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A new study found that intermittent fasting, a diet method that involves eating only during certain hours of the day, does not have a significant impact on weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is currently one of the most popular dieting methods in the US. Many people who follow this diet usually skip breakfast and only take meals for an 8-hour period, often between noon and 8 p.m.
While previous data showed that intermittent fasting could lead to weight loss, most studies were only done on animals. This prompted researchers from the University of California San Francisco to investigate if the diet is really effective for humans.
In the study, the researchers gathered 116 overweight or obese participants and split them into two groups. Participants in the first group were instructed to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, while those in the second group were instructed to eat only between noon and 8 p.m. Both groups could eat to their hearts’ content, and exercising was optional.
After three months, the researchers found that there was no significant difference in the amount of weight lost by the two groups. However, results showed that the fasting group had lost more muscle compared to the other group. The researchers found this result concerning because losing muscle may have adverse effects on people’s health.
Some dietary experts find the study’s results questionable. According to them, the study was too short to see significant weight loss among the participants. They also pointed out that intermittent fasting should be complemented by other diets to be effective.