NEW STUDY: MORE BAD NEWS ON INTERMITTENT FASTING WEIGHT LOSS/FAT LOSS
By Steve Blechman
A new study reported that alternative-day fasting resulted in less fat loss than traditional energy- restricted diets.
The new study was published in the June 16th issue of the prestigious journal Science Translational Medicine. The study was a randomized, controlled trial involving 36 participants over a three-week period in lean, healthy adults.
The study participants lost less weight even when calorie intake was the same. According to Professor James Betts, Director of the Center for Nutrition, Exercise & Metabolism at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom and Senior Investigator, weight loss was not better than standard dieting and less effective for fat loss! The researchers acknowledged that intermittent fasting is no magic bullet when compared to more standard diets. “And it offered no additional short-term improvements in metabolic and cardiovascular health compared to daily energy restriction.”
According to the investigators: “The main practical message for individuals to consider if planning to use alternate-day fasting for the purpose of weight loss or health gain is thus to consciously insert opportunities for physical activity alongside the intermittent fasting regimen to maintain energy expenditure and maximize potential beneficial effects on body composition.” Therefore, a cardiovascular and resistance training program should be incorporated as part of an intermittent training regimen for best results.
A new study in the August 1st, 2021, issue of the journal Physiology and Behavior “indicated that intermittent fasting may produce improvements in body composition by decreasing body mass, body mass index, fat mass, and body percentage while preserving fat-free mass in adults performing resistance training."
In a study on intermittent fasting published in the prestigious journal JAMA Internal Medicine on September 28, 2020, researchers questioned, “What is the effect of time-restricted eating on weight loss and metabolic health in patients with overweight and obesity?” The researchers’ findings acknowledge, “In this prospective randomized clinical trial that included 116 adults with overweight or obesity, time-restricted eating was associated with a modest decrease (1.17%) in weight that was not significantly different from the decrease in the control group (0.75%).” Meaning that during the three-month study on a daily 16-hour-fast (eating all their meals between noon and 8:00 pm), participants only lost 2 to 3 pounds, slightly better than their control group. The most concerning finding of the study was that 65 percent of weight loss from the fasting group was not fat, but from lean body mass and muscle. A healthy weight loss comes from a diet that enhances body fat loss, not muscle and lean body mass. Having more muscle increases metabolism and helps you burn more calories over a 24-hour period.
A new published study in the March 2, 2021 Journal Cell Reports concluded that every-other-day fasting makes it more difficult to lose belly fat, especially deep visceral abdominal fat! Increasing deep visceral abdominal fat is strongly linked to increased incidence of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
This new study was done in mice and not humans, because their physiology is similar but mice have a much faster metabolism. This is important because it allowed the researchers to use advanced instrumentation, examining tissues and measuring changes carefully and more precisely in the body much more easily.
The results of the study found that when mice fasted and went into starving or “preservation mode,” the mice stored more abdominal visceral and subcutaneous fat rather than burning it for energy! This type of metabolic adaptation may make intermittent fasting a less desirable diet for weight loss and for optimal health! Even though the study was done using mice, the researchers feel similar effects are most likely to occur in humans and that intermittent fasting is ineffective for burning belly fat – and they acknowledge that the other diets may be found to be more effective and successful.
For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranked the Mediterranean diet as the #1 Best Overall Diet. The article says, “Research suggests that the diet can ward off chronic diseases and improve longevity.” The Mediterranean Diet was also tied as #1 for the easiest diet to follow: the best diet for diabetes; best heart healthy diet, and best plant-based diet too. These results were based on a panel of 23 experts, and 41 diets based the scientific literature. The expert panel consisted of the country’s top nutrition experts and physicians specializing in weight loss, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. I have been an advocate of the Mediterranean diet for over 25 years.
The Mediterranean diet is the healthiest diet based on the latest scientific research. A healthy diet and lifestyle changes, such as following the anti-inflammatory Mediterranean diet along with exercise, has been shown to lower the risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome and high-risk ailments such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
A study, first published online February 13, 2019 in the Journal of the American College Nutrition reported that, “eating a Mediterranean diet can increase endurance, exercise performance in just 4 days! This short-term Mediterranean diet resulted in “better exercise performance, as compared to a typical western diet.” The 5-Kilomter runtime was 6% faster in the “Mediterranean diet trial than in the western diet trial.” These are very significant results but according to the researchers, “further studies are warranted to determine whether a long-term Mediterranean diet provides greater benefits and whether it might also be beneficial for an anaerobic exercise performance and muscle strength and power.” The performance benefits of the Mediterranean diet may be a result of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The diet also has a more alkaline pH and is rich in nitrates, which leads to enhanced exercise performance.
The Mediterranean diet is high in fish containing omega-3 fatty acids, in addition to antioxidant-rich vegetables, red wine and berries rich in polyphenols, beans, lentils, nuts, legumes and extra-virgin-olive oil that are rich in healthy monounsaturated polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. A recent study by Harvard researchers and reported by the American Heart Association (March 5, 2020) and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (March 2020) found that as little as half a tablespoon of olive oil a day was linked to significant decrease in cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as salmon have potent anti-inflammatory properties and reduced inflammation and protect against heart disease.
A breakthrough, long-term diet study was published in the American Heart Association Journal Circulation on measuring body fat! This diet study used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology for the first time, measuring changes in body and organ fat during 18 months on a Mediterranean/low-carb diet, with and without moderate physical exercise. MRI is a diagnostic technique that produces computerized images of organs and internal body tissues using a magnetic field and radio waves. This is the best approach to date for measuring body fat, compared to weighing people as a result of diet and exercise. The scale, skinfold calipers or underwater weighing are not giving you the whole picture!
The research was conducted between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and Harvard University. The research group was led by Drs. Iris Shai, Yftach Gepner, Ilan Shelaf and Dan Schwarzfuchs from Ben-Gurion University. Dr. Meir Stampfer was also a lead author for the study, and is from the prestigious Harvard University. Dr. Stampfer is a well-known authority on nutrition and obesity. The study analyzed the implementation of positive dietary changes and how this could help in reducing body fat, particularly visceral (abdominal) body fat.
The Mediterranean low-carb diet was significantly superior to low-fat diet in decreasing fat storage, including visceral (deep abdominal) liver and heart fat. High visceral fat has been shown to increase metabolic syndrome, inflammation, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Losing deep subcutaneous visceral fat, as well as haptic (liver) fat, was associated with improved insulin sensitivity and improved lipid profile.
The low-carb Mediterranean diet was more effective than a low-fat diet in eliminating fat storage. Previous studies have shown that a low-carb Mediterranean diet may be an effective alternative to low-fat diets. It has a more favorable effect on lipids (with low-carb diet) and glycemic control (with Mediterranean diet).
In a groundbreaking, two-year dietary intervention study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that the Mediterranean and low-carb diet was an effective alternative to weight loss. It appears to be just as safe, metabolically healthier and more effective compared to a low-fat diet. Consumption of monounsaturated fats (extra-virgin olive oil and nuts) is thought to improve insulin sensitivity, which may explain the favorable effect on blood glucose and insulin levels. Research has shown that nut consumption can enhance weight loss and weight gain (N Engl J Med, 2008).
People who strictly follow the Mediterranean diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of the proportion of weight to height and waist circumference – according to a large population study led by Simona Bertoli from the Nutritional Research Center in Milan, Italy. The Mediterranean diet is high in fish, seafood, antioxidant-rich vegetables, red wine and berries rich in polyphenols, beans, lentils, nuts, legumes and extra-virgin-olive oil (EVOO) that are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. Extra-virgin olive oil contains a polyphenol called oleuropein and can increase brown fat thermogenesis.
Brown fat is a special kind of fat cell that generates heat and helps regulate bodyweight and energy expenditure. The body has two forms of fat – white fat and brown fat. Brown fat burns calories. The more brown fat you have, the more calories you burn. The capability of harnessing one’s one brown fat for fat burning is revolutionary! The ability to get lean by producing extra brown fat and enhancing and activating existing brown fat represents a promising way to burn fat. Several landmark discoveries and approaches to this are being explored at major research centers and universities worldwide, with great excitement. Brown fat research is a hot topic today!
The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution by Michael Rudolph, Ph.D. provides a calorie-controlled low-carb Mediterranean diet, 30-day meal plan and exercise program. It says that you should limit yourself to 100 grams of carbohydrates per day, or less. Processed food and sugar is off the table! The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution stresses foods high in monounsaturated and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. It also recommends thermogenic brown fat-activating herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor food such as garlic, onion, mustard and chili pepper (capsaicin) to name a few. The American Heart Association released a press release on November 9, 2020, which said: “Individuals who consume chili pepper may live longer and may have a significantly reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2020. The meeting was a premier global exchange of the latest scientific advancements, research and evidence-based clinical practice updates in cardiovascular science for health care worldwide.” The meeting was held virtually on November 13, 2020.
Monounsaturated fats are more thermogenic than saturated fats found in high-fat dairy and red meat. Because of ease of compliance, The ThermoHeat® Weight Loss Revolution Mediterranean Diet makes it easy to follow even when dining out. One or two glasses of polyphenol-rich red wine (not white wine, or any other alcoholic beverages) per day can have positive health benefits on the Mediterranean diet. Studies show that olive oil and certain spices can enhance brown fat and increase thermogenesis. A number of studies have shown that healthy fats from nuts, olive oil and fish, found predominantly in Italian, Greek, and Turkish cuisine, have health benefits in the prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Fish oil and omega-3 fats can decrease bodyweight gain and fat accumulation by increasing thermogenesis and energy expenditure. (Clinical Nutrition, 2009; Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental, 2008; International Journal of Obesity, 2002; Nutrition Journal, 2015).
For more authoritative information, see The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution, by Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D., including the foreword by Daniel L. Friedman, MD and Eugene B. Friedman, MD. You can click the link to order on Amazon here. The Thermo Heat®Weight Loss Revolution is a groundbreaking scientific plan based on research involving brown fat (BAT) The Thermo Heat® Weight Loss Revolution offers its readers a brown fat, thermogenic and brown-fat-activating-diet, nutrition, supplement(s) and exercise program. You can also get a free PDF version here
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