A sporadic case study shows no advantages over the clock diet – the risks aren’t clear.
Sometimes the desire to make an impact is greater than the scientific evidence. This applies to some methods of traditional medicine, to a number of alternative procedures, but also to the large border area between empirical knowledge, popular belief, and the everyday madness that people sometimes deal with.
Intermittent fasting is a common example. It’s hugely popular, and rightfully forgotten actresses, self-proclaimed nutritionists and other full-time ego actors rave about it. After all, they tried it themselves – there are also “studies”.
In humans, evidence of benefit has simply not been presented yet.
This is exactly where the problem begins. The number of studies on intermittent fasting is very low – despite all the positive personal experiences. The method of not eating calories for an extended period of time during the day (16:8 method) or during the week (5:2) is promoted by animal-based studies. In some animals, this kind of caloric reduction has beneficial metabolic effects or has led to longer lives.
This has not worked with all animal models – and animal experiments are rarely useful for humans. To date, no evidence of benefit to humans has been provided. Studies conducted during Ramadan have shown only short-term effects, and a deterioration in the metabolic state of diabetic patients has also been described.
It is now questionable whether the method is ineffective, but harmless – or harmful.
Certainly, those who eat less each day, but consume the same amount of energy as before, will lose weight, no matter how often they eat. However, in a recently published study, intermittent fasting had no benefits for weight loss compared to a traditional, low-calorie diet. It is now questionable whether the method is ineffective, but harmless – or harmful. In a number of studies, participants lost weight primarily by losing muscle mass.
But these potential risks should not be overemphasized. In general, the following applies to the alleged advantages and disadvantages: The data are thinner than some students of fasting. There are many studies, but they are too small, too short, or insufficient for other reasons. Intermittent fasting is not medically recommended, not even as eating a harmless spleen.
If you still feel good about it, you can of course eat according to the time clock. But please without missionary fervor and general self-importance. What sounds great in theory doesn’t have to be effective in practice. But at least: Believing you’re doing something good for yourself has a positive effect on the body and mind. By the way, this is scientifically proven.