Remember this, this, and this post where I said that intermittent fasting is not magic? That it’s no better than normal dieting aka daily calorie restriction for both fat loss and health outcomes?

I feel that some people are still not convinced because I got comments like ‘Nah, I don’t believe you, I can swear I saw a unicorn during my fasting window who burned 3 pounds of fat off my ass in a matter of 3 seconds’ and ‘Jason Fung is my hero and you should read his book about intermittent fasting.’

But here is the deal — I was right. Regardless of fasting duration, all fasting protocols produce the same but not superior fat loss results and health outcomes compared to daily energy restriction.

I have spoken about this ad nauseam and the largest systematic review to date on intermittent fasting versus daily caloric restriction once again found that IF bares no magic:

A total of 27 different randomized controlled trials on humans were reviewed / The researchers analyzed both short- (<6 months) and long-term (≥6 months) effects of intermittent energy restriction on anthropometric, cardiometabolic, inflammatory, and appetite outcomes in adults with overweight/obesity / “No significant long-term between group differences were observed in fat mass <...> Compared to continuous energy restriction, intermittent energy restriction showed no significant long-term differences in anthropometric, cardiometabolic, inflammatory, or appetite outcomes in included studies.”

I’m not dissing IF. I’m just saying that if you do it, do it because it’s something you can adhere to long-term rather than because of some unfounded magic weight loss properties. Even if you implement IF but are still eating too many calories, you will not lose weight.

If you prefer IF as a tool to control your calorie intake, great, enjoy it. There is nothing wrong with IF as it does not tell you what you can and cannot eat — food choices are left up to your personal preference.

Ok, let’s move the fuck on to the quote by the nutrition researcher Alan Aragon who reviewed this study too:

Of course, those who believe in the supposed “magic” of intermittent might be sad about these findings. However, this is actually a win for evidence-based proponents who don’t run cookie-cutter programs, and recognize the need to maximize adherence & individualize the approach to personal preference. Intermittent fasting is a viable option (and it’s good to have options); it’s just not *superior* to conventional linear dieting.

And here is my quote that you can copy-paste to the comment section the next time you stumble upon the indescribably boring article about how IF can tear up the laws of thermodynamics and make you live longer:

You do you. But don’t write 50,000-word articles about the pseudoscientific benefits of IF. Misinformation is damaging. People are already petrified to eat anything now because they think anything they are going to eat — carbs, fat, protein — is going to make them gain fat or kill them. So let’s at least leave the meal timing option up to the personal preference. Personal preference > intermittent fasting, keto, carnivore, low-carb, paleo, vegan, etc.

You’re welcome.


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Originally published by me on Medium on June 5, 2022

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Love your articles… keep them coming!

  2. Thank you for reading, Denise!

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