Those who want to avoid the dangers of being overweight are resorting to many measures in diet management. Intermittent fasting, for one, has caught up in popularity with many celebrities joining the bandwagon.
Now, the program is pitted against the merits of daily diet control that mainly exercises calorie restriction. However, the question remains which one gives better results in weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is no better than calorie-controlled daily diet in managing weight loss and body weight, according to a new study. However, enthusiasts vouch that the fasting results are awesome.
Intermittent Fasting Is Practical And Adaptable
Despite a plethora of dietary methods, the fact that the fasting method is surging shows it is no fad, according to Baby2Body.com founder Melinda Nicci, who also has been practicing this mode of fasting for quite some time.
Nicci argues that intermittent fasting offers an eating pattern that easily merges with a person's lifestyle in a most practical manner.
Fasting enthusiasts also point to celebrities such as Beyoncé and Benedict Cumberbatch who are into intermittent fasting to reinforce their case.
The advocates of intermittent fasting say that it is not an eating pattern that alternates between fasting and eating. It is also not a program that allows a choice between what to eat or eliminate from consumption. They say fasting gives the body the much needed time to reset its systems.
The proponents also point to the flexibility with which intermittent fasting can be observed under various time spans depending on a person's convenience.
One common style in intermittent fasting is to fast for 16 hours while keeping an 8-hour window for eating. The second option is to go for 24 hours of fasting twice a week and eat regularly on the other five days.
Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting
Enthusiasts swear that intermittent fasting has many benefits, including biological impacts. It allows the body to remove waste from cells in a process called autophagy and promotes better healing and faster recovery.
The blood levels of human growth hormone also go up during fasting and it enables better fat-burning and muscle growth.
The insulin levels also get a leg up from fasting, as its feedback mechanism undergoes an autoregulation. Intermittent fasting also reduces oxidative stress, which leads to signs of aging.
Fasting Not Advisable For Pregnant Women
However, intermittent fasting is not advisable for pregnant women or lactating mothers. This eating style will not help in meeting the nutritional and energy needs of the mother or baby.
Fasting is also not good for those trying to conceive, especially if they had eating disorders or problems with stress, anxiety, and sleeping disorders such as insomnia.
Intermittent Fasting Is Not So Superior
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine said that intermittent fasting, however, is not superior to the intake of controlled diet.
Led by Eric Ravussin of Louisiana State University, the research looked at the relative efficacy of intermittent fasting vis a vis traditional diet control.
"Alternate-day fasting has been promoted as a potentially superior alternative to daily calorie restriction under the assumption that it is easier to restrict calories every other day. However, our data from food records, doubly labeled water, and regular weigh-ins indicate that this assumption is not the case," the researchers said.
The problem with the said fasting is that despite reducing calorie intake, it also allows those who practice it to go scot-free on non-fasting days without any control in calorie intake.