When it comes to intermittent fasting (maybe you know it as the ‘5:2 Diet‘) it can be seriously confusing. How do you keep up with the research that comes out every other month? And that’s just the research on fasting. Forget trying to keep up-to-date on diet research generally. This week yet another study has surfaced on the topic.
INTERMITTENT FASTING MAKES RODENTS HUNGRIER, APPARENTLY
The latest study suggests that intermittent fasting (or at least skipping some meals) leads to an increase in weight gain and even increased risk of diabetes. At least in rats…
According to a summary of this study and some other recent research compiled by www.shape.com:
“rodents forced to eat a restricted diet for five days (compared to mice allowed to eat steadily throughout the day) ended up gorging and gaining weight—especially around their mousey midsections. The calorie-restricted mice also showed unhealthy blood-sugar responses.”
Martha Belury, Ph.D. is a co-author of the new study and an energy metabolism researcher at Ohio State University. She says her study found that skipping meals results in more difficultly controlling weight. This is apparently because if you skip one meal, you’re likely to compensate by gorging at your next one.
- Intermittent Fasting: The 5:2 Diet, Weight Loss Secret Or Starvation?
- Intuitive Eating – The Anti-Diet Weight Loss Approach Considered
BUT WAIT, ANOTHER STUDY SAYS MICE ACTUALLY LOSE WEIGHT
Of course, there’s another study that seems to contradict Dr Belury. Research conducted last year found mice lost about 12% of their body weight if they fasted for 15 hours a day. This is instead of eating consistently. The study also found other benefits to eating less often, including less inflammation and lower risk of diabetes.
These findings seem to mirror even more research that found:
“The most common eating pattern in modern societies, three meals plus snacks every day, is abnormal from an evolutionary perspective. Emerging findings from studies of animal models and human subjects suggest that intermittent energy restriction periods of as little as 16 h can improve health indicators and counteract disease processes”
THEN AGAIN, MAYBE IT DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU EAT
I don’t think it takes a team of scientists to help you understand that if you skip meals for a few days and then make up for it by binging on junk food you’re going to end up struggling with weight gain. Self control is a huge issue for a lot of overweight people. This applies equally to eating too much and eating too much of the wrong things.
What seems to be clear from all the research is that moderation is usually the best option. Food scientists will always want to find the answers to the best combinations of food and the best time to eat them. It’s up to you to work out what works best for your metabolism. You also need to discover how you can best manage your appetite throughout the day and over time.
According to Dr Belury’s study:
“In general, people who eat regularly are more likely to keep weight off than people who skip meals.”
This would seem to be sensible regardless of whether you’re a rodent or not.
This article was inspired by: