Another week, another wellness theory debunked. This time it’s a time-limited diet.
New research has cast doubt on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
The one where you sniff a donut at full speed because if no one saw you then it didn’t happen?
No. The huge dietary trend. Jennifer Aniston’s no-breakfast diet. Chris Hemsworth’s 16 hour daily fast. No meal before noon for Chris Pratt of guardians of the galaxy. It is also called intermittent fasting.
I tried this. After eight o’clock I was so hungry the whole office is still calling it The Fast and the Furious.
Looks like you didn’t need to bother. New research has cast doubt on the benefits of intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting people condense their food intake into a window of six to 10 hours each day. This cycle of eating and fasting is believed to mirror the way our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate, hunting food at the start of the day and then eating it later.
Intermittent fasting people often extend their natural overnight fast by skipping breakfast. The popular model is 16:8 – fast for sixteen hours, feed for eight hours.
Aside from a catastrophic emotional breakdown at 11 a.m., what does that bring?
Proponents believe that when you fast for long periods of time, your body begins to burn stored fat instead of feeding on glucose from whatever you just ate.
It apparently improves your metabolic health, promotes weight loss and protects against type 2 diabetes by reducing your risk of insulin resistance – which can happen when your body gets too used to running on glucose.
But it’s too good to be true, right?
Perhaps. The new study, led by researchers from Southern Medical University in China, compared intermittent fasters with people who followed the same low-calorie diet but ate all day.
After a year, both groups had lost just over six pounds, and there was no significant difference between them in terms of other health outcomes. Conclusion: consuming less has the same effect, every time you do it during the day.
Bomb! Is this the last curtain for fasting?
I very much doubt it. Previous studies have strongly indicated that intermittent fasting has benefits, and its notable proponents, including famed physician and Fast 800 founder Dr. Michael Mosley, are unconvinced by the new data. Watch this space and expect some fierce debate.
Oh. As you say: the fast and the furious.