Intermittent Fasting Causes No Magical Weight Loss Benefits — Yet Another Study Reports

Egis R.
4 min readFeb 8, 2022
Image by the author

Hey, did you see that study about the researcher who did the thing and then this other thing happened to the subjects? No? Well, I find it fascinating which is why I’m about to walk you through that study.

Why am I doing it? Because despite a dearth of evidence, many people still believe intermittent fasting is a unicorn diet better than any other diet for weight loss. Spoiler alert: it’s not.

A recent 12-week randomized clinical trial put 116 overweight or obese subjects into two groups:

The interesting thing about this study was that the researchers were like listen, eat within this time of window, we don’t give a flying crap how many calories and protein you will consume nor do we care about your physical activity.

The researchers gave no calorie or nutritional recommendations because the goal was to see if following the 16:8 intermittent fasting protocol results in greater weight loss independent of other nutritional interventions in a real-world situation where all that people do is jump from one flashy diet to another without ever taking time to educate themselves about calories and macronutrients.

The investigators chose a 12 pm to 8 pm eating window because they reckoned people would find skipping breakfast rather than dinner easier because most social occasions happen in the evening and blah blah blah let’s fast forward to the results.

Based on the title of the article, you’ve probably got wind of the study outcome — there was no significant difference in weight change between 16:8-hour time-restricted eating and consistent meal timing:

16:8-hour time-restricted eating (−0.94 kg/2 lb) and consistent meal timing (−0.68 kg/1.5 lb)

This tells us that in the absence of other nutritional interventions [hint: calorie deficit] intermittent fasting doesn’t cause any magical weight loss benefits. A sustainable calorie deficit still has to be achieved within the eating window for weight

Egis R.

I’m Egis, an online weight loss coach who has heightened BS sensors for fitness & nutrition. Only evidence-based & sustainable fat loss.