Although the human evidence pool on fasting is less abundant and lower quality, we do have some very compelling data connecting fasting with weight loss, lean muscle preservation and physiological health outcomes such as:
- Weight loss; predominantly abdominal/central body fat
- Increases in lean body mass
- Decreases in Triglyceride (TG), LDL levels, blood glucose, insulin and CRP (inflammatory) markers in the body.
This study came to conclude that subjects undergoing 1 meal per day, consisting of all their daily recommended calories rather than multiple meals, lost weight and exhibited improved cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk profiles. It also decreased plasma insulin levels in subjects suggesting improved insulin sensitivity. This could suggest that InFa can result in health benefits including improved blood sugar regulation, but only if there is an overall reduction in energy intake.
- 19 healthy subjects of multiple ethnicities were subjected to a FMD for 5 consequative days/month. On the fasting days they consumed 34–54% of the normal caloric intake. By the end of the study, there was significant reduction in fat mass in subjects, predominately around the abdominal region.
What is very interesting about this study is that the subject’s weight loss was predominately abdominal fat. Abdominal fat/circumference is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, higher mortality rates and other heart diseases.
- 34 Resistance trained males under went 8 weeks of time restricted feeding (16 hours fasted, 8 hour feeding protocol). This study was very compelling because much of the demographic that follows InFa are avid gym goers. This study is also very interesting because it highlights what occurs when food intake timing is altered and NOT caloric value. This balance was created by matching the two groups macro-nutrient (fats, proteins, and carbs) distribution. Although both groups maintained an equal muscle mass, the InFa group experienced a decrease in more fat mass compared to the other group.
Read Part 4 of Tyler’s post tomorrow concluding his awesome work on Intermittent Fasting!