Sunday, March 3, 2024

Can intermittent fasting really help with weight loss?

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Intermittent fasting is an increasingly popular method for attempting weight loss by abstaining from meals as per a recent research.

The research suggests that diet restriction alone may not be sufficient to reduce body fat. Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark and Wageningen University in the Netherlands have compiled current knowledge on intermittent fasting.

Considerable data collected over the years covers various aspects of how intermittent fasting impacts the body. A key finding is that weight loss through intermittent fasting requires a combination with calorie intake management, emphasising the importance of reducing overall calorie consumption rather than solely relying on extended meal breaks.

Molecular biologist Philip Ruppert from the University of Southern Denmark emphasises, “When you do intermittent fasting, the fundamental rule still applies that we should consume fewer calories than we burn if we want to lose weight. This means that intermittent fasting does not provide a free pass for consuming unlimited quantities of food. It’s basic physiology, and fasting can’t alter that.”

The review delves into the molecular-level effects of intermittent fasting, such as the release of fatty acids for energy and ketogenesis, where the liver produces ketones due to accelerated fatty acid breakdown.

The paper also explores the phenomenon of euphoria experienced by some individuals after several days of fasting, suggesting a potential link to altered chemical processes in the body and the brain.

While scientists remain uncertain about the cause, one hypothesis is that ketones efficiently supply energy to the brain, promoting a more content mental state.

Various approaches to intermittent fasting exist, including time-restricted eating and fasting on specific days. Noteworthy public figures have endorsed these diets.

The research team highlights additional health benefits beyond weight loss, such as lower blood pressure. However, individual responses to fasting vary, and consulting with a doctor before reducing food intake is crucial.

“There are indeed many health benefits to intermittent fasting, but fasting itself does not lead to significant weight loss,” concludes Ruppert.

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