To evaluate the safety and tolerability of alternate-day fasting (ADF) and to compare changes in weight, body composition, lipids, and insulin sensitivity index (Si) with those produced by a standard weight loss diet, moderate daily caloric restriction (CR).
Adults with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m(2) , age 18-55) were randomized to either zero-calorie ADF (n = 14) or CR (-400 kcal/day, n = 12) for 8 weeks. Outcomes were measured at the end of the 8-week intervention and after 24 weeks of unsupervised follow-up.
No adverse effects were attributed to ADF, and 93% completed the 8-week ADF protocol. At 8 weeks, ADF achieved a 376 kcal/day greater energy deficit; however, there were no significant between-group differences in change in weight (mean ± SE; ADF -8.2 ± 0.9 kg, CR -7.1 ± 1.0 kg), body composition, lipids, or Si. After 24 weeks of unsupervised follow-up, there were no significant differences in weight regain; however, changes from baseline in % fat mass and lean mass were more favorable in ADF.
ADF is a safe and tolerable approach to weight loss. ADF produced similar changes in weight, body composition, lipids, and Si at 8 weeks and did not appear to increase risk for weight regain 24 weeks after completing the intervention.