If you’re like most people, you probably think of fasting as a way to lose weight. And it makes sense—if you’re not eating, you’re probably going to drop some pounds, right?
But is intermittent fasting actually good for weight loss?
Here’s what the evidence says.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. There are a few different ways to do it, but the most common is the 16:8 method, where you eat for eight hours and fast for 16.
So, how does it work?
The thinking behind intermittent fasting is that by restricting your eating to a certain window of time, you can help to control your hunger and cravings, and ultimately eat fewer calories.
And it seems to work—at least in the short-term.
One study found that people who followed an intermittent fasting diet lost 3-8% of their body weight over a period of 12-24 weeks (1).
Another study found that intermittent fasting was an effective weight loss strategy, helping people lose 7-11% of their body weight over a period of 6-24 weeks (2).
Not only that, but intermittent fasting has also been linked with other health benefits, like a reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes (3, 4).
So, what’s the catch?
Well, the problem with intermittent fasting is that it’s hard to stick to.
I mean, who wants to go 16 hours without food?
Not to mention, when you do eat, you’re likely to be so ravenous that you end up overeating.
And that can cancel out any of the calorie-burning benefits of fasting.
In fact, one study found that people who followed an intermittent fasting diet actually ate more calories than those who didn’t fast at all, defeating the whole purpose of the diet (5).
So, if you’re thinking of trying intermittent fasting for weight loss, be aware that it’s not a magic bullet. You may see some results in the short-term, but it’s not a sustainable or healthy way to lose weight in the long run.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve likely heard of intermittent fasting. This popular weight loss strategy involves limiting your food intake to certain hours of the day, or only eating certain days of the week. Intermittent fasting has been shown to be an effective weight loss strategy in both animal and human studies.
That said, there is still some controversy as to whether intermittent fasting is more effective for weight loss than other traditional diets. For example, one study found that intermittent fasting was no more effective for weight loss than a daily calorie restriction diet.
So, what does the evidence say? Are there any benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss?
There are a few small studies that have looked at the effects of intermittent fasting on weight loss in humans. One study found that intermittent fasting resulted in a 3-8% reduction in weight over a 3-24 week period (1). Another study found that intermittent fasting resulted in a 0.6-2.5% reduction in body weight over a 3-12 week period (2).
While the weight loss seen in these studies is modest, it is worth noting that both of these studies were of good quality and involved a large number of participants. Additionally, both of these studies found that intermittent fasting was as effective as traditional diets for weight loss.
So, based on the available evidence, it seems that intermittent fasting can be an effective weight loss strategy. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.