In a new study, researchers looked at different ways of losing weight through a method called intermittent fasting (IF).
The researchers wanted to see which IF regimen was most effective for weight loss, and how it compared to a traditional way of losing weight called caloric energy restriction (CER).
Intermittent fasting is a dietary approach that involves alternating periods of fasting (not eating) with periods of eating.
There are different types of IF regimens, including alternate-day fasting (ADF), the 5:2 diet, and time-restricted eating (TRE).
In ADF, individuals fast every other day, while on non-fasting days, they eat as much as they want.
In the 5:2 diet, individuals restrict their calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days per week, while on the other five days, they eat as usual.
In TRE, individuals limit their eating period to a certain number of hours per day, such as 8 hours or less.
To investigate the effectiveness of IF for weight loss, the researchers searched through three databases for studies that looked at IF and weight loss from 2011 to June 2021.
They found 24 studies with a total of 1768 participants that compared the three different IF regimens.
They used a method called a random effect network analysis to compare the effectiveness of these regimens.
The study found that ADF was the most effective IF regimen for weight loss, followed by CER and then TRE.
However, the researchers also found that overall, IF regimens were just as effective as CER for weight loss.
Compliance (how well participants followed the regimen) was generally high in studies that lasted less than 3 months.
This means that IF can be a promising alternative to traditional weight loss methods like CER.
However, the researchers also noted that more studies with longer durations of intervention are needed to draw solid conclusions.
It’s important to note that any weight loss regimen should be discussed with a healthcare provider before starting, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
In summary, this study found that intermittent fasting can be just as effective as traditional calorie restriction for weight loss.
The most effective IF regimen was ADF, followed by CER and TRE. However, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effectiveness of IF for weight loss.
If you are considering IF as a weight loss strategy, it’s important to talk to a healthcare professional first.
How to eat to lose weight
When it comes to losing weight, it’s not only important to pay attention to how much you eat but also to what you eat. Here are some tips on what to eat to lose weight:
Choose whole, unprocessed foods: Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats are nutrient-dense and can help you feel full longer.
Processed foods, on the other hand, are often high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats, and can contribute to weight gain.
Focus on lean protein: Protein is an important nutrient for weight loss as it helps to build and maintain muscle mass, which can boost your metabolism. Choose lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes.
Incorporate healthy fats: Healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil can help you feel full longer and keep you satisfied. However, keep in mind that fat is high in calories, so it’s important to consume them in moderation.
Eat plenty of fiber: Fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help you feel full and satisfied while also supporting healthy digestion.
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks: Sugary drinks and snacks are high in calories and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to cravings and hunger. Instead, choose water, unsweetened tea or coffee, and healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, and nuts.
Remember, weight loss is not only about what you eat but also about how much you eat. To lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn.
It’s important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new diet or eating approach, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are taking any medications.
The research was published in Obesity and was conducted by Paloma Elortegui Pascual et al.
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