A new study has shown just how effective intermittent fasting can be. Half of the participants had lost up to six kilograms after four weeks thanks to intermittent fasting. (Image: Light Impression / stock.adobe.com)
Intermittent fasting works
Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways to lose weight for many people. A German study is now showing the effectiveness of this form of fasting: half of the participants lost up to six kilograms after four weeks.
Intermittent fasting is now widely touted as the best way to lose weight. But recently, a study conducted by researchers in the United States was published, concluding that intermittent fasting is not suitable for weight loss after all. However, a German scientific study comes to a completely different result: short-term fasting leads to a significant decrease in body weight and waist circumference.
Proven health effect
Intermittent fasting refers to different types of fasting, from hourly fasting in the day to daily fasting in the week. All of these variants have in common a proven beneficial effect on health, from weight loss and metabolic change to so-called autophagy, an intracellular self-cleaning process, for the full description of which the Japanese Yoshinori Ohsumi received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2016, it is said in a current communication from the Technical University (TU) of Berlin.
Students in the TU BANA Visiting Student Program (Berlin Model: Training for Post-Work Activities) now wanted to know if eating breaks of at least 16 hours a day actually lead to weight loss – and conducted a scientific pilot study under real conditions. They found that half of the participants lost up to six pounds after four weeks. The results were recently published in the journal “Nutrition & Medicine”.
Successfully lose weight without cost
“The 16: 8 method is currently very popular with young adults,” says Dr. Franz-Werner Dippel, one of the study’s authors. “We wanted to see if intermittent fasting is also suitable for the elderly, which has not yet been studied.” A pragmatic approach to fasting was very important to the research team, as it is crucial for the long-term success of a fasting diet or intervention Low-threshold possibility of integrating fasting into daily life, explains Dippel.
“It shouldn’t incur costs, involve any special effort, or involve invasive measures, and it should be easy to integrate into your daily routine. We also refrained from recording the energy content and composition of food as well as documenting exercise behavior. During the study, parameters such as blood pressure, pulse or urine composition were also recorded.
Successful nutrition intervention
A total of 74 test subjects (54 women, 20 men) with an average age of 64.3 years, normal and overweight, participated in the study. Fasting diaries showed that 97% of all study days achieved fasts longer than 14 hours. The differences in weight were ultimately between minus six and plus one kilogram. According to the guidelines of the German Obesity Society, a weight reduction of one to two kilograms per month is considered harmless to health and is also important from a medical point of view.
“The result of the study thus meets the general requirements for a successful nutritional intervention and can therefore be considered as good weight loss for the age group examined”, says Franz-Werner Dippel, himself a holder of a doctorate in medical biology and having worked in industry and clinical research. In the last of BANA’s regular four semesters, he and the eight-person team of nutritional study authors addressed the topic of ‘inflammation’ and examined the influence of various factors on inflammatory processes, such as as sleep, stress, exercise, diet and fasting. (a d)
Author and source information
This text complies with the requirements of specialized medical literature, medical directives and ongoing studies and has been verified by healthcare professionals.
Technical University of Berlin: Interval fasting is also effective in old age, (Access: October 11, 2020), Technical University of Berlin Christel Kampet, Simone Günzel, Gabriele Hanstein, Karoline Dimroth, Fleur Daase, Gabriele Schaepers-Feese, Werner Hopfenmüller , Franz-Werner Dippel: Interval fasting leads in the “45 and over” age group to decreased body weight and waist circumference; in: Nutrition & Medicine, (published: 07.10.2020), Nutrition & Medicine
This article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. It cannot replace a visit to the doctor.