Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight
According to the National Institutes of Health, being overweight is an increasingly common condition in the United States. To avoid the increased risk of conditions linked to obesity, people often turn to dieting. However, there are so many diets, many of which can do more harm than good. But, new research shows that intermittent fasting could be the dieting solution everyone is looking for.
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and premature mortality, and the advice is always the same; to lose weight. Unfortunately, most diets restrict certain healthful foods as part of limiting caloric intake, and this can cause additional health problems. Intermittent fasting addresses weight loss by adjusting when you eat without cutting out valuable nutrients.
A recent review of 25 research studies found that in terms of weight management, intermittent fasting produced similar results to other diet plans. The review analyzed three types of intermittent fasting; alternate day fasting, 5:2 dieting with 5 regular eating days and 2 fast days per week, and time-restricted eating, which confine eating to within a 10-hour window.
Researchers identified that weight loss was within the same range for intermittent fasting and other diets. For intermittent fasting:
♦ Time-restricted eating resulted in an average loss of 3% of total body weight.
♦ Both alternate day and 5:2 fasting resulted in an average loss of 3-8% of total body weight.
♦ Both alternate day and 5:2 fasting diets showed individuals were able to maintain an average of 7% weight loss over the following year.
The key difference to other diets was fasting. Multiple facets related to metabolic health also improved, making it easier to maintain long-term healthy weight goals and promote whole-body health. The additional benefits of intermittent fasting beyond weight loss included:
♦ Reduced blood pressure
♦ Improved insulin resistance
♦ Reduced cholesterol
♦ Improved appetite regulation
♦ Healthier gut microbiome
In addition to confirming that intermittent fasting can support weight loss and long-term weight management, the team could debunk fasting myths. People have reported being worried about lethargy and energy levels with fasting, but the opposite is true. More fasting participants reported feeling better with sustained energy, despite eating less.
Intermittent fasting provides a healthy alternative to other diets because it limits overall caloric intake and not specific foods. As a result, you follow a more balanced diet, which is more supportive of healthy weight loss. Studies show that cutting out certain food groups can interfere with metabolic function, resulting in weight gain once those foods return to the diet, unhealthy cravings, and binge-eating.
People like intermittent fasting because it allows them to find the best fit for their lifestyle, making it easier to stick with, so long-term health benefits and weight management can be achieved. If you want weight loss, metabolic health, and whole-body benefits in your future, the results are in. Better health starts with intermittent fasting.
Krista A. Varady, Sofia Cienfuegos, Mark Ezpeleta, and Kelsey Gabel. Cardiometabolic Benefits of Intermittent Fasting. Annual Review of Nutrition, 2021; 41 (1): 333