New research comparing time-restricted eating (also known as TRE, intermittent fasting, or IF) to calorie counting shows that the two weight loss strategies produce similar results in a racially diverse population of adults with obesity.
Since intermittent fasting gained attention a couple of years ago as a way to lose weight, experts and dieters alike have debated whether this strategy is more or less effective than simple calorie counting. Some have argued that restricting eating to specific windows of the day naturally leads to successful weight loss, while others believe monitoring daily calories is a more effective path. As it turns out, one might not be better at the job than the other.
While previous studies have examined the effects of combining calorie counting with intermittent fasting, this new research—published June 27 in Annals of Internal Medicine—is one of the first to look at these strategies in isolation. Given that intermittent fasting is often simpler and easier for dieters than tracking every calorie in every bite throughout the day, the researchers wanted to see if it was also more effective, said Shuhao Lin, MS, RDN, the study’s primary researcher and a registered dietician with the University of Illinois Chicago.
Excerpted from Health