Intermittent fasting has growing in popularity in recent years as an alternative to more tedious calorie counting and other diets. Now, there’s good news for adherents thanks to a series of studies conducted by Krista Varady, professor of kinesiology and Nutrition at University of Illinois Chicago.
Varady’s studies on the topic have found that intermittent fasting is both safe and effective for losing weight, and even stacks up against calorie-counting alternatives without the strict tabulation requirements.
A study published in Cell Metabolism found that a six-hour window of time-restricted feeding is effective for losing weight, with participants managing to cut about 550 calories out of their diet and lose 3 percent of their body weight after 10 weeks. They also displayed reduced insulin resistance and oxidative stress levels compared to control groups.
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Another study published in Annals of Internal Medicine found that time-restricted eating regimens like intermittent fasting were just as effective as calorie-counting diets. Over the course of 12 months, participants who were asked to restrict eating to between noon and 8 p.m. lost the same amount of weight as those who were asked to reduce their calorie consumption by 25 percent.
Varady’s also worked on research that shows intermittent fasting can help individuals with obesity, those suffering from weight-related hormonal problems, and those afflicted with fatty liver disease.
Overall, Varady’s studies have found that people lose between three and eight percent of their baseline weight, depending on what type of intermittent fasting diet they adhere to.
With these results, it’s no surprise some of the fittest celebrities, like Mark Wahlberg, turn to intermittent fasting to stay in shape.