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MONDAY, May 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) — As much as you might hate the daily restrictions of a conventional diet, a new study shows that fasting one day and eating what you want the next may not be a better way to lose weight.

After one year, researchers found that weight loss on either type of diet was about the same — 6 percent for those on the alternate-day fasting diet and a little over 5 percent for those on the daily restricted-calorie diet.

“We thought the alternate-day fasting group would do better. It allows people to have a break from dieting every other day, so we thought their adherence would be better,” explained lead author Krista Varady.

“But it turns out people in both diets lost the same amount of weight,” said Varady. She’s an associate professor of kinesiology and nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“People in the alternate-day fasting group were eating more than the 500 calories prescribed on the fast day, but a lot less than the calories prescribed on the feast day. That’s why they lost the same amount of weight,” she explained.

However, “people who stuck to the [alternate-day fasting] diet lost 20 to 50 pounds in a year,” Varady added. “It does work for some people.”

In the study, Varady’s team randomly assigned 100 obese people to an alternate-day fasting diet, a conventional diet (25 percent reduction in calories every day), or no diet at all (the “control” group).

People on the conventional diet were able to stick to their calorie goals better than the alternate-day fasting group, the researchers found.

The dropout rates proved the point: 38 percent of the alternate-day fasting group quit, while only 29 percent of the conventional diet group and 26 percent of the control group tossed in the towel.

It’s hard for people to stick to 500 calories in one day, Varady explained. “Certain people are suited to this type of diet. If someone were to pick this diet for…



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