Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Louisiana conducted a study on 218 healthy weight people to find out long-term effects of fasting. The findings of the study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. Researchers asked the subjects to either cut 25% of their overall calories for two years or continue with their usual eating patterns. The result: Subjects who fasted lost 10% of their body weight or about 16.5 pounds.They also reported better mood, sounder sleep and improved sexual function.
Speaking to Time.com Corby Martin, the study’s first author, said: “What people report is that after they start to lose weight, their hunger levels subside a bit and they start to feel the benefits of the weight loss.They find it easier to move around, their joints hurt less, they feel better.” The Time article also quoted Martin cautioning people about the downside of long-term fasting. “Even though they achieve those benefits, it is just hard to adhere to these diets over the long term,” said Martin.
Researchers conducted a follow-up study to find out if the subjects stuck to the diet. While some gained the weight back and others continued to do well.