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Intermittent fasting or reducing calories: which is more effective?

Intermittent fasting or reducing calories: which is more effective?

Intermittent fasting is on everyone’s lips when it comes to getting rid of unwanted summer pounds. The method involves abstaining from eating for days or hours. The distances between meals differ depending on the form of intermittent fasting – for example, there is the two-day diet, in which only 650 calories are to be eaten on two consecutive days each week. Dinner-cancelling, i.e. not eating dinner two to three days a week, is also a form of intermittent fasting.

Comparison: intermittent fasting and calorie reduction

The long-term effectiveness and safety of intermittent fasting for weight loss has not yet been conclusively clarified. A current study, however, addressed the question of whether calories should also be reduced during intermittent fasting. So eat fewer calories on the days you eat. For the study, 139 people with obesity only ate between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. In one group, the calories were reduced in addition to intermittent fasting, in the other group there were no time restrictions, i.e. no intermittent fasting, only the calories were reduced.

All participants were instructed to follow a calorie-restricted diet for 12 months. Men received 1500 to 1800 kcal per day and women 1200 to 1500 kcal per day. After the year, the body mass index (BMI), body weight, body fat and metabolic parameters were measured.


The result: on average, the participants in the interval fasting group lost eight kilograms in one year. In the calorie restriction group it was 6.3 kilograms. However, the difference in lost kilos between the two groups was not statistically significant. This also applied to BMI, body fat, blood pressure and metabolic parameters.

According to the researchers, it was shown that intermittent fasting in combination with calorie reduction was not superior to pure calorie reduction without intermittent fasting. It is enough to reduce calories without sticking to the rules of intermittent fasting.

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