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Does fasting lead to weight loss?

A new study suggest intermittent fasting could lead to muscle loss instead of fat loss.

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An employees holds a food order at a MUY restaurant, a Colombian fast food chain that is planning to turn its branches into automated restaurants, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

An employees holds a food order at a Muy restaurant, a Colombian fast food chain that is planning to turn its branches into automated restaurants, in Bogota, Colombia, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020.

Fernando Vergara, Associated Press

A new study suggests that intermittent fasting might not help you lose weight as much as you think. Rather, it might help you lose muscle.

What’s going on?

A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that a time-restrictive diet might not help you lose weight, at least as well as we think.

  • The study — done by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of Hawaii Cancer Center — reviewed weight loss results for 116 adults.
  • The adults were considered “overweight” or “obese.”

Intermitting fasting did not lead to “significantly different” outcomes from those who ate meals at different times,the study said.

In fact, the researchers said those in the study loss muscle mass more than fat or pure weight when they embraced intermittent fasting, according to Fox News.

  • “Loss of lean mass during weight loss typically accounts for 20% to 30% of total weight loss,” the study said. “The proportion of lean mass loss in this study (approximately 65%) far exceeds the normal range of 20% to 30%. ... Finally, the extent of lean mass loss during weight loss has been positively correlated with weight regain.”

But there’s something else to consider ...

Researchers said the study might have led people to be more careful with what they eat. Nutrition studies make people more conscientious about what they’re eating so they can provide better results, according to CNBC.

Dr. Ethan Weiss, a cardiologist at The University of California, San Francisco, who was involved with the study, said missing meals isn’t recommended if you’re just trying to lose weight.

  • “Just losing weight alone doesn’t mean good things are happening for your health,” he said, according to CNBC.