Interval fasting or calorie counting: which is more effective for weight loss?

The modern way of life, with its speed and stress, often poses the problem of being overweight. The search for effective methods of losing weight is becoming relevant for many people. And if earlier the main method was calorie counting, now interval fasting is becoming more and more popular.

Interval fasting is a method that involves alternating periods of hunger and periods of eating. One of its varieties is time-limited eating, in which food can only be eaten at certain times of the day. This approach may be easier and more convenient for those who want to achieve a healthy weight.

But the question of whether interval fasting or calorie counting is more effective for weight loss remains open. A recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine seeks to answer this question.

In the study, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a one-year study involving 90 obese adults between the ages of 18 and 65. Participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups: a group with restricted meal times, a group with daily caloric restriction, and a control group.

The first six months of the study showed that both methods – interval fasting and calorie counting – were equally effective for weight loss. Participants in both groups lost about 5 percent of their original weight. The diets were then adjusted to help maintain this weight loss over the next six months.

The group with restricted meal times increased their meal window to ten hours, and the group with daily caloric restriction increased their caloric intake according to their needs. The control group maintained their normal eating habits.

The study also evaluated the effects of the two diets on body composition, waist circumference and health indicators. Both methods were found to similarly reduce waist circumference and fat mass. However, neither diet showed changes in health markers, such as glucose, insulin, or cholesterol levels.

However, it is worth noting that using an earlier, time-limited eating window (such as 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) may result in greater weight loss and better blood glucose regulation. This has been confirmed by other studies as well.

Thus, interval fasting and calorie counting can be equally effective for weight loss if done with professional counseling. Each person can choose for himself the most convenient and suitable method.

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