Counterorder (of science): the timed diet, that is, eating only from morning to late afternoon, is not as exceptional as it was believed. It became fashionable for us because it was followed by Fiorello, also in other countries it has managed to spread very quickly. Because followed by VIPs but, above all because it is new and different. This diet allows you to eat meals, with or without reduced caloric intake, only for a short period of the day (between eight and ten hours). And this, according to various studies carried out on animals and humans, would allow a greater reduction in adiposity and an improvement in metabolism with consequent weight loss.
But now an article by Deying Liu of the Department of Endocrinology at Southern Medical University in Guangzhou (China) published in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine would seem to question these results.
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139 patients suffering from obesity were given a diet with a reduction of about 25% of the daily caloric intake (between 1500 and 1800 Kcal for men and between 1200 and 1500 Kcal for women). Half of these maintained the normal distribution of meals throughout the day, the other half restricted the time of intake to eight hours (8 to 16) by fasting for the rest of the day. A year later, numerous parameters were evaluated including weight, abdominal circumference, body mass index, amount of fat mass and metabolic risk factors. All patients improved significantly during the study period without, however, there was any difference in the extent of the improvement of the various parameters, whatever the dietary regimen: the diet made respecting the natural meal times or the one in which the power was reduced.
The study would show that limiting meal times to a few hours of the day isn’t as helpful as previous studies have shown. The principle on which weight loss would be based would not simply be the result of a reduced production of free radicals, but also the effect of a cellular adaptation that would lead to a better regulation of blood glucose, a better response to stressful stimuli and a reduction of ‘inflammation. Fundamental consequences for keeping the organism and, in particular, the heart in good health.
“When it comes to reducing the number of calories (caloric restriction) and, above all, fasting, it is good to remember that the effects on health can be unpredictable and in some cases dangerous – we read on the website of the Higher Institute of Health. of intermittent fasting – For this reason, it is important to avoid radically changing one’s eating habits without the advice of a doctor ».
It is recommended that you avoid making your own decisions, especially when taking medications, as changes in the amount rather than feeding times could enhance or diminish their effects on patients.
*Professor of Cardiology
Catholic University of Rome
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