On the fast track: how to lose 10kg in 10 weeks

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On the fast track: how to lose 10kg in 10 weeks

Aussies find more evidence that intermittent fasting is a great way to lose weight quickly and boost health

Cape Town bureau chief


It’s the news thousands have been waiting for after the ingestive season: intermittent fasting combined with dieting sheds weight quickly and even improves health.
Researchers at the University of Adelaide in Australia said 88 obese women lost up to 10kg during the 10-week programme the scientists devised.
“Continuously restricting their diet is the main way that obese women try to tackle their weight,” said Amy Hutchison, lead author of a study published in the journal Obesity.
“Unfortunately, studies have shown that long-term adherence to a restricted diet is very challenging for people to follow, so this study looked at the impact of intermittent fasting on weight loss.
“Obese women who followed a diet in which they ate 70% of their required energy intake and fasted intermittently lost the most weight.
“Other women in the study who either fasted intermittently without reducing their food intake, who reduced their food intake but did not fast, or did not restrict their diet at all, were not as successful in losing weight.”
Women who fasted intermittently as well as restricting their food also improved their health more than those who only restricted their diet or only fasted intermittently.
“By adhering to a strict pattern of intermittent fasting and dieting, obese women have achieved significant weight loss and improvements in their health such as decreased markers for heart disease,” said Hutchison.
Participants who fasted intermittently ate breakfast then fasted for 24 hours, followed by 24 hours of a normal eating regime. The following day they fasted again.
The women in the study started with a body mass index of between 25 and 40 and were aged between 35 and 70. They followed a typical Australian diet consisting of 35% fat, 15% protein and 50% carbohydrates.
“The most successful participants lost approximately 0.5 to 1kg per week for each week of the study,” said Hutchison.
Her department head, Leonie Heilbronn, said the study added to evidence that intermittent fasting, “at least in the short term, may provide better outcomes than daily continuous diet restriction for health and potentially for weight loss”.
The researchers are now studying the effectiveness of long-term fasting on both men and women.
• To calculate your body mass index, divide your weight (kg) by your height squared.

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