There's no doubt that fasting, over the years, has become a popular diet regime among people who are looking to shed some extra kilos. Also called time-restricted feeding, this diet allows people to eat food within a limited period and fast for the rest of the day. But how long should you fast or continue the diet to lose weight? A new study, by a team of researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago, has identified two daily fasting diets that may have a positive effect on body weight.
The study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, executed a clinical trial that compared a 4-hour time-restricted feeding diet (between 1 pm and 5 pm) and a 6-hour time-restricted feeding diet (between 1 pm and 7 pm) on two sets of participants. The participants were allowed to eat whatever they wanted in that restricted time; however, they had to drink only water or calorie-free beverages during the hours of fasting.
"This is the first human clinical trial to compare the effects of two popular forms of time-restricted feeding on body weight and cardiometabolic risk factors," said Krista Varady, professor of nutrition at the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences and corresponding author of the story. For the uninitiated, cardiometabolic risk is defined as the chance of damaging the heart and blood vessels due to several risk factors, including obesity, bad cholesterol, and more.
After 10-week research, it was found that participants of both the groups reduced calorie intake and lost about 3 percent of their body weight simply by adhering to the schedule. The study also found that these time-restricted diets did not affect blood pressure, cholesterol, or triglycerides.
"The findings of this study are promising and reinforce what we've seen in other studies -- fasting diets are a viable option for people who want to lose weight, especially for people who do not want to count calories or find other diets to be fatiguing," Varady said.