Health

 

On-off fasting helps obese adults shed pounds

YAHOO.COM | Anne Harding | 11/13/09

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Fasting every other day can help obese people lose weight, a small study hints.

Even though the study participants ate whatever they wanted on their non-fasting days, they lost an average of 5.6 kilograms (about 12 pounds) after eight weeks, Dr. Krista A. Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago and her colleagues found.

What's more, their total and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels dropped, and their blood pressure fell.

"People lost anywhere from about 7 pounds to about 30 pounds and that was in a very short amount of time," Varady said. And, she added, the program was pretty easy for the study participants to follow.

People typically try to lose weight by cutting their calorie intake every day, Varady and her team note in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. A much rarer approach, they add, is to have people alternate "feed days" with "fast days." Studies in normal and overweight people have shown that this strategy can indeed help people lose weight and improve their cholesterol levels.

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