According to the University of Adelaide, Australia, obese women lost more weight and improved their health by following a strictly controlled intermittent fasting diet.
Having an intermittent fasting diet essentially means when an individual experiences various eating protocols that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting over a defined period. Intermittent fasting has previously and is currently under preliminary research to assess if it can produce weight loss comparable to long-term calorie restriction.
Studying the intermittent fasting diet
The study involved a sample of 88 women following carefully controlled diets over 10 weeks.
Dr Amy Hutchison, lead author from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), explains: “Continuously restricting their diet is the main way that obese women try to tackle their weight.”
“Unfortunately, studies have shown that long-term adherence to a restricted diet is very challenging for people to follow, so this study looked at the impact of intermittent fasting on weight loss.
“Obese women who followed a diet in which they ate 70% of their required energy intake and fasted intermittently lost the most weight.
“Other women in the study who either fasted intermittently without reducing their food intake, who reduced their food intake but did not fast, or did not restrict their diet at all, were not as successful in losing weight.”
Details of the study
Women who fasted intermittently as well as restricting their food improved their health more than those who only restricted their diet or only fasted intermittently.
“By adhering to a strict pattern of intermittent fasting and dieting, obese women have achieved significant weight loss and improvements in their health such as decreased markers for heart disease.” says Hutchison.
All participants of the study were women who were overweight or obese with a Body Mass Index (BMI) in the 25-40 range and aged between 35 and 70 years. They followed a typical Australian diet consisting of 35% fat, 15% protein and 50% carbohydrate.
“The most successful participants lost approximately 0.5 to 1 kg per week for each week of the study,” adds Hutchison.
Associate Professor Leonie Heilbronn from the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI also adds: “This study is adding to evidence that intermittent fasting, at least in the short term, may provide better outcomes than daily continuous diet restriction for health and potentially for weight loss.”
“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.”