Two of the most popular diets were compared by researchers.
Two of the most popular weight loss techniques are equally effective, recent research concludes.
Both continuous dieting and intermittent fasting are effective and lead to the same amount of weight loss, the study finds.
People on either diet lost around 6 percent of their body weight across six months.
Continuous dieting involves cutting down on calories each day by around the same amount — this is a classic diet.
Intermittent fasting involves dieting heavily for a period and then stopping for a period.
The periods of fasting and eating normally vary:
- one diet recommends 5 days of fasting followed by two days off,
- another involves 16 days fasting, followed by 8 days off,
- and another recommends fasting on alternate days.
Continuous diets may be easier for people to stick to, though, this study found.
For the research, 100 obese adults were split into three groups.
One group reduced their calorie intake by 75 percent one day and then feasted on an extra 25 percent of their normal intake of calories the next day.
The other group followed a ‘normal’ diet, by just restricting their calorie intake by 25 percent every day.
Effectively, both groups ate the same amount of calories.
The results showed that both groups lost the same amount of weight compared to a third control group.
The study’s authors conclude:
“The results of this randomized clinical trial demonstrated that alternate-day fasting did not produce superior adherence, weight loss, weight maintenance or improvements in risk indicators for cardiovascular disease compared with daily calorie restriction.”
However, people found the traditional continuous diet easier than intermittent fasting, so this may prove a better option for many.
The authors write that:
“…these findings suggest that alternate-day fasting may be less sustainable in the long term, compared with daily calorie restriction, for most obese individuals.”
The study was published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine (Trepanowski et al., 2017).
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This site is all about scientific research into how the mind works.
It’s mostly written by psychologist and author, Dr Jeremy Dean.
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