One of the most buzzing diet trends of the past few years has been debunked.
A new study has found that intermittent fasting (a celebrity diet with a limit of 8 hours during the day) will not help people lose weight, and may even cause loss of muscle mass.
Research conducted by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) found that people who intermittently fasted for 12 weeks lost only half a pound of weight compared to people on a normal diet. Previous research on diet promised a range of benefits from weight loss to longevity. However, many studies have only studied mice.
This new discovery was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Internal Medicine) after a clinical trial and shocked the researchers-one of them even went on a diet for seven years.
The first author, Dr. Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), told CNBC: “I hope to prove what I have been doing for many years.”
It has subverted years of hype, especially among the Silicon Valley biohackers who tout fasting as a way to stay healthy, increase productivity, and live longer. Twitter’s most loyal devotee is Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. However, even ordinary Joes will combine it with a healthier lifestyle to lose weight. Last year, a version of it was the most searched diet trend this year.
However, according to this study, 116 overweight or obese participants participated in the study, but in fact, no one lost a statistically significant weight on diet alone. It also has little effect on blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
In fact, it even produced some adverse effects. The study found that some participants in the diet actually experienced a loss of lean muscle.
Previous studies claiming that intermittent fasting is beneficial for weight loss have provided a warning that any resulting fat loss may be related to calorie restriction, because reduced meal times in a day usually means less chance of overindulgence.