5: 2 fasting diet linked to short-term weight loss

5: 2 fasting diet linked to short-term weight loss

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A large review of trials has suggested that certain intermittent fasting diets work best for weight loss in obese adults. Thomas Vogel / Getty Images
  • Intermittent fasting, which involves alternating between periods of fasting and eating, is associated with weight loss and other health benefits.
  • A recent review synthesized the results of clinical trials examining the impact of four common intermittent fasting programs on weight loss and other health benefits.
  • The study found that all four intermittent fasting programs had associations with weight loss and beneficial impact on blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
  • The examination revealed that alternate-day modified fasting or the 5: 2 diet, involving restricted calorie intake on fasting days, were particularly effective in aiding weight loss and improving cardiometabolic outcomes.

Intermittent fasting is a method of eating that consists of alternating periods of fasting and meals. In other words, it restricts food intake at specific times.

There are several different approaches to intermittent fasting. Some schedules only allow food intake for 8 hours of the day, while others restrict or reduce food intake on certain days of the week.

Many randomized clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting can help reduce weight and improve metabolic and cardiovascular health.

Additionally, researchers conducted meta-analyzes to summarize the results of these clinical trials on the health benefits of different forms of intermittent fasting. These meta-analyzes have generally focused on the association betweenspecific intermittent fasting methods and health outcomes.

An umbrella magazine reviewed previous meta-analyzes examining the impact of various intermittent fasting regimens on metabolic and cardiovascular health. He focused on studying the health benefits of four intermittent fasting diets.

The study found that intermittent fasting is associated with weight loss and improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular health.

Researchers also found that certain intermittent fasting methods were more effective in losing weight.

Study co-author Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago, said Medical News Today, “This study is essentially a review of review articles. He demonstrates that the different forms of intermittent fasting – that is, alternate-day fasting, the 5: 2 diet, and time-limited eating – are all effective weight loss interventions for obese people.

“This review also shows that intermittent fasting may be an effective way to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides. The article also shows that these diets can help prevent type 2 diabetes by reducing insulin resistance and fasting insulin, ”added Dr. Varady.

The study appears in the journal JAMA network open.

Intermittent fasting involves fasting for durations long enough to deplete the body’s sugar stores, leading to the burning of fat to meet the body’s energy needs.

The body converts excess carbohydrates consumed during a meal into glucose and then stores them as glycogen in the liver in the presence of insulin. Insulin also promotes the storage of excess glucose as fat.

As insulin levels begin to drop between meals, glycogen in the liver is broken down to maintain blood glucose levels. Longer periods of fasting, such as those prescribed for intermittent fasting, cause depletion of glycogen stores in the liver. As a result, the body resorts to the breakdown of fat to maintain the normal functioning of the body and the brain.

Besides fat loss, intermittent fasting also promotes beneficial adaptive responses, such as increased insulin sensitivity and lower levels of inflammation.

Intermittent fasting schedules can vary widely. Commonly followed intermittent fasting diets include alternate-day fasting, the 5: 2 diet, and time-limited eating.

There are two forms of alternate-day fasting: the alternate-day calorie-free fast and the modified alternate-day fast.

Alternate-day calorie-free fasting involves fasting every other day, without calorie intake on those fasting days. On the other hand, modified fasting every other day allows a limited calorie intake on fasting days.

The 5: 2 diet involves fasting for 24 hours once or twice a week, while the time-limited diet involves fasting for at least 12 hours a day.

The present study reviewed 11 meta-analyzes summarizing the results of randomized clinical trials involving intermittent fasting. Specifically, these meta-analyzes included the results of 130 clinical trials examining the impact of the aforementioned four intermittent fasting regimens on metabolic and cardiovascular health.

The researchers also analyzed the impact of biases and inconsistencies on the results of these studies. As a result, they rated these results as low, moderate, or high quality.

Researchers found that intermittent fasting was associated with weight loss, lower body mass index (BMI), and improvements in blood sugar, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and blood sugar levels. cholesterol.

The modified alternate-fasting diet and the 5: 2 diet resulted in more than 5% weight loss in overweight or obese people. The calorie-free alternative fasting diet and the time-limited diet did not have the same effect.

The analysis also showed that most of these studies were likely of low quality.

However, researchers have found more reliable evidence to support seven associations between intermittent fasting and health outcomes.

This included high and medium quality data showing:

  • Modified alternate-day fasting was associated with greater decline in BMI or body weight in healthy, overweight, and obese adults than a normal diet.
  • Alternate-day calorie-free fasting and the 5: 2 diet were associated with greater reduction in body fat and fasting insulin levels, respectively, in overweight or obese adults than continued energy restriction .

The authors admitted that there were some limitations to their analyzes.

Randomized clinical trials included in the general review generally focused on healthy individuals or individuals with obesity and other metabolic disorders, such as diabetes. Additionally, most of these clinical trials have only evaluated the short-term safety of intermittent fasting.

The authors noted that the long-term safety of intermittent fasting remains to be investigated. The safety and effectiveness of intermittent fasting programs should also be tested on a more diverse group of individuals.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, a professor at the University of Utah, said MNT that there was a lack of evidence on the long-term efficacy and safety of fasting.

“There is still little evidence demonstrating clear and lasting clinical benefits and the safety of long-term intermittent fasting. Studies should also investigate the effects of intermittent fasting in a wider range of participants with a wider range of outcomes such as cancer, cardiovascular events, liver outcomes, diabetes remission, and gut microbiome.

– Dr Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk

“Studies directly comparing the types of [intermittent fasting] are lacking. Therefore, it is still not clear which type is better than the others, ”added Dr Chaiyakunapruk.

Likewise, Dr Varady said the next steps in research should focus on the effects of intermittent fasting in different populations.

“In particular, more studies are needed in people with type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and thyroid disorders. It is very interesting to see if intermittent fasting can be used as a non-pharmacological therapy to help these people manage their conditions, ”he said.

Dr. Benjamin Horne, cardiovascular and genetic epidemiologist at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, Utah, pointed out another limitation.

The paper did not examine what happens to people who stop their intermittent fasting regimen and whether weight loss can be sustained without continuing the regimen. It is a critical issue that plagues all weight loss diets, especially intense weight loss diets, ”he said. MNT.

Dr Horne also noted that the study suggests that intense intermittent fasting programs, such as the modified alternate-day fasting and the 5: 2 diet, produce the best results. However, these schedules can be difficult to maintain over long periods of time.

Dr Horne stressed that these intermittent fasting regimes can be unsustainable in the long term and said: “[f]Future studies should assess the ability of the average person to adhere to these plans.

While there are valid concerns about the safety of intermittent fasting, some concerns may be overstated.

“It is important to note that intermittent fasting has been shown to be a safe dietary therapy for weight loss. There are many concerns about intermittent fasting – for example, people are concerned that these diets will slow down metabolism and cause eating disorders. Evidence from recent clinical trials shows that intermittent fasting has no negative effect on metabolic rate and does not cause eating disorders in people who have no history of eating disorders “Said Dr Varady.

Kai Liu, a dietitian and doctoral student at the University of Adelaide, Australia, advised individuals to consult a physician before embarking on an intermittent fasting diet, especially if they have special nutritional needs.

“I believe that dietary interventions, including intermittent fasting, should take into account the nutritional needs of the target population,” she said.

“For example, [intermittent fasting] trials that recruited people with diabetes suggested close monitoring by healthcare professionals and active review and dose adjustment of hypoglycemic agents. As well, [older] people tend to have an increased need for certain micronutrients, such as calcium. Therefore, assessing people’s needs first is always crucial before giving dietary advice.

“[A]Always consult healthcare professionals first, ”Liu added.

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