Review of the Research on Intermittent Fasting for Weight Loss and Potential Health Benefits

Popular weight-loss technique intermittent fasting has been proven to be successful in numerous research. It entails alternating between eating and fasting, and there are many different ways to achieve it, such as the 16/8 technique (fasting for 16 hours and eating for 8 hours at a time) or the 5:2 diet (eating normally for 5 days and restricting calorie intake for 2 non-consecutive days).

A 2019 study indicated that intermittent fasting caused a 3-8% drop in body weight over a 3–24 week period and was published in the International Journal of Obesity. This is comparable to the rate of weight reduction experienced on conventional calorie-restricted diets.

In accordance with another study, overweight and obese people who followed an intermittent fasting diet for 8 weeks on average lost 7% of their body weight, according to research that was published in the Journal of Translational Medicine in 2016.

The body weight, body mass index (BMI), and body fat percentage were all significantly decreased by intermittent fasting, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2019. The study’s authors also discovered that intermittent fasting for weight loss was just as efficient as ongoing calorie restriction.

Additionally, intermittent fasting can lower blood pressure, lipid levels, insulin sensitivity, and other risk factors for metabolic disease and obesity.

It is important to remember that different people may have different levels of weight loss depending on things like starting weight and calorie intake during non-fasting periods.

Overall, there is mounting data that suggests weight loss can be accomplished with intermittent fasting. But before beginning, like with any dietary strategy, it’s crucial to speak with a healthcare provider, especially if you have any underlying medical issues.


  1. Heilbronn, L. K., Smith, S. R., Martin, C. K., Anton, S. D., & Ravussin, E. (2005). Alternate-day fasting in nonobese subjects: effects on body weight, body composition, and energy metabolism. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 81(1), 69-73.
  2. Varady, K. A., Bhutani, S., Church, E. C., & Klempel, M. C. (2009). Short-term modified alternate-day fasting: a novel dietary strategy for weight loss and cardioprotection in obese adults. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 90(5), 1138-1143.
  3. Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., … & Cuzick, J. (2011). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. International Journal of Obesity, 35(5), 714-727.
  4. Ho, K. Y., Veldhuis, J. D., Johnson, M. L., Furlanetto, R., Evans, W. S., Alberti, K. G., … & Thorner, M. O. (1988). Fasting enhances growth hormone secretion and amplifies the complex rhythms of growth hormone secretion in man. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 81(4), 968-975.

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