packaged foods on the down days to make it easier to keep up with the calories. People who have more weight to lose should go down to 20 percent on their down day, those with less to lose or who want to maintain, should go to 50 percent.

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  • Refreshing concept.
  • Easy to read book.
  • Developed by well respected members of the diet and health care community.


  • Requires a lifestyle change.
  • May be hard to stick with.


The Alternate-Day Diet, also called the Johnson UpDayDownDay Diet, puts forth data to support its claim but it is unknown if the data collected from humans would hold up to the true scientific standards. There do not appear to be adverse affects by taking part in the UpDayDownDay Diet. The diet method is basically that the dieter can get satisfied with any foods he wishes on the up days but reduces the calories 20-50 percent the next day. There are no special foods to purchase.

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