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Nature: intermittent fasting does not lead to loss of muscle mass

July 10, 2024  15:09

Researchers from the University of Illinois in the United States have found that weight loss using the method of interval fasting does not lead to loss of muscle mass, increased consumption of sugar and caffeine, eating disorders and undesirable changes in the hormonal background. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Reviews Endocrinology.

Interval fasting is a relatively new but already popular type of diet. It involves following any of a variety of eating schedules in which periods of fasting alternate with eating breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks at specific times.

As part of the new study, scientists decided to test whether it was safe to follow such a weight loss system. To do this, they conducted a meta-analysis of earlier scientific papers on the same topic. In the papers under review, scientists from different countries evaluated the effectiveness of weight loss and health changes in volunteers who followed interval fasting.

The results showed that intake levels of sugar, saturated fat, cholesterol, fiber, sodium and caffeine did not change on interval fasting compared to a normal dietary pattern. The percentages of energy intake in the form of carbohydrates, protein and fat also remain similar. This means that interval fasting does not contribute to the deterioration of diet quality and cravings for sweet and fatty foods.

It has also been found that interval fasting cannot provoke the development of anorexia, bulimia and other eating disorders in healthy people. However, people who have previously experienced such pathologies, as well as adolescents, it is better to choose another diet because of increased mental vulnerability.

Scientists also found that interval fasting itself does not contribute to the loss of muscle mass. They explained that a certain amount of it will break down due to a caloric deficit, not the type of diet. In addition, intermittent fasting cannot affect hormones. This means that it is safe for fertility and libido.

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