Weight Loss: Intermittent Fasting or More Effective Calorie Counting?

A man checks his watch while holding a drink.Share on Pinterest
New research sheds light on the effectiveness of intermittent fasting versus calorie counting for weight loss. AsiaVision/Getty Images
  • Both intermittent fasting and calorie counting are popular ways to lose weight.
  • Some prefer intermittent fasting to calorie counting since it’s easier to follow.
  • However, it’s unclear whether both are equally effective in the long run.
  • A new study found that both led to about the same amount of weight loss over the course of a year.
  • Experts say choosing between the two can come down to individual preferences and needs.

When it comes to weight loss, there are several methods available. However, two that remain popular are traditional calorie counting and intermittent fasting.

Calorie counting can involve a lot of label reading and record keeping, which many find burdensome to maintain.

On the other hand, many like the simplicity of intermittent fasting (IF), which is more focused on the when of eating rather than the what.

Some popular variations of intermittent fasting include alternate day fasting, in which people alternate days of fasting with days of eating normally; 5-2 fasting, in which you eat normally for five days and then abstain from eating for the other two; and a time-restricted daily feeding, in which people eat during a fixed feeding window while fasting for the remainder of the 24-hour period.

However, one thing that remains uncertain is whether intermittent fasting is as effective as calorie restriction for long-term weight loss.

The good news for dieters, however, is that it appears both meal plans can lead to a roughly equal amount of weight loss.

And, given that fact, it may be more down to personal preference which plan is best for any given individual.

Dr Krista Varady, a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago who authored the study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, said: ‘Time-restricted eating, without counting calories, has become a of popular weight because it is simple to make.

However, she noted that it’s unclear whether this approach really helps with weight loss beyond the short term.

It’s also not known whether it’s any more effective than traditional diets that count and restrict calories.

Our study is the first to compare time-restricted eating (no calorie counting) with traditional dieting (calorie counting) for weight loss over 12 months in people with obesity, he noted.

His team’s study included 90 racially diverse adults with obesity from the greater Chicago area. Of these, 77 completed the entire study.

Each person was randomly assigned to one of three groups: 8-hour time-restricted eating (eating between 12:00 and 20:00 every day without counting calories), calorie restriction (reduced calories by 25 %); or no change in eating pattern. Additionally, those in the time-restricted feeding group were allowed to drink calorie-free liquids outside their feeding window.

The time-restricted diet and calorie restriction groups both had biweekly sessions with a dietitian for 6 months while they were losing weight. They then met with a dietician monthly for the next 6 months during a weight maintenance phase.

All groups received measurements at baseline, the 6-month point, and the 12-month point.

Participants were asked not to change their activity level or add exercises to their routine.

Varady said her team found that people who practiced time-restricted eating ate 425 fewer calories a day than those who didn’t follow any type of meal plan (the control group).

In addition, they lost about 10 extra pounds during the year of the study.

On the other hand, those who restricted their calorie intake ate about 405 fewer calories per day.

They lost about 12 more pounds in a year than the control group.

Varady noted that both groups showed high adherence to their meal plans.

We also found that participants who engaged in 8-hour time-restricted eating had better insulin sensitivity than those in the control group who ate their calories anywhere more than 10 or more hours per day. day, he added.

The net result when it comes to weight loss? Both groups had approximately the same degree of calorie restriction (400 calories per day) and weight loss (5%) over the course of the study.

Time-Restricted Eating can be an attractive alternative to the traditional diet, as it’s easy to follow, free, and very accessible, Varady said. Anyone with access to the time can do this diet.

Megan Hilbert, a registered dietitian with Top Nutrition Coaching who was not part of the study, said that based on the results of this study and others, she wouldn’t necessarily recommend one eating style over another.

Instead, he would find what seems most feasible for his long-term clients.

The most important factor in choosing an eating style to help with weight loss is to look at longevity, she said. [W]Will you be able to maintain these habits for years?

For most people, calorie counting seems restrictive and can be difficult to maintain for long periods of time, Hilbert explained.

Over the long term, calorie counting leads to a decrease in your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body needs to perform its basic functions. It also promotes an increase in hormones that make you feel hungrier. Both of these changes can cause weight gain.

On the other hand, according to Hilbert, the effects of intermittent fasting on these hunger hormones are not well understood.

For some individuals, eating at regular intervals helps with focus, mood, energy and fullness, so IF may not be the best fit for them, she said.

In conclusion, Hilbert noted that while these results are promising, more robust research is needed to confirm them.

However, in the meantime, it appears that an individual’s personal preferences and needs may be the deciding factor in which method of weight loss they should choose.

#Weight #Loss #Intermittent #Fasting #Effective #Calorie #Counting
Image Source : www.healthline.com

Leave a Comment