May 20, 2024

Does Intermittent Fasting Actually Work? Study Finds Meal Frequency Matters More Than Timing

Intermittent fasting is a diet plan pattern where people alternate between durations of eating and fasting. It has actually gotten appeal recently as a weight reduction technique, with advocates declaring it can help enhance metabolic process and lower inflammation.
A recent six-year study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found no association in between the timing of the very first meal to the last and weight loss.
New research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association exposes that the frequency and part size of meals had a greater effect on weight reduction or gain than the time frame between the very first and last meal.
According to senior study author Dr. Wendy L. Bennett from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, in spite of the popularity of periodic fasting, there is yet to be a study that identifies if restricting the total eating window assists manage weight.

This study assessed the association in between time from the first meal to last meal with weight change. Almost 550 adults (18 years old or older) from three health systems in Maryland and Pennsylvania with electronic health records were enrolled in the research study. Individuals had at least one weight and height measurement signed up in the two years prior to the studys registration duration (Feb.-July 2019).
Overall, a lot of participants (80%) reported they were white grownups; 12% self-reported as Black adults; and about 3% self-identified as Asian grownups. The majority of individuals reported having a college education or higher; the average age was 51 years; and the average body mass index was 30.8, which is considered overweight. The average follow-up time for weight tape-recorded in the electronic health record was 6.3 years.
Participants with a greater body mass index at enrollment were most likely to be Black adults, older, have Type 2 diabetes or hypertension, have a lower education level, exercise less, consume less vegetables and fruits, have a longer duration from last mealtime to sleep and a shorter period from first to last meal, compared to the adults who had a lower body mass index.
The research group developed a mobile application, Daily24, for participants to catalog sleeping, consuming, and wake-up time for each 24-hour window in real-time. Emails, text, and in-app alerts encouraged participants to use the app as much as possible throughout the first month and once again throughout “power weeks”– one week per month for the six-month intervention portion of the study.
Based upon the timing of sleeping and eating every day recorded in the mobile app, researchers were able to measure:

the time from the first meal to the last meal each day;
the time lapse from waking to first meal; and
the interval from the last meal to sleep.

They calculated an average for all information from finished days for each individual.
The information analysis found:

This research study assessed the association between time from the first meal to last meal with weight change. Participants had at least one weight and height measurement registered in the 2 years prior to the studys enrollment period (Feb.-July 2019).
The average follow-up time for weight taped in the electronic health record was 6.3 years.
The 2017 American Heart Association scientific declaration: Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention did not offer a clear preference for regular little meals or intermittent fasting. And, changing meal frequency may not be useful for reducing body weight or enhancing conventional cardiometabolic threat aspects.

Meal timing was not associated with weight change throughout the six-year follow-up period. This includes the period from first to last meal, from getting up to eating a first meal, from eating the last meal to going to sleep, and overall sleep duration.
The total everyday variety of big meals (estimated at more than 1,000 calories) and medium meals (approximated at 500-1,000 calories) were each related to increased weight over the six-year follow-up, while less small meals (estimated at less than 500 calories) were related to decreasing weight.
The average time from first to last meal was 11.5 hours; the average time from awaken to first meal determined 1.6 hours; the average time from last meal to sleep was 4 hours; the typical sleep period was computed at 7.5 hours.
The study did not detect an association between meal timing and weight change in a population with a large variety of body weights.

As reported by Bennett, even though prior studies have recommended intermittent fasting may enhance the bodys rhythms and control metabolic process, this study in a big group with a large range of body weights did not spot this link. Large-scale, extensive scientific trials of periodic fasting on long-lasting weight modification are very hard to carry out; nevertheless, even short-term intervention studies may be important to assist guide future suggestions.
The research study found that meal frequency and overall calorie consumption were more powerful danger factors for weight modification than meal timing, the findings might not show direct cause and impact, according to lead study author Di Zhao, Ph.D., an associate researcher in the division of clinical and cardiovascular epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Scientist note there are restrictions to the study given that they did not evaluate the complex interactions of timing and frequency of consuming. In addition, since the research study is observational in nature, the authors were unable to conclude cause and impact. Future research studies must pursue consisting of a more varied population considering that the bulk of the research studys individuals were well-read white women in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., the authors kept in mind author.
Researchers also were unable to identify the intentionality of weight loss amongst research study participants prior to their registration and might not eliminate the additional variable of any preexisting health conditions.
According to the American Heart Associations 2022 stats, 40% of adults in the U.S. are obese; and the Associations present diet and lifestyle suggestions to reduce heart disease threat include limiting general calorie intake, consuming healthy foods, and increasing exercise.
The 2017 American Heart Association clinical declaration: Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention did not offer a clear preference for regular small meals or intermittent fasting. It kept in mind that irregular patterns of total caloric consumption seem less beneficial for the maintenance of body weight and ideal cardiovascular health. And, changing meal frequency might not be beneficial for decreasing body weight or enhancing conventional cardiometabolic danger factors.
Recommendation: “Association of Eating and Sleeping Intervals With Weight Change Over Time: The Daily24 Cohort” by Di Zhao, Eliseo Guallar, Thomas B. Woolf, Lindsay Martin, Harold Lehmann, Janelle Coughlin, Katherine Holzhauer, Attia A. Goheer, Kathleen M. McTigue, Michelle R. Lent, Marquis Hawkins, Jeanne M. Clark and Wendy L. Bennett, 18 January 2023, Journal of the American Heart Association.DOI: 10.1161/ JAHA.122.026484.
This research study was funded by an American Heart Association Strategically Funded Research Network Grant to Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.