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Time restricted eating no better than calorie counting in weight loss, a study finds

"There is limited data available on large heterogenic population for understanding long term benefits of intermittent fasting," said Varsha Gorey, senior clinical dietician and head of department, dietetics, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 28, 2022 6:41:55 pm
weight lossHere's what the study found about calorie restricted diet as opposed to time restricted diet. (Photo: Getty/Thinkstock)

Time restricted fasting, or intermediate fasting, where people only eat during a short and restricted time span during the day, has long been practiced as one of the most effective ways to weight loss and also to maintain it. However, a recent study conducted in China seems to challenge that.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 139 overweight to significantly obese adults in Guangzhou who were split into two study groups for a year.

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While one group limited their daily food intake to 1,500 to 1,800 calories a day for men, and 1,200 to 1,500 calories a day for women, people in the other group were told to eat the same amount of calories, but only between of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. They were also asked to keep food diaries and keep photographic record of everything they ate, in order to track their diet compliance.

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The study found that at the end of the year, both groups had lost 6.4 to 8.2 kilograms, also noting that the group that ate a time-restricted schedule didn’t experience any significant difference in weight loss from the ones who were on a calorie-restricted diet. No difference was noted in other markers of weight loss as well, like BMI (body mass index), waist circumference, body fat or metabolic risk factors such as insulin resistance and blood pressure.

Enormous data have proven that reducing the calories is key component in losing and maintaining weight,” says Varsha Gorey, senior clinical dietician and head of department, dietetics, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai. On the other hand, “few research has proven intermittent fasting aids in weight loss and to control metabolic and hormonal health issues such as PCOD, Type 2 diabetes. There is limited data available on large heterogenic population for understanding long term benefits of intermittent fasting.”  

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📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.

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