Why smaller meals are still better than intermittent fasting (IF) for weight loss


if you wanted to Weight loss And hold it there, then intermittent fasting (if) it may not work for you. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association said that the frequency and size of meals had a greater effect on weight than the time window for eating. The findings suggest that restricting food intake to certain times of the day with intermittent fasting may not be effective for people for long-term weight loss. In light of this study, Oshakiran Sisodia, clinical dietitian and chief nutritionist at Nanavati Max Hospital, helps decipher the long-term health impact of calorie-restricted eating.

1. Why is calorie restriction more effective than intermittent fasting? Please explain the clinical reasons behind this?

Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are two different weight loss methods that have both been studied in clinical trials. Here are some of the clinical advantages of caloric restriction over intermittent fasting according to medical studies:

Weight loss: Calorie restriction Numerous clinical trials have proven its effectiveness in weight loss. One study found that calorie restriction led to an average of eight percent weight loss over six months, compared to a four percent weight loss in the control group.

Improve metabolic healthCalorie restriction has been shown to improve several markers of metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, blood glucose levels, and lipid profiles.

Cardiovascular healthSome studies have found that calorie restriction can improve calorie intake Heart health By reducing inflammation and oxidative stress.

increased ageCalorie restriction has been shown to increase lifespan in many species, including monkeys and rodents, and has been suggested as a possible intervention for aging and age-related diseases.

better commitmentCalorie restriction is often easier to stick to compared to intermittent fasting, which can be difficult for some people to maintain. While both calorie restriction and intermittent fasting have been shown to be effective for weight loss and improved health, calorie restriction may be a more appropriate approach for some individuals due to its potential health benefits and better adherence.

2. What should be the frequency and size of meals when we talk about caloric restriction?

The frequency and size of meals to achieve healthy weight loss may vary depending on individual needs and goals. However, some common ground rules for meal frequency and size exist to support weight loss. One should aim for three to five small meals a day, rather than two to three larger meals. This can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce hunger, and promote feelings of fullness. Reduce portion sizes and aim for meals between 400-600 calories, depending on individual calorie needs. This can help reduce your total calorie intake and promote weight loss.

As you plan or order your monthly portions or daily meals, choose nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, to help you feel full on fewer calories and provide essential nutrients. Lead your meals with plenty of water throughout the day to help reduce hunger and support weight loss.

Most importantly, practice mindful eating. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues, and eat slowly to allow time for the brain to register satiety. It is important to consult a healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, for personalized recommendations based on individual needs and goals. They can help design a meal plan that takes into account personal calorie needs, dietary restrictions and lifestyle factors to support healthy weight loss.

3. Suppression of appetite can be a side effect of cancer treatment, and excessive weight loss can be dangerous to the health of people receiving treatment. Is it true that intermittent fasting may lead to these side effects?

Intermittent fasting can temporarily suppress appetite in some people. However, excessive weight loss can also occur in individuals who engage in intermittent fasting, especially if they do not adequately fuel their bodies during the eating periods. We can share some of the common disadvantages of intermittent fasting:

hormonal imbalancesIntermittent fasting can disrupt the hormones responsible for regulating hunger and metabolism, such as insulin and leptin.

dryingFasting causes drying Due to decreased fluid intake and increased fluid loss through urination.

Nutrient deficiency: If not properly planned, intermittent fasting can lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals.

Hunger and low energy levelsIntermittent fasting can lead to feelings of hunger and lower energy levels, which can be difficult to tolerate, especially for individuals with busy schedules.

It’s important to note that everyone’s experience with intermittent fasting will be different, and it may not be suitable for everyone. People should consult a physician before starting any new diet or exercise program, including intermittent fasting, to determine if it is safe and appropriate for their individual circumstances.

Furthermore, it is true that some of the results of intermittent fasting are similar to symptoms of major chronic diseases and cancer, such as fatigue, decreased appetite, and weight loss. However, there are key differences that can help differentiate the two.

pop upSymptoms of major diseases such as cancer often develop suddenly and progress quickly, while the disadvantages of intermittent fasting may develop gradually over time as the fast continues.

Other symptomsSymptoms of cancer often include additional symptoms such as pain, fever, and changes in bowel or bladder habits, while these are not usually associated with intermittent fasting.

DurationSymptoms of major chronic diseases persist and worsen over time, while the disadvantages of intermittent fasting may improve by modifying the fasting regimen or by stopping fasting altogether.

Medical evaluationCancer symptoms should warrant a medical evaluation, including diagnostic tests, to determine the underlying cause, while the disadvantages of intermittent fasting can often be remedied by making changes to the fasting regimen or seeking medical advice.

If you experience any unusual symptoms, it is important to seek medical evaluation to determine the cause. Your doctor can help you determine whether your symptoms are related to cancer or if they are caused by a different condition, such as the disadvantages of intermittent fasting.

What are the benefits of intermittent fasting?

The benefits are relatively easy to stick to, as they only require one fasting day per week and can be as simple or complex as a person wants. In addition, intermittent fasting is suitable for people with busy lifestyles who don’t want the extra hassle of tracking their meals and counting calories. Finally, some studies have linked intermittent fasting to a lower risk of disease, although more research is needed in this area before any definitive conclusions can be drawn.


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