Intermittent fasting is the go-to weight-loss plan for many people, so a new study suggesting it’s less effective than traditional diets and comes with health drawbacks may seem concerning. But experts who study intermittent fasting cautioned against misinterpreting the results and sticking with the approach if it works for you.
First, the findings: A randomized controlled trial found participants who fasted on alternate days lost less weight than those who simply ate less every day — even when both groups ended up restricting the same amount of calories overall, according to the study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
People in the fasting group also lost more muscle mass and less body fat than the traditional dieters, likely because they moved less throughout the day, researchers found. Reducing physical activity may be the body’s subconscious response to fasting, they noted.
Excerpted from Today