When focusing on weight loss, there are so many diets and habits to help you reach your goals. However, with all the types of diets and foods, how do you know what’s the right option for you? You’re then trying all these different methods because you hear about celebrity weight loss, or a new trend or popular diet. It seems like finding a way to lose weight is overwhelming.
Well now there’s one diet you can eliminate from your options. According to a study done by the New England Journal of Medicine, the intermittent fasting diet does not actually work. In fact, it is no more effective than simply just counting your calories.
In the study, researchers randomly assigned 139 patients with obesity to a time-restricted eating schedule, also known as intermittent fasting, as well as calorie restrictions. The group with a restricted eating schedule was allowed to only eat between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The other group just had a daily calorie restriction without having to eat during a given time frame. For 12 months, both groups had to follow a calorie-restricted diet that consisted of 1,500 to 1,800 calories per day for men and 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day for women.
118 of the 139 participants completed the 12-month follow-up visit. The average weight loss in the time-restriction group was 8.0 kg, and 6.3 kg for the daily-calorie-restriction group. Results of analyses also took waist circumferences, BMI, body fat, body lean mass, blood pressure, and metabolic risk factors into consideration.
This showed that among patients with obesity, a regimen of time-restricted eating was not more beneficial with regard to loss of body weight, body fat, or metabolic risk factors than daily calorie restriction.
In addition, there were no substantial differences between the groups in the number of unexpected medical problems that happened during the study.
This study backs up previous research from JAMA Internal Medicine. In a very similar study, researchers conducted a randomized clinical trial that contained 116 adults who were overweight or obese.
The researchers concluded that time-restricted eating was associated with a very little weight decrease of 1.17%. This was not significantly different from the decrease in the control group, who lost 0.75%. This showed that time-restricted eating did not show weight loss or benefits to cardiometabolic diseases– a spectrum of conditions ranging from insulin resistance to metabolic syndrome and pre-diabetes, to more severe conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.