Research study highlights flaws of intermittent fasting in weight loss

Intermittent fasting is presented as one of the fastest ways of reducing weight by many nutritionists. It involves fasting in between meals which offer enough time for the body to use the stored fat as a source of energy. But the study has found out that the timings of when you eat do not affect weight loss as expected with intermittent fasting. According to this new study, intermittent fasting, which involves time-bound eating habits, does not affect attaining the goal of longtime weight loss. Modern nutrition practices use intermittent fasting along with high-intensity interval training as some of the best ways of rapid weight loss. Throughout the past few years, the number of n nutritionists and people opting for intermittent fasting has increased significantly because of its heavy promotion over the internet and many research studies suggesting its advantage over the conventional ways of weight loss. But this new study has indeed questioned the long-term applications of intermittent fasting in reducing weight. 

This study was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. As a part of this study, the researchers monitored the times of eating and sleeping of around 547 people which included around 78% women and 22% men. Out of these 547 people, around 77% were Caucasians or of the white race. This data was collected from electronic health records spanning over ten years. Through this six-month long cohort study, the researchers concluded that there is no association between weight loss and intervals between meals. This means that intermittent fasting has a significantly low contribution to long-term weight loss. Dr. Wendy Bennett, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, was the principal investigator of this study. She said that intervals of eating and the timing of having meals after waking up showed very little to no correlation with weight loss. Instead of that, having smaller meals, which also represents having lower calories than what you are burning, is a better way of lowering your weight healthily. 

The idea of intermittent fasting was introduced based on the concept of ketosis. Ketosis is a process in which the body uses the stored fat as a way of obtaining energy instead of the conventional energy source, glucose. Ketosis produces ketones as a by-product using fats as an energy source. A person who is under ketosis can be identified through the analysis of their blood and urine as it contains ketones. A person enters into a state of ketosis when they are deficient in carbohydrates. This is because carbohydrates are the primary source of glucose which is an integral component of the energy production cycle that occurs as a part of metabolism. The human body stores all the extra calories in the form of fat in specific locations such as the stomach, chest, and other parts of the body. But ketosis forces our body to use that stored fat by inducing pseudo starvation, thus reducing the levels of stored fat and helping the person to lose weight. But as suggested by the new study, instead of relying on intermittent fasting and ketosis, a person should focus on lowering the size of their meals while performing more physical activities for healthy weight loss.