You’ll have seen the headlines this week that people lose more weight with intermittent fasting than the Mediterranean or Paleo diets.
The results follow a one-year study by the University of Otago, New Zealand.
Each diet gave health benefits but intermittent fasting led to the greatest weight loss over the year.
The Mediterranean diet improved blood sugar levels. It also improved blood pressure, as did intermittent fasting.
You don’t need anything special to get started either. People in the study had no ongoing support from a dietitian. The researchers wanted to test diets that people could do easily in their everyday lives with little or no supervision.
Just eat normally on five days and very strictly cut back on two. On those days, people in the study ate 25% of their normal daily calories, equating to 500 calories for women and 600 for men.
You can choose which two days to fast. This can leave your weekend clear for socialising which, let’s face it, often involves yummy food and alcoholic drink, in sometimes indulgent amounts.
What type of foods did people eat on the diets in the study?
On the Mediterranean diet, people ate fruit, veg, legumes, whole-grains, nuts, seeds and olive oil and smaller amounts of protein.
The paleo diet is similar in emphasising foods that are unprocessed, or less processed than people may normally be eating. It includes coconut products and excludes legumes, dairy and grains, although the Otago study allowed small amounts of these.
With intermittent fasting, there is no direction regarding the types of foods to eat. People are expected to eat normally for five days a week, then stick to 500 or 600 calories a day for two days, eating whatever they choose.
Weight loss was modest in all cases but in terms of sustainability, most people found the Mediterranean diet the easiest to follow and stick to in the longer term.
At Practically Slim we offer a range of diets to suit each individual, which was a key success factor identified by the Otago study. This includes our Five Two intermittent fasting diet plan.
We also offer friendly support groups run every week by coaches around the country where you can get help and advice as well as the support and knowledge of your peers on the same journey.
Contact us today to find yours and get started on losing your weight your way.