Posted on February 25 2019
There are a handful of trendy, reputable, diets people follow and see positive results on, including keto, Paleo, Whole30, and intermittent fasting. Now, a recent study published in the journal Obesity found that intermittent fasting is an effective way for women who are overweight and obese to drop excess weight. Technically, IF is not a diet that instructs you on what to eat, but rather an eating plan that tells you when to eat, and it involves committing to a cycle of eating and fasting within a set amount of time. See the difference? This study showed that women not only lost weight, but they improved their overall health as well.
Who participated in the study?
A total of 88 women between the ages of 35 and 70 participated in this study, conducted by researchers at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Each had a BMI that fell within the 25-40 range (overweight to morbidly obese) and followed a typical Australian diet consisting of 35 percent fat, 15 percent protein, and 50 percent carbohydrate.
How did the study work?
All participants were split among four groups and monitored for 10 weeks:
- Women who fasted intermittently and consumed 70 percent of their required caloric intake.
- Women who fasted intermittently without cutting any calories.
- Women who reduced their daily caloric intake but did not fast intermittently.
- Women who did not restrict their diet at all.
Obese women from the first group mentioned above (those who cut their daily calories by 30 percent and did intermittent fasting) lost the most weight, having dropped about 1-2 pounds during each week they were taking part in the study.
The two groups of women that fasted intermittently alternated between fasting and eating every other day. So, participants would eat breakfast and then begin a 24-hour-long fast. When that cycle finished, they would be allowed to eat within that following 24-hour time frame. Then the fasting cycle would resume, and so on.
What other information was concluded from the study?
The overweight and obese women who participated in this study did more than just melt pounds away. “By adhering to a strict pattern of intermittent fasting and dieting, obese women have achieved significant weight loss and improvements in their health, such as decreased markers for heart disease,” says lead author Dr. Amy Hutchison from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).
The study also showed that intermittent fasting is more effective than continuously following a restrictive diet. Of course, more research needs to be done in order to crack the code on the most effective means of weight loss, but this study demonstrates how IF could be beneficial for improving the health of obese and overweight women.