Daily fasting really works in reducing weight and lowering blood pressure, according to a new study.
The study was published by researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago, in the journal Nutrition and Healthy Aging. This study is the first of its kind, where it examines time-restricted eating and the effects it has on obese individuals.
Eating Anything Between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Researchers worked with 23 obese individuals who volunteered to take this diet. The average age of the subjects is 45, with an average body mass index (BMI) of 35.
The volunteers were allowed to eat anything and as much food as they wanted, but only between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. After 6 p.m., they could only drink water or consume beverages with no calories. They had to fast for 16 hours. Participants continued the diet for 12 weeks.
Looking at a matched historical control group from a previous trial of weight loss and a different type of fasting, researchers found that the volunteers in this trial consumed fewer calories, lost weight and their blood pressure improved.
Krista Varady, one of the authors of the study and associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences said about their study the following:
“The take-home message from this study is that there are options for weight loss that do not include calorie counting or eliminating certain foods. The results we saw in this study are similar to the results we’ve seen in other studies on alternate day fasting, another type of diet.”
The average results were: subjects consumed 350 fewer calories, lost 3% of body weight, and the systolic blood pressure decreased by almost 7 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). The other measures that looked at fat mass, insulin resistance or cholesterol, were the same as the ones in the control group.
The 16:8 Diet – Easier to Follow
Varady explains why this kind of fasting could be easier to follow by people that want to lose weight: “one of the benefits of the 16:8 diet may be that it is easier for people to maintain. We observed that fewer participants dropped out of this study when compared to studies on other fasting diets.”
She concludes that “when it comes to weight loss, people need to find what works for them because even small amounts of success can lead to improvements in metabolic health.”
The study’s co-authors are Cynthia Kroeger, Jeehee Song, John Trepanowski, Kelsey Gabel, Kristin Hoddy, and Nicole Haggerty (UIC), and Satchidananda Panda (Salk Institute for Biological Studies).
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Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.