How Can We Simplify The Eternal Battle Between Fit & Flab?:
The most popular topic in the entire Health & Wellness space is weight-loss.
Not even exercise has toppled its crown since 1863.
Sorry about that, Shake-Weight, Peloton, and Total Gym!
Not even Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris could compete with it.
But you’d think after all those 160+ years, we would have found a simple diet plan that works.
We did. It’s called “Calorie Counting”, but it’s by far the least popular way to do things.
And a team from UIC might have just come to the rescue with a very good comparison study…
The Short Answer:
- Weight loss has only been a big deal since about 1863.
- One of the simplest (but not easiest) plans is Calorie-Counting.
- It works, but it has a steep investment curve, and most people hate math.
- A UIC team finds that Intermittent-Fasting might be just as effective.
- They studied 90 obese adults for one year to find out.
- The Intermittent-Fasting group lost 10 lbs more than the control.
- The calorie-counting & restriction group lost 12 lbs more than the control.
- Both groups had regular appointments with dietitians.
- Even though most people lie in nutritional studies, the results for this one seem solid and compliance was reported as high.
- I-F probably won’t work very well if the quality of food is terrible, though.
- You can improve your results with low sugar/slow-carb and high quality food.
- Other studies show that even approximate calorie-counting works as well, so don’t write it off just yet.
- You don’t have to be a math nerd to lose weight.
- Also, one more benefit the Intermittent-Fasting group reqped was increased insulin-sensitivity.
- This means they became a little less susceptible to diabetes / less diabetic as the program went on.
Read on to find out the details…
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The problem with Calorie Counting is it’s cumbersome, daunting, new-to-you, and the average person REALLY hates math.
Not all menus have calorie counts, it takes time to look up figures and add them; which means fairly user-unfriendly.
Apps and reusable recipes can help do some of the lifting.
But unless you’re a real nerd who regularly uses measuring cups and scales, chances are you won’t do the math it takes.
So if the simple formula for age*height*sex*activity won’t work for you, what will?
That’s where the UIC research comes in on one of the most promising new plans out there.
In a small study of 90 obese adults from many demographics, subjects were followed for 1 year.
They were divided into 3 groups for that time:
1) Intermittent-fasting w/ an 8-hour eating window
2) Calorie-restriction of 25%
3) Control group
Over the course of that year, the groups fared as-follows in their weight-loss:
1) 10 lbs. lost vs. Control
2) 12 lbs. lost vs. Control
What any of the groups ate is unclear as far as food-types & amounts, but both groups did meet regularly with a dietitian.
This is fairly remarkable, as nutrition studies are very hard to do well.
People usually tend to lie about what they eat.
In addition to usable results, there is some really fantastic news to report.
Because a MUCH simpler plan than Calorie-Counting proves to be almost as effective.
(That being said, keeping up a high calorie-deficit like 25% is very hard indeed.)
The one thing you should keep in mind for your own efforts is that you will probably have to mix a few approaches, even if you try I-F.*
Because, you’ll likely undermine your efforts if you don’t mix I-F with slow-carb/low-sugar and high-quality approaches as well.
Most people in Western countries are not Intuitive-Eaters like our pal Yazemeenah Rossi.
Intermittent-fasting may be really good, but it may not be able to absolve all sins.
One other area in which we might suggest some push-back is Calorie-Counting.
Or better yet, Calorie-Approximating.
Because if you can go to a site like TDEECalculator.net, or use an app and get a good estimate, you might be able to do even better.
So rough figures are enough.
You may not have to nerd out over every digit.
Getting close by jotting down your approximate intake is probably alright.
So don’t count-out the counting part of things just yet.
One more thing.
Yes, you should avoid junk food, ultra-processed food, sugar and fast-carbs for the best results.
But should you choose the I-F route, one more result from the study came out as particularly impressive.
Somehow those people who had only lost 10 lbs. and were probably still obese at the end,
Also Had Improved Insulin-Sensitivity!
This means, that by the eating-schedule alone (maybe with help from the dietitian), they were making themselves less diabetic or susceptible to it than the counters who were eating 20 calories less every day.
One more surprise from the miracle that is Intermittent-Fasting!
• Source: UIC
• Source Study:
AIM – Time-Restricted Eating Without Calorie Counting for Weight Loss in a Racially Diverse Population
*Also note, the 8-hour window of Noon-8PM for this study is shorter than the 10-hour window studied by The Salk Institute in prior work.