There has been a spike in literature outlining the benefits of fasting diets over recent years. Studies have indicated that the inclusion of fasted bouts (periods of time where in which calories are restricted) lead to improved metabolism (insulin sensitivity),reduced risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and improve body composition, among other benefits (1).
A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois and published by JAMA Internal Medicine report, looked to further examine the effects of alternate-day fasting, compared with other forms of calorie restrictions and a control group, who would continue to eat without any intervention.
The study examined weight loss results from 100 obese individuals, split into three groups: an alternate-day fasting group (25% of caloric needs during fasting days and 125% on ‘feasting’ days); calorie restriction group (75% of caloric needs ongoing) and a final group who continued to eat based on their existing dieting rules.
The findings from the study, which lasted 1 year, indicated no significant benefits of an alternate-fasting diet (6% weight loss), in comparison to the calorie restriction diet (5.3%weight loss).
Min Wei et al Fasting-mimicking diet and markers/risk factors for aging, diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Science Translational Medicine, 2017; 9 (377)