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The potential benefits of intermittent energy restriction diet for weight loss

  • 2 Min To Read
  • 5 months ago

A recent study has found that a diet called Intermittent Energy Restriction (IER) not only aids in weight loss but also positively affects gut microbiome and brain activity. The study, conducted on 25 Chinese men and women with obesity, involved analyzing stool samples, blood measurements, and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine the changes in gut microbiome and brain activity. The participants followed a diet that involved alternating between periods of eating in a calorie deficit and periods of eating at maintenance calories.

By the end of the study, the participants had lost an average of 7.6 kilograms, or about 7.8% of their body weight. The researchers also observed decreases in the activity of brain regions involved in appetite and addiction regulation. In terms of gut microbiome, certain bacteria associated with attention, motor inhibition, emotion, and learning increased, while others associated with executive function and the will to lose weight decreased.

According to experts, this study provides valuable insights into the relationship between the gut, the brain, and weight management. The gut and the brain have a bidirectional communication link, meaning they are constantly influencing each other. When following an IER diet, the body shifts to using stored fats as an energy source, triggering changes in hormone levels and neurotransmitter activity. The gut microbiome, sensitive to dietary patterns, responds to nutrient availability changes, which can impact brain function.

If you're interested in trying IER, experts recommend starting gradually and gradually extending fasting periods over time. It's important to choose nutrient-dense foods, include plenty of protein, and stay hydrated. Paying attention to hunger cues and adjusting fasting periods based on individual comfort and tolerance is also crucial. However, it's important to note that IER may not be suitable for everyone, especially those with certain medical conditions like diabetes or a history of disordered eating. Consulting with a professional is recommended.

In summary, this study suggests that IER can be an effective weight loss tool that positively affects the gut and the brain. However, it may not be suitable for everyone, and proper planning and professional guidance are essential.

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