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A randomized pilot study comparing zero-calorie alternate-day fasting to daily caloric restriction in adults with obesity

Catenacci VA, Pan Z, Ostendorf D, Brannon S, Gozansky WS, Mattson MP, Martin B, MacLean PS, Melanson EL, Troy Donahoo W.

Sep 1, 2016

Obesity (Silver Spring). 2016 Sep;24(9):1874-83. doi: 10.1002/oby.21581. PMID: 27569118; PMCID: PMC5042570.

To evaluate the safety and tolerability of alternate-day fasting (ADF) and to compare changes in weight, body composition, lipids, and insulin sensitivity index (Si) to those produced by a standard weight loss diet, moderate daily caloric restriction (CR).

Adults with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2, age 18-55) were randomized to either zero-calorie ADF (n=14) or CR (-400 kcal/day, n=12) for 8 weeks. Outcomes were measured at the end of the 8-week intervention and after 24 weeks of unsupervised follow-up.

No adverse effects were attributed to ADF and 93% completed the 8-week ADF protocol. At 8 weeks, ADF achieved a 376 kcal/day greater energy deficit, however there were no significant between-group differences in change in weight (mean ± SE; ADF -8.2±0.9 kg, CR -7.1±1.0 kg), body composition, lipids, or Si. After 24 weeks of unsupervised follow-up, there were no significant differences in weight regain, however changes from baseline in % fat mass and lean mass were more favorable in ADF.

ADF is a safe and tolerable approach to weight loss. ADF produced similar changes in weight, body composition, lipids and Si at 8 weeks and did not appear to increase risk for weight regain 24 weeks after completing the intervention.

*For more information, please visit our video library to watch:
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Intermittent Fasting, Weight Regain, Obesity, Insulin Sensitivity Index (ISI)

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