Fasting, a regimen that was earlier mistaken for starvation, has been recently gaining popularity in the field of weight management. However this type of fasting does not involve long periods of abstinence from food.
It is different pattern of eating called intermittent fasting. One of the most popular forms of intermittent fasting is alternate day fasting. Fasting every alternate day seems like a task but this study proves to you that this weight loss technique actually works.
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What happened in this study?
32 individuals were recruited for this study and were assigned to alternate day fasting group or control group. Those in the fasting group ate only about 25% of their regular energy intake on fasting days and on the other days they were permitted to follow regular eating patterns at home.
Additionally they were allowed to consume energy free drinks, tea and coffee etc. The control group individuals followed regular eating patterns at home. This lasted for 12 weeks.
What were the results?
Body weight decreased by 5.2kg in the alternate day fasting group and decrease in body fat was about 3.6kg. Improvement in cholesterol levels and hormones involved in fat metabolism was observed. No decrease in muscle mass was observed.
How did this occur?
When fasting every alternate day, firstly you are reducing your calorie intake, thereby reducing your chances for weight gain. This calorie deficit forces your body to look for other forms of energy, fat being the most accessible one.
Your body is then shifted to a metabolism where you start burning fat and this translates into quick weight loss.
What does this mean?
Researchers concluded that alternate day fasting is a good weight loss strategy for those wishing to lose around 5-6 kg of weight in short time period such as 12 weeks. Also it was found to be healthy for the heart.
This eating pattern seems to be a favourable strategy for quick weight loss and you can improve weight loss outcomes by avoiding calorie dense foods on non-fasting days.
Read full paper here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24215592
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