A new study finds that intermittent fasting is as effective as counting calories for weight loss.
Scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago studied 77 adults with obesity across the region chicago Be from a black or Hispanic background.
In a study published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers assigned participants to one of three routines for six months.
Members of the first group practiced intermittent fasting, consuming all their calories between noon and 8 p.m. each day.
Those in the second group had the option to eat whatever they wanted, but participants had to log their calorie intake and cut back by 25 percent the total amount they usually ate in a day.
The third group was the control group — this group did not change their normal eating habits.
“They can just count hours instead of calories”
After six months, the researchers tested whether these changes helped them lose weight.
Over the six-month period, the intermittent fasting group extended the eating time up to 10 hours, while the calorie counting group consumed enough calories to meet their energy needs.
The results showed that both groups on the diet generally maintained their weight loss after the diet ended, and participants lost 5% of their body weight over the course of a year.
The researchers also found that by the end of the year, the intermittent fasting group ate an average of 425 fewer calories per day than the control group and lost about 4 kilograms (10 pounds) in weight.
The calorie-counting group consumed about 405 fewer calories per day than the control group and lost about 5 kilograms (12 pounds) in weight.
The results showed that restricting food intake to a specific time frame was as effective as counting calories for weight loss.
Instead of counting calories, people should “count time,” study author Christa Varady said, according to NBC News.
She added: “What we’re showing is that people don’t have to go on these complicated calorie-counting diets, people are always logging data into MyFitnessPal on their phone.
“They can just count time instead of counting calories.”
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However, another study conducted earlier this year showed that Intermittent Fasting May Cause Fertility Problems.
The scientists behind the study observed male and female zebrafish to see what happens when they are exposed to food during and after fasting.
The researchers studied how zebrafish maintain sperm and eggs, body production, and the quality of offspring.
They found that egg and sperm quality were somewhat negatively affected when the fish returned to normal levels of food consumption.
But the team of scientists said more research is needed to understand how long it takes for sperm and egg quality to return to normal after the fasting period.