Should you do intermittent fasting for weight loss? : When attempting intermittent fasting, the quantity and quality of what you eat during your meal window are both important.
Intermittent fasting is a popular issue that comes up frequently in my clinic these days. I get it: limit your eating time, but eat as you typically would within that time frame. There is no calorie counting. There are no dietary restrictions. Simple and adaptable. In today’s fast-paced environment, intermittent fasting has emerged as a viable option for long-term weight loss.
What exactly is intermittent fasting?
Intermittent fasting (IF) has become a catch-all name for one of our eating pattern’s most important levers: timing. More precisely, intermittent fasting refers to an eating plan that is intended to increase the length of time your body spends in a fasted condition. This is accomplished by lowering the so-called eating window. These previously published papers explain the most prevalent time-restricted eating procedures (usually based on study designs):
How may time-restricted eating aid in weight loss?
To begin, examine the difference between a fed state that promotes cellular growth and a fasted state that encourages cellular breakdown and repair. Depending on the circumstances, either can be advantageous or destructive (consider how cellular growth builds lean muscle mass and also spawns cancer). Many of our genes, notably those that regulate metabolism (how we digest and use dietary energy), are turned on and off during the day in accordance with our intrinsic circadian rhythms (our sleep/wake cycle).
We move from a fed to an early fasted state many hours after our previous meal – on average, five to six hours. This frequently corresponds to the moment when the sun has set, our metabolism slows, and we sleep. However, in today’s world of artificial lighting, 24-hour convenience stores, and DoorDash, we are always ready to eat. Rather than following our circadian cues, we eat at all hours of the day.
Is intermittent fasting a reliable weight-loss strategy?
To date, the answer has remained ambiguous due to the poor quality of the data, which frequently includes very small sample sizes, brief intervention periods, a variety of study designs (sometimes lacking control groups), diverse fasting regimens, and participants of various shapes and sizes. The majority of the data on intermittent fasting and its impact on weight loss comes from research that use the time-restricted feeding methodology of intermittent fasting. A comprehensive review of the literature reveals that restricting your eating window may help you lose a few pounds.
New research on intermittent fasting as a weight loss technique
Versus determine the independent influence of time restriction on weight loss, we must compare a calorie-restricted diet with time restriction to time restriction alone. A yearlong study recently examined this exact question: does time-restricted eating combined with calorie restriction provide stronger effects on weight loss and metabolic risk factors in obese patients than daily calorie restriction alone?