Study finds that intermittent fasting is not effective for weight loss

It’s good that it works for you. But the key here really is as you noted - limiting calories and exercising.
In 2011, my wife and I both got on Weight Watchers and basically did just that, limited calories and exercised. For me it was a little easier because I stopped having two beers after work every day and limiting my alcohol to one drink at dinner and I gave up ice cream. Except on weekends. She really didn’t drink at all during the week anyhow. Those calories add up.
My problem with WW was (at the time, don’t know what they do now) was their strict adherence to BMI. I’m 5-9 and got down under 170 at one point (from 195) and they still considered me overweight, not taking into account my overall health, muscle weight, etc…
I’m in my mid 50’s and fluctuate between 175 and 180 now. But my BP is low, my resting HR is low, and my cholesterol is where is should be. Still watch what I eat/drink and exercise.

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And that’s a total misuse of BMI, which was developed to compare populations, not individuals. It’s like misuse of ‘median’ for average. Stand with one foot in boiling water, the other foot in freezing water, and on average you are comfortable. :wink:

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I guess I was doing something like that – 8 months ago I was 190 lbs., then about a month ago I was 172.5. Although today I’m 5 pounds more than that. But I went down a shirt size and can fit into my old jeans.

There are a lot of variables, though – no meat or dairy a lot (maybe most) of the time; I don’t buy a lunch, because I’m not at work anymore; I started doing calisthenics* (every other day) in February; for a while I was getting 12,000 steps (sometimes a lot more) walking every day. In the past month or two, I’ve gone back to eating breakfast, and I’m not going on very long walks as often as I was – hence the five pound increase, I guess. Also the boxes of Reese’s Puffs (that I ostensibly bought for the kids) sitting on the shelf are too great a temptation to ignore.

OTOH maybe the calisthenics led to an increase in muscle mass, and that’s where the 5 pounds came from. Yes, that’s got to be it – surely it’s due to an increase in muscle mass.

I can’t not snack, or else I get a case of the stupids but I should probably go back to the peanuts & almonds (more calories/fat than the cereal but presumably more filling).

*FYI / FWIW that Gorilla App that was on BoingBoing a few years ago is apparently finito. Someone on Reddit made an asskicker of an exercise app, but it’s at least 45 minutes to get through the workout and that’s with me skipping part of it. I’ve been doing 12-15 minutes on the days that I do exercise.

I read that study too. If that’s what you call “intermittent fasting,” then your definition is far too broad and a damned sight too self-indulgent.

This is the story for every single diet plan invented.

A lot of them work great for 5-10% of the population but don’t scale* so when done in a study of random, non-motivated people they fall flat.

*bonus unintended pun

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You can equivocate all you want about how it is more complex, and you are right; what your body decides to make use of and how much is a complex thing, but it isn’t that complex. If you eat fewer calories, you will probably lose weight, or at least gain it at a slower rate. You can throw a asterisk onto that statement if you want, but it’s generally true. Make the calorie number go down, and your love handle will probably notice.

While calories are not a perfect measure, they are a rough measure of what the average human digestive system will extract from a piece of food, energy wise. Some people will do it better or worse, or have their body treat some foods different from other people’s bodies treat them, but at the end of the day there is a limit to the amount of variation between two humans. So yeah, it’s “it’s more complex than that”, but just checking the calorie count and finding a good way to keep that number lower in a day will result in weight loss in most people.

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So a study found that one type - of many types - of intermittent fasting is not effective for weight loss. Though studies have found that other types (e.g. alternate day fasting) is effective for weight loss, moreso that the current favorite which is not effective in the long term. Good headline, though.

Well this is disappointing. I keep hearing more and more that intermittent fasting is so wonderful. That being said, every structured weight loss diet / program I have learned over the past 15 years has involved continual eating of smaller meals consisting of raw or mostly unprocessed cooked food (e.g. low carb) spaced about 2-3 hours apart from morning until evening, and drinking water. That is typically about six meals throughout the day. I guess I need to see how I could work intermittent fasting into my diet and see if it will help without adverse effects on nutrition and loss of muscle mass.

Rather, it’s an average measure, as the idea of “average” people is meaningless. New research I’m reading indicates there is a pretty substantial amount of variation between two humans, both in terms of calories extracted from food and also the impact on blood sugar and triglycerides, etc. What’s a “good” food for one person is “bad” for someone else. I was reading about a couple carefully controlled diet experiments - one carb reducing, the other fat reducing, where participants had, on average, equal weight loss. Except that on the individual level, some people lost a lot of weight and some people actually gained weight during the experiment. Gut flora and metabolism determine how the body responds to food - and both of those not only vary enormously but can also change. Identical twins can eat exactly the same food and have different outcomes. It’s well known that a reduction of calories consumed causes metabolic changes and a reduction in calories expended. Which means weight loss is far from a given (at certain points, reduced calories can cause weight gain). Starving yourself will eventually cause weight loss, but that’s not sustainable (nor is it all fat) - and returning to a sustainable diet will usually see not only a return of all the lost weight but more weight gain as the starvation caused permanent changes to the metabolism. Everything I’m reading suggests that the conventional wisdom about weight gain/loss is fundamentally flawed. The idea that people, as a general rule, can reduce their weight by cutting calories or increasing exercise doesn’t seem to be actually backed up by the evidence.

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I hear you. There’s way more factors than my short response captures. It works for me, when I’m mentally fit rather than anxious. YMMV. Hell, my mileage varies.

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I think if you stuff yourself for that 1/2 hour, a good portion of that is going to end up squirting out the other end without all the calories being extracted first.
So its really not just about controlling calories entering the body. It’s also about controlling the ability of the body to absorb of those calories, plus the ability of the body to burn them off again. Someone with a low metabolism may actually eat much less than another person, but their body makes an effort to store those calories rather free them up for burning off. I’m pretty sure I’ve read that even things like the ambient temperature can come into play (when the temperature is colder, the body burns more calories to keep the body temperature static)

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