Someone used the expression “Quarantine 15” to refer to weight gain associated with being isolated at home. I haven’t read any studies which indicate what change in weight has been associated with dealing with the pandemic. There has been a debate over the years if there is a difference in the type of calories consumed. Is calorie is a calorie is a calorie? The prevailing wisdom is that there is no difference in how they affect weight. Now the debate is, if you consume the same amount of calories but restrict the amount of time during which you consume them, will you lose weight. This is called intermittent fasting. A recent study indicates that this popular weight loss plan is ineffective. We don’t know if other more restrictive form such as fasting one day or two days a week are effective. This is a summary of the article from Physicians First Watch followed by the abstract of the article from JAMA.
By Amy Orciari Herman
Fasting for two thirds of the day does not lead to greater weight loss than eating meals throughout the day, according to a randomized trial in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Roughly 100 overweight or obese adults were assigned to time-restricted eating or consistent meal timing. In the time-restricted group, participants were advised to eat as needed from 12 p.m. until 8 p.m., and then fast for 16 hours until 12 p.m. the next day. In the consistent-meals group, participants were told to eat three structured meals across the day, with snacks as needed. There were no recommendations about caloric intake or physical activity.
At 12 weeks, mean weight loss did not differ significantly between the groups (0.94 kg with time-restricted eating and 0.68 kg with consistent meals). Most secondary outcomes, including changes in fat mass, lipids, and fasting glucose, also did not differ significantly between the groups. Of note, the time-restricted group lost more appendicular lean mass than the consistent-meals group.
The researchers conclude that the findings “do not support the efficacy of [time-restricted eating] for weight loss.”