Fasting 2 days a week can help obese people keep off the weight: Study
A type of intermittent fasting that involves two days of heavily calorie restriction and five days of sensible eating helps obese people keep off the weight, a new British study shows.
The study, led by Queen Mary University of London and published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE, asked 300 obese adults to follow the 5:2 diet plan.
The 5:2 diet is a type of intermittent fasting where a person eats normally for five days a week and consumes only 500-600 calories on the other two.
The participants either followed the 5:2 regimen or a more conventional approach to losing weight that stressed eating more vegetables and whole-grain foods, cutting out foods high in sugar and fat, eating smaller portions and exercise.
At six months, those using the 5:2 diet had lost, on average, 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) compared to 1.7 kilograms (3.7 pounds) on the standard diet advice. At 12 months, those figures were 1.9 kilograms (4.2 pounds) and 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds), respectively.
Some 18% of 5:2 dieters had lost at least 5% of their body weight after one year compared to 15% using the conventional approach.
Numerous studies have shown that alternating between fasting and eating can improve cellular health.
Intermittent fasting can reduce blood pressure, aid in weight loss, and improve longevity, a review of past animal and human studies published in The New England Journal of Medicine suggests.