There are always many diets being advertised on the internet and various magazines. Every single one of them promises to be the solution to all your problems, but most of them look a bit suspect. However, intermittent fasting, which is very trendy nowadays, actually works. Scientists from the University of Adelaide revealed that intermittent fasting allows obese women to lose more weight and improve their health.
88 women were involved in the study, with age ranging between 35 and 70 and BMI of 25-40. For over 10 weeks they had to follow carefully controlled diets and recommendations from health professionals. Most women are already trying to lose weight, but they do so by continuously restricting their diet. In other words, they are trying to starve themselves thin, which is not ideal at all. Not only it is not as effective as people might think, but it is also extremely difficult to stick to a strict diet plan when it makes you suffer so much. That is why scientists turned to analysing the impact of intermittent fasting on weight loss.
And so, out of all these women involved in the study, those who ate 70 % of their required energy intake and fasted intermittently lost the most weight. Other diet plans included fasting intermittently without reducing food intake, reducing food intake without fasting or not restricting diet at all. This dietary behaviour didn’t lead to as much lost weight as intermittent fasting with reduced food intake. Furthermore, intermittent fasting with eating 70 % of the required energy intake also led to the most significant health benefits, such as decreased markers for heart disease. And although intermittent fasting sounds intimidating, it is not hard to keep up with it when results can be clearly seen and felt.
Intermittent fasting in this study included eating breakfast and then nothing for 24 hours. After the fasting period, participants could eat for 24 hours. The most successful participants lost 0.5-1 kg per week. Leonie Heilbronn, one of the authors of the study, said: “While the study confirms that intermittent fasting is more effective than continuous diet restriction, the underlying signal for limiting people’s appetite, which could hold the key to triggering effective weight loss, requires further research”.
Although this study focused on obese women, it provides evidence that intermittent fasting simply works better than continuous dietary restriction. In fact, many today’s athletes are following intermittent fasting as a way to boost energy levels and maintain their body strength. So it may be worth trying out for yourself.
Source: University of Adelaide