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Counting calories beats fasting diets for weight loss

Two American nutrition experts not involved in the study agreed with the results.

“When it comes to losing weight, a modest reduction in calories is what matters, no matter how you achieve it,” said Lona Sandon, professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Southwestern Medical Center. Texas to Dallas. “In other words, reduce portion sizes by about 25% and limit overeating. Getting caught up in complicated eating rules and diets may not be worth it.”

Researchers found that people on a fasting program tended to be less active than before starting a diet, which may be a factor preventing them from losing weight.

“People seemed to drop their activity levels a bit, which is definitely something to be aware of when dieting,” Betts said. If you are using intermittent fasting, try to consciously incorporate opportunities to be physically active into your lifestyle. “

In fact, part of the weight loss in the fasting groups came from losing muscle mass rather than burning fat, according to the study results.

Given these results, maintaining your physical activity and burning calories seems to be an important aspect of any weight management plan, said Connie Diekman, a registered dietitian in St. Louis and past president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

“Physical activity should remain a part of the daily routine, even on an empty stomach, and it is difficult for some people,” said Diekman.

People who are hypoglycemic (severe hypoglycemia), pregnant, or with chronic health conditions should speak with their doctor and a dietitian before embarking on an intermittent fasting regimen, said Diekman.

“Intermittent fasting is not the easiest routine to adopt,” she said. “As a population, we are used to eating when we feel the need. Sometimes that need is not hunger, but we always have the urge.

“Shifting to meal and snack spacing requires discipline, monitoring of diet, adjustment of diet to home, work and social environments, and assessment to ensure nutrient needs are met. “, concluded Diekman.

More information

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on healthy weight loss.

SOURCES: James Betts, PhD, professor, metabolic physiology, University of Bath Center for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism, UK; Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, professor, clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas; Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, Registered Dietitian, St. Louis, and Past President, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; Science Translational Medicine, June 16, 2021