Cleanses and fasts are all the rage right now when it comes to dieting and losing weight, but do they truly run any better than counting calories?
One weight loss method, called alternate-day fasting, involves ingesting significantly fewer calories one day, then subsequently having a “feast” day and ingesting more calories than usual. While small studies on rats and human subjects have suggested that restricting calorie intake in such a way was likely to be good for you, a recent randomized clinical trial found that not only is it not more effective than simply cutting calories, but it’s harder to stick to as well.
In one of the longest and largest trials of alternate-day fasting, researchers learnt 100 obese adults for over three years.
The participants were randomly split into different groups and made three different diets: no restrictions on meat uptake, reducing calorie intake every day by 25 percent, and alternate-day fasting, which involved ingesting 25 percent of calorie necessity on fast days, then 125 percent on the “feast” days.
After a year, those participating in alternate-day fasting lost six percent of their body weight on average, while the daily calorie restriction group lost about 5.3 percent. Blood pressure and heart rate changes were not significantly different in the two groups either.
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