The study found calorie restriction to be more effective than intermittent fasting

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Intermittent fasting may not be as effective for some people as it was once thought. Valentina Pareto/Stocksy
  • Extensive research has been done here on different weight loss methods and their effectiveness.
  • Intermittent fasting (IF) is a common component of weight loss diets, but researchers are still working to understand its benefits and drawbacks.
  • Data from a recent study found that eating only within certain time frames may not contribute significantly to weight loss.
  • The study suggests that reducing calories and the number of large meals may be more effective than reducing calories for weight loss.

Weight loss is sometimes necessary for people to maintain a healthy weight, and people can use a variety of approaches to lose weight.

Intermittent fasting, or eating only during set periods of time, is one method that has grown in popularity in recent years. However, researchers are still working to understand if and how the timing of eating affects weight loss.

A recent study published in Journal of the American Heart Association The frequency and size of meals were found to have a greater effect on weight gain than the time window for eating.

The findings suggest that restricting food intake to certain times of the day with intermittent fasting may not be effective for people for long-term weight loss.

intermittent fasting It involves eating only during specific time periods. There are many methods of intermittent fasting. It can mean not eating on certain days or eating only at certain times of the day. Some people seek to use IF to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Some Evidence It indicates that intermittent fasting can help people lose body fat and may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

However, researchers are still working to understand the potential risks of intermittent fasting and how to weigh those risks against the potential benefits. Overall, this is an area where there is a need for more data.

Beata RidgerA registered dietitian in Los Angeles, California, and clinical nutrition consultant for Zen Nutrients, who was not involved in the study, noted the challenge of studying dietary behaviors for Medical news today:

“In general, studying diets is more difficult because changes in diet do not have an immediate effect on health. Most study participants find it difficult to keep track of what they eat, and few can stick to a diet long enough to measure beneficial effects.”

Proponents of intermittent fasting highlight a range of potential benefits, some of which are backed by research, including improvements in weight loss, thinking and memory, type 2 diabetes, tissue health, and even physical performance.
– Beata Ridger, registered dietitian

His study included 547 participants who were recruited from three different health systems.

The researchers collected information about the participants through electronic health records and using a specialized mobile app called Daily24. Participants could record when they ate, the size of their meal, the times they went to bed, and when they woke up.

For each recorded meal, participants estimated the serving size as less than 500 calories (small), 500-1,000 calories (medium), or more than 1,000 calories (large).

Study author Dr. Wendy Bennettdetailing their research methods MNT:

“We designed an app to collect ‘eating timings,’ and when participants entered the timings, we also asked them about their meal size (small, medium, or large). Participants from 3 health systems used the app for 6 months. We correlated the app data with electronic health record survey data.”

Dr. Bennett said they then analyzed the link between eating periods, including the participants’ total eating period, the time between waking up and bedtime, and the time between their last meal and their bedtime, with changes in their weight over about six years. years.

The researchers found that the timing from the first meal of the day to the last meal of the day was not associated with changes in weight. However, they did find that eating larger meals more frequently was associated with weight gain.

“The main clinical implication is that period restriction (i.e. eating less, having longer fasting time) may not reduce weight gain over time. Eating more medium or large meals is associated with weight gain over time. More meals is associated with Small weight loss over time.
– Dr. Wendy Bennett

In some of their analyses, the researchers found that eating earlier after waking up and taking longer between the final meal and going to bed may be associated with less weight gain.

Dr. Catherine Saundersco-founder of Intellihealth and bariatric physician who practices in telemedicine practice at Intellihealth Flyte Medical, who was also not involved in the study, noted: MNT The main finding was not surprising.

Researchers found an association between eating more frequent meals and gaining weight, indicating that total calorie intake is a major driver of weight gain. “It’s not surprising,” she said.

What’s even more interesting is that the participants with [a] A shorter time from waking up to the first meal and a longer time from the last meal to going to bed appear to result in less weight gain, a trend that suggests that eating earlier in the day may facilitate weight control.”
Dr. Catherine Saunders

The data on intermittent fasting is still emerging, so no single study provides all the evidence that the method is or is not effective. This particular study also had several limitations to consider.

First, the researchers could only analyze data from study participants who had downloaded and used the Daily24 app. This exclusion may have affected the study population and its results.

They only recruited participants from three health systems, which means the results cannot necessarily be generalized. Approximately 78% of the participants were women and white, indicating the need for more diverse prospective studies.

The study also had a relatively short follow-up time, which resulted in fewer weight measurements and lower measurement accuracy. The researchers were also unable to measure the participants’ intentions to lose weight before they were enrolled in the study.

The way the researchers measured eating periods could not assess more complex fasting methods. The data also relied on participants’ self-reports, and the food was not standardized or evaluated for quality.

This study did not specifically assess patterns such as intermittent fasting. Dr. Bennett noted that we also did not assess the diet quality of the meals featured in the app MNT.

She added: “Rdomized controlled trials adjusting for caloric intake are needed to further test the role of eating timing in preventing weight gain and weight loss as well.”

This study suggests that other methods of weight loss may be more effective than intermittent fasting. Regardless of weight goals, people can use different methods to stay healthy and manage their weight.

This may mean incorporating intermittent fasting, but others may choose different strategies. Dr. Bennett said self-monitoring was key to weight loss.

“Other studies show that people may be able to use time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting to help them reduce their calorie intake and thus lose weight, so it can be a useful weight-loss tool for some people who can stick to it,” she said. It still involves self-monitoring.

Dr. Saunders further noted that people respond differently to different weight loss methods, and it is not a one-size-fits-all approach.

“There are many factors that influence weight regulation, so successful weight loss needs to address all of these in a personal way. There is no ‘best diet’, and different people respond differently to any weight loss approach, be it diet, or exercise. routine, anti-obesity medication, or even bariatric surgery.”
Dr. Catherine Saunders

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