People think fasting alternate days would help in losing the weight. But is it true? Krista Varady, professor nutrition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Chicago along with the other researchers conducted a study which included 100 obese adults in the single-center trial from the year October 2011 to January 2015. Patients were allocated 1 of 3 groups for one year. It compared alternate-day fasting, daily calorie restriction or weight maintenance and indicators of cardiovascular disease risk.

After a period of one year, the results were analyzed where the weight loss in the alternate-day fasting group (6 percent) was not expressively different from the daily calorie restriction group (5.3 percent). This concluded that the people in the fasting group neither lose more weight nor had more health benefits in comparison with the normal weight-loss group.

Varady said, “This doesn’t’ mean that alternate-day fasting is a waste.” The previous studies led by Varady only followed the participants for two or three months. But, today’s study conducted on alternate-day fasting, following the participants for an entire part was a long-term and randomized study. Grant Tinsley, a Texas Tech University professor, who was not involved in the study said, “Some people might be disappointed if you’re pro-intermittent fasting, but it’s just exciting to have this type of high-quality data out there.”

He further added, “When it comes to the lack of other health benefits, this may happen because alternate day fasting is not exactly a true fasting diet.” Varady said, “The calories intake was more than prescribed on a fast day and also less than prescribed on the feast days than what we thought, whereas daily calorie restriction was pretty good at sticking to their calorie goals.” That means both the groups ended up eating a similar amount of diet. The authors also came across some drawbacks that included a short maintenance phase of six months.

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