In an attempt to lose weight, people dive into many forms of diet plans to control their food intake. The foremost criterion of any diet plan is to consume low-calorie foods. Fewer intakes of calories is said to help shed fat faster. But, a new study makes a whole different claim. The recently conducted study discovered that rather than going deep into a low-calorie diet, alternate fasting and feasting system may be more beneficial. This system of alternate days of fasting and feasting is called alternate-day fasting (ADF). The finding of this study was published in the journal, ‘Cell Metabolism’. The process involves starving by fasting one day and eating to the heart’s fill the next day, and then repeating the pattern regularly.
For the purpose of the research, 60 healthy, non-obese adults were roped in. One half of the participants were asked to practice fasting on every alternate day for a month. In a 48-hour period, they only ate during a 12-hour period. The other half were made to eat normally without any limitations.
It was seen that volunteers in the ‘fast and feast group’ lost an average of 4.5 per cent of their body weight. The group eating normally went up an average of less than a half-pound. In just one trial, study participants following ADF diet, lost more than seven pounds.
Senior researcher of the study Professor Frank Madeo, from University of Graz, Austria said, “This is an easy regimen — no calculation of calories — and the compliance was very high. The reason might be due to evolutionary biology. Our physiology is familiar with periods of starvation followed by food excesses. It’s only in recent history that humans have had such an abundance of food that they need to restrict calories to maintain weight.”
Apart from weight loss, the participants also showed improvement in heart disease risk factors, such as lowering down of cholesterol levels.