Intermittent fasting not superior to conventional weight loss diets
The study results show that it is not primarily the dietary method that matters but that it is more important to decide on a method and then follow through with it.
A lot of people these days are swearing by intermittent fasting to lose weight and stay healthy. However, if you think it is better than other conventional weight loss diets, a recent study states otherwise.
These are the findings of the scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital. The scientists conclude that there are many paths leading to a healthier weight. Everybody must find a diet plan that fits them best.
Intermittent fasting, also known as 16:8 diet or 5:2 diet, is trendy. The German Nutrition Society (DGE), on the other hand, warns that intermittent fasting is not suitable for long-term weight regulation. In addition, according to DGE, there is not enough scientific evidence on the long-term effects of this dieting method.
“There are in fact only a few smaller studies on intermittent fasting so far, but they have come up with strikingly positive effects for metabolic health,” says DKFZ’s Ruth Schübel. “This made us curious and we intended to find out whether these effects can also be proven in a larger patient group and over a prolonged period.”
The result may be as surprising as it is sobering for all followers of intermittent fasting. The researchers found that improvements in health status were the same with both dietary methods. “In participants of both group, body weight and, along with it, visceral fat, or unhealthy belly fat, were lost and extra fat in the liver reduced,” Schübel reported.
The investigators also did not find any difference between the two dieting methods in any other metabolic values that were analyzed or biomarkers and gene activities under investigation.
According to Kühn, the study results show that it is not primarily the dietary method that matters but that it is more important to decide on a method and then follow through with it. “The same evidence is also suggested in a current study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets, that is, reducing carbohydrates versus reducing fat intake while otherwise having a balanced diet,” said Kühn. In this study, participants also achieved comparable results with both methods.
The scientists’ credo is therefore: “Just do it!” Body and health will benefit from weight loss in any case, as long as it is achieved by a reliable dieting method and on the basis of a well-balanced diet.