New research suggets that intermittent fasting isn’t the best solution for rapid weight loss results.
The English-based research study found that those who adopted a fasting diet lost fewer pounds compared to those implementing a conventional weight loss programme.
With big Hollywood stars publicly promoting the fasting lifestyle, it is often seen as the most effective weight loss diet.
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However, experts have said that limiting your calorie intake is the best way forward for those determined to lose weight.
Chief researcher Professor James Betts said: “Many people believe that diets based on fasting are especially effective for weight loss or that these diets have particular metabolic health benefits even if you don’t lose weight.
“But intermittent fasting is no magic bullet and the findings of our experiment suggest that there is nothing special about fasting when compared with more traditional, standard diets people might follow.”
The 5:2 is a popular fasting diet that allows you to consume your regular calorie allowance for five days and a fourth of your daily requirements for two days.
In addition, another globally-recognised fasting diet is the 16:8 which only allows you to eat over an eight-hour period per day.
However, academics from the University of Bath have confirmed that celebrity-backed fasting diets aren’t as successful as they are purported to be.
Over a three-week period, the findings were gathered from analysing the weight loss of 36 participants who were divided into three different groups.
The first group fasted every other day and consumed more than 50% of their normal calorie intake on their non-fasting days.
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Group three implemented the same plan but consumed 100% more than their normal calorie intake on their non-fasting days.
The second group adopted a conventional low-calorie diet.
At the end of the trial, the participants in the second group lost the greatest amount of weight (1.9kg), while group one lost 1.6kg and group 3 lost an insignificant amount of weight.
“If you are following a fasting diet it is worth thinking about whether prolonged fasting periods is actually making it harder to maintain muscle mass and physical activity levels, which are known to be very important factors for long-term health,” said Professor Betts.
The entire findings of the study are now available in the ‘Science Translational Medicine’ journal.