Reducing Calories May Be More Effective In Weight Loss Than Intermittent Fasting: Study


Last Updated: January 20, 2023, 16:59 IST

No specific diet or fasting plan can guarantee quick weight loss because each person’s physique and metabolism are different.

More important markers of weight gain or loss than the intervals between meals are the caloric content and portion size of meals

Many weight loss programmes encourage dieting and other forms of fasting as a method to get fitter. People who have set weight loss goals frequently search for simple, efficient methods to do so, whether it be Keto diets or intermittent fasting for up to 16–18 hours. Since every person’s body and metabolism are unique, no particular diet or fasting plan can promise fast weight loss. A recent study found that timing between the first and last meals did not affect weight loss. But the calories and quantity of meals were more significant indicators of weight gain or loss than the time between meals. The study’s findings were published in the American Heart Association’s Journal.

‘Time-restricted eating practises,’ commonly referred to as intermittent fasting, are widespread, according to senior research author Wendy L. Bennett, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. However, well-designed research has not yet revealed whether restricting the overall eating window during the day aids in weight management.

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This study looked into the relationship between weight fluctuations and the time between meals. The research included about 550 participants over the age of 18 from three health systems in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In the two years before study enrolment, participants had at least one weight and height assessment recorded. This study looked into the relationship between weight fluctuations and the time between meals. The study team developed the Daily24 smartphone app so that participants could track their eating, sleeping, and waking-up patterns in real time for each 24-hour cycle.

Researchers were able to gauge the time between awakening and the first meal, the time between the last meal and going to bed and intervals between the first and final meals consumed each day, based on the information logged in the mobile app by the participants. For each participant, they derived an average based on all the data from the days that were completed.

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Despite finding that meal frequency and total caloric intake were more significant factors that affected weight change than meal timing, the study’s lead author Di Zhao, Ph.D., an associate scientist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, acknowledged that the research was observational, hence no direct cause-and-effect relationship could be established.

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