We’d like to share an article published by our nutrition partners, Isagenix, on the benefits of Intermittent Fasting (or IF) in helping to lose weight and, more importantly for many “lifelong” dieters, keep it off!
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Beyond Dieting – Intermittent Fasting
Every person is different from next, and the way in which our bodies adapt to weight loss will be different. However, the traditional recommendation of continuous energy restriction of about 600 calories per day (1) is not always the right solution for everyone. In fact, most people fail to keep weight off for at least a year after reaching their target weight (2).
In recent years, scientists have become more aware of the benefits of intermittent fasting, as performed on Isagenix Cleanse Days*, and that it can be an effective method for weight loss and weight management.
A recently published systematic review and meta-analysis reported that short-term periods of intermittent fasting on a weekly basis are just as effective for clinically meaningful weight loss (between 5-10% reduction in body weight) as compared to standard diet restriction (1).
Weight maintenance with intermittent fasting
In this analysis, only randomised controlled trials of 12 weeks or greater in overweight adults were included. The authors pooled together five studies and analysed multiple outcomes including weight loss and adherence. Together the intermittent fasting interventions achieved an impressive average weight loss of between 10-17kg.
While the energy intake and fasting periods in the five primary studies varied, the weight loss achieved was clinically meaningful.
The authors noted that moving beyond a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to weight management is a useful approach for maximising and maintaining weight loss. Giving people the option of varying how they approach weight loss can prolong weight loss by maximising dietary compliance and could help prevent weight loss plateaus and weight regain.
Intermittent fasting is also a useful tool to avoid regaining weight. Typical weight regain is thought to be related to something the body goes through called ‘adaptive thermogenesis’ as a result of reduced calorie intake and changes in appetite. But the research suggests that regain could be avoided through regular periods of fasting incorporated both into weight loss and weight maintenance programs.
Intermittent fasting with Isagenix
The Isagenix Weight Loss System incorporates intermittent fasting in the form of Cleanse Days*, and a long-term study carried out at Skidmore College, USA, found that this form of intermittent fasting helped to maintain weight loss (3).
The study was designed to include two phases: a 12-week ‘weight loss’ phase with the use of Isagenix products followed by a 52-week ‘weight maintenance’ phase where subjects split into two groups who either consumed Isagenix products within a system or a traditional heart-healthy diet. After the subjects lost an average of 10% of their total body weight, the subjects who continued to follow an Isagenix system maintained significantly lower body weight and body fat.
In addition, the participants who maintained their weight loss in the long term had incorporated intermittent fasting as one or two Cleanse Days* per month. These limited-food days help to reset appetite and offer a person the ability to stay on track with calorie-control goals over time.
* A Cleanse Day is a nutritionally supported fast that nourishes and energises your body’s own detoxification systems. For further Cleanse Day information, visit https://www.isagenix.com/en-gb
- Harris L, McGarty A, Hutchison L, Ells L, Hankey C. Short-term intermittent energy restriction interventions for weight management: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Obes Rev. 2017 Oct 4.
- Wing R and Phelan S. Long-term weight loss maintenance.Am J Clin Nutr 2005;82(suppl):222S-5S.
- Arciero PJ, Edmonds R, He F, Ward E, Gumpricht E, Mohr A, Ormsbee MJ, Astrup A. Protein-Pacing Caloric-Restriction Enhances Body Composition Similarly in Obese Men and Women during Weight Loss and Sustains Efficacy during Long-Term Weight Maintenance. Nutrients. 2016 Jul 30;8(8).