A low-calorie diet combined with intermittent fasting results in weight loss.

Low-calorie diets combined with intermittent fasting can help obese patients lose weight.

A low-calorie diet (LCD) has consistently been found to be an effective lifestyle intervention for patients with obesity. Although pharmacological and surgical interventions have been effective forms of treatment for patients with obesity, lifestyle changes are also effective interventions for weight loss. New research suggests that a combination of a low-calorie diet and intermittent fasting may be another lifestyle intervention to consider for weight loss in obese patients.1:

Low-calorie diets, weight loss, and body composition

A 10 percent weight loss is a common benchmark for those seeking to lose weight and improve metabolic health, as well as reduce the likelihood of developing obesity-related disorders.1: To achieve this goal, calorie restriction or a low-calorie diet is often the first step. A low-calorie diet is divided into different stages.

Phase 1 is a four to 12 week weight reduction phase followed by a weight stabilization phase. It is important to note that low-calorie diets should be tailored to the specific needs of patients with respect to their age and gender, and low-calorie diets should also be tailored to the patient’s current level of physical activity. Because weight loss is a dynamic process, adjustments can be made to the parameters of a low-calorie diet. A low-calorie diet is based on a balanced nutrition approach and the goal of reducing 500-800 kcal per day.1: Because of their nutritional balance, meal replacements can also be used as part of a low-calorie diet.2:

Many of the benefits associated with a low-calorie diet are associated with a significant reduction in body mass. When a low-calorie diet is used as an intervention, there is a risk of losing lean body mass in addition to fat mass, so it is important to tailor the LCD to the specific needs of the patient to minimize the risk of lean body mass. For example, in a group of obese women, a six-month LCD monitor showed a 14 percent decrease in fat mass and a decrease in lean body mass ranging from 1.2 to 3.3 percent. Because lean body mass protects against insulin resistance, LCDs should be designed to minimize this risk.1:

Although weight loss can be achieved with the LCD screen, results are optimized when physical activity is increased. For example, in a study of sedentary men and women with obesity;3: LCD combined with physical activity such as brisk walking, cycling, and functional physical activity resulted in seven percent weight loss, but lean body mass loss was reduced and VO2:the maximum has been reduced.

intermittent fasting, weight loss, and body composition

Intermittent fasting is characterized by cyclical eating or time-restricted eating; Although the weight loss results of intermittent fasting vary depending on the type of fasting program used, most studies have found that intermittent fasting reduces body weight and improves body composition.1: The intermittent fasting approach to weight loss does not specifically identify nutrients, so it is important to advise patients using this approach to follow healthy eating guidelines.

Different models of intermittent fasting involve alternating daily meals, where a person eats one day and fasts the next day in an alternating pattern for several weeks or months.4: There are also periodic models that involve fasting one or two days per week. Finally, time-restricted fasting is another option that uses defined “eating windows” where you can eat during a certain period of time.1:

Intermittent fasting causes a metabolic shift that can positively affect body composition. For example, as mentioned in 20181:The study found that restricting eating for eight hours a day for 12 weeks resulted in a 2.6 percent weight loss in obese patients, which was greater than that obtained in a matched control sample. It was also reported that obese patients following the 2/5 schedule (ie, fasting one or two days per week) lost 8.0 kg and reduced their waist circumference by 6.9 percent over 6 months.

Including low-calorie diets and intermittent fasting

Under medical supervision, low-calorie diets have been shown to be effective for weight loss in obese patients. Because of the nutritional value, food replacement should be considered as part of the LCD. As with any medical intervention, its success depends on patient compliance, so it is critical for healthcare professionals to develop low-calorie diet plans and intermittent fasting regimens that are tailored to each patient and realistically achievable.


1 The role of low-calorie diets and intermittent fasting in the treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

2 Efficacy of meal replacement for weight management and weight loss in obese patients

3 Effects of weight loss on lean mass, strength, bone, and aerobic fitness

4 Randomized pilot study comparing zero-calorie alternative daily fasting to daily calorie restriction in obese adults

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