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Peter Attia MD Responds to Research Doubting Intermittent Fasting

At the start of the month, the findings from a clinical trial on Intermittent Fasting came with great interest. One reason was it was one of the first clinical trials on Intermittent fasting, and the other was the findings, that evidence was inconclusive that intermittent fasting helps with weight loss. Further, the results argued that there was also a noticeable loss of lean muscle.

Intermittent fasting can take many shapes, but a widely discussed variant is the 16:8 fast; 16 hours of fasting, followed by an 8 hour window of eating. The terminology used in the clinical trial was called Time-Restricted eating (TRE)

Dr. Ethan Weiss, along with a cohort of researchers, released a paper through the JAMA Internal Medicine study called Effects of Time-Restricted Eating on Weight Loss and Other Metabolic Parameters in Women and Men With Overweight and Obesity. He concludes that “Time-restricted eating did not confer weight loss”.

Though the research got the conversation on the efficacy of Intermittent Fasting started, there was still things to be said on the opposite side. Peter Attia, a well-known voice in the space of diet fasting and nutrition, offered his thoughts on the trial completed by Dr. Weiss.

Attia highlights his ‘three levers’ idea, and how the combination of these three contribute to a healthy diet. The first lever is timing – when one eats. The second lever is caloric – how much one person is eating, and the final one is dietary – what are people eating. Attia claims that, while the clinical test monitored the time of day candidates were eating, there was no control done in this experiment in tracking what and how much the participants ate during the fasting period.

There is a video that was posted on Zero’s YouTube account at the end of August (Zero is the company where Attia works as the Chief Medical Officer). The video predated the clinical trial. Attia once again states that fasting is just one aspect of healthy living. If you are not accompanying fasting with an appropriate diet, then one should not be surprised to see less than positive results.

Fasting is not a hall pass to eat whatever you want in the eight hours where you can eat.

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