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Is Intermittent Fasting Overhyped?

Time to rethink how often you eat?

Food plate arrange like a clock to illustrate intermittent fasting

In recent times, intermittent fasting has become a go-to diet among bio-hackers, fitness influencers and many people hoping to shed a few pounds. But some current evidence casts shade at the idea that time-crunched eating is the most effective way to trim the belly.

A 3-month study published in JAMA Internal Medicine looked at people who followed a time-restricted eating plan in which they took nourishment only between noon and 8 p.m. Without any other dietary interventions, they did not lose significantly more weight than those who ate their meals throughout the day. Weight loss in the fasting group was 2.07 pounds, compared with 1.5 pounds in the consistent-eating group.

In a separate investigation in Science Translational Medicine, people who simply cut their daily calories by 25% lost more weight and fat mass in 3 weeks of dieting than two groups following different intermittent-fasting regimens. Also, there was no difference between the groups when it came to heart health, metabolism or gene expression related to fat cells, so fasting appeared to have no benefits unrelated to weight loss.

Researchers did discover that people on a fasting schedule tended to be less active than before they started the study, which might be one factor that kept them from losing weight.

See also: The Art and Science of Intermittent Fasting

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