Monday, November 21, 2016

Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Type 2 Diabetes

Diet, exercise, and lifestyle modification are the typically preferred approaches to weight loss and weight management. However, employing these methods frequently fails to achieve long-term weight loss. So, experts are looking at a number on different weight loss approaches. Of course the weight loss and weight management investigations include diet. And one type of diet receiving attention is intermittent fasting (IF). In intermittent fasting, a person follows a very low calorie or zero calorie diet on some days of the week, and a non-restricted calorie diet on the other days of the week. And as might be expected, there are questions about the effectiveness of IF as a weight loss treatment, and about IF as a treatment for type 2 diabetes.

One popular version of IF is presented in the book, "The FastDiet." In this book, author, Michael Moseley, suggests that a man, desiring weight loss, should restrict his diet to 600 calories a day for two non-consecutive days. Moseley suggests that a woman, following his IF approach, should restrict her calories to 500 calories a day for two non-consecutive days. The man or woman should eat normally for the remaining five days of the week. This form of IF appears to be effective for some people. For example, reviews of Moseley's book on indicate that many followers of the diet do lose weight.

Another version of IF is alternate day fasting (ADF). In this form of IF, a person goes on a very low calorie diet on alternate days of the week, while following a normal diet on the other days. This form of IF can enable a person to lose weight. Indeed, one study indicates that ADF can help a person to not only lose weight, but the dieting approach can be effective in treating type 2 diabetes.
In one study examining ADF, where individuals restricted their calorie intake to 75% of their normal calorie intake, ADF was found to be as effective as continuous calorie restrictive dieting for "weight loss and type 2 diabetes risk reduction in overweight and obese populations."

Still, in a recent meta analysis, the investigators suggested that "IF ... represents a valid -- albeit apparently not superior ... option to continuous energy restriction for weight loss." But, at any rate, the above mentioned book and studies show that in some cases, IF might be beneficial in some cases.
More research is of course needed. But weight loss providers should monitor research on IF. And for specific patients, application of the IF approach might be feasible.


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