HealthDay News — Intermittent fasting with restricted energy intake may provide better outcomes than daily continuous diet restriction for health and weight loss in obese women, according to a study published in the January issue of Obesity.

Amy T. Hutchison, PhD, from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and colleagues randomly assigned 88 women with overweight (mean body mass index, 32.3) to 1 of 4 diets: intermittent fasting with continuous energy intakes at 70% or 100% (IF70 or IF100), dietary restriction with energy intake at 70% (DR70), or control in a 2-to-2-to-2-to-1 ratio for 8 weeks. On 3 nonconsecutive days per week, IF groups fasted for 24 hours after breakfast. All food was provided. 

The researchers found that the IF70 group experienced greater reductions in weight, fat mass, total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and nonesterified fatty acids versus the DR70 and IF100 groups. Compared with controls, those in the IF100 group lost more weight and fat, but fasting insulin was increased. There were no group differences in insulin sensitivity by hyperinsulinemic‐euglycemic clamp, but a 24-hour fast transiently reduced insulin sensitivity. 

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“While the study confirms that intermittent fasting is more effective than continuous diet restriction, the underlying signal for limiting people’s appetite, which could hold the key to triggering effective weight loss, requires further research,” a coauthor said in a statement.

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