Here’s Further Proof Intermittent Fasting Isn’t The Best Weight Loss Strategy

Here’s Further Proof Intermittent Fasting Isn’t The Best Weight Loss Strategy

These days, you only need a few quick scrolls of any given social media platform before you’re confronted with an ad for intermittent fasting – a popular health fad that involves restricting food intake for periods of time during the day. We’ve already covered the fact that intermittent fasting is not a miracle weight loss tool, and a new study has further backed that up by suggesting it doesn’t significantly help with shedding extra kilograms at all. 

A 12-week study, conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, saw participants skip food in the morning and eat at random times within a strict eight-hour window each day. 

These subjects lost around 0.9 kg over the 12-week period. However, other subjects who ate at normal times – including snacking – also lost about 0.6 kg. 

The research team said the difference was not “statistically significant” and they found “no evidence” that time-restricted eating works as a weight loss strategy.

“I went into this hoping to demonstrate that this thing I’ve been doing for years works,” cardiologist and lead researcher Dr. Ethan Weiss told CNBC. “But as soon as I saw the data, I stopped.”  

What the researchers did find, however, is that people who engaged in intermittent fasting seemed to lose more muscle mass than the control group. 

It’s worth noting that Dr. Weiss said this outcome wasn’t definitive, and there needs to be further studies to find out whether intermittent fasting is safe for people over 60, those on medication or people with medical issues like diabetes.

He also added that there might be benefits around fasting during different times of the day, and mentioned that he didn’t study the impact of missing meals at night – only during the morning. 

Despite originally being fan of intermittent fasting himself, Dr. Weiss told CNBC he wouldn’t be recommending it to his patients going forward. “Just losing weight alone doesn’t mean good things are happening for your health,” he said. 

As with any diet or eating pattern, it’s essential you speak with your healthcare provider or consult with a dietitian for tailored nutrition advice beforehand.

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