In today’s world of dieting, fasting has become one of the most talked-about and practiced methods for weight loss. However, just how harmful is this practice to your body? Moreover, is it a more effective dieting method than general calorie restriction?
A recent study aimed to answer these questions. One hundred obese, sedentary adults with the average age of 44 were observed for six months. They were randomly assigned to one of three groups: one group restricted daily calorie consumption to 75 per cent of their normal amount; a second group fasted on alternate days, consuming only 25 per cent of their normal diet on those days and consuming 125 per cent of on the other days; and the third group made no changes to their eating pattern. After this six-month period, all participants were asked to try to maintain their weight for another six months. Over the course of the study, participants were told not to change their daily physical activity habits.
At the end of the year-long period, the fasting and restricting groups reported a 5 to 6 per cent weight loss on average. On the other hand, those who did not change their eating habits gained weight slightly. Additionally, more participants dropped out of the study from the fasting group than from the calorie restriction group (38 per cent vs. 29 per cent)—they found it difficult to adhere to the fasting regimen.
As such, if you are trying to lose weight, simply restrict your calorie intake. It’s much easier to stick to a weight loss plan that is both manageable and pleasant.