Move over keto, there’s a new eating plan creating controversy: Intermittent fasting (IF), which Forbes named one of the hottest diets of 2020. With touted benefits from weight loss to improved insulin resistance—without a complicated regimen involving lots of calorie counting— it’s no wonder many people have gravitated towards the eating plan.
Ethan J. Weiss, MD, a cardiologist and associate professor at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, tried IF after reading a few studies on it. “I lost some weight and thought it could be a great tool that would be simple and easy to do for weight loss,” he says.
But the scientist in Dr. Weiss needed more evidence. “There were scant few trials in humans, and the ones that were done were small and or uncontrolled. It was hard to know what to think,” he says. So he took matters into his own hands. His resulting study, which was published this September in JAMA Internal Medicine, is a randomized controlled trial (RCT), making it one of the most rigorous studies on IF to date. RCTs are considered the gold standard in research because participants are randomly selected to be in the test group (in this case, to follow the IF diet) to reduce the risk that participants’ or researchers’ biases impact the results.
Excerpted from Well + Good