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The #1 Best Fasting Schedule for Quicker Weight Loss, New Study Suggests

Metabolism and nutrition researchers have nailed down an exact calorie-intake schedule for slimming down.

Intermittent fasting is shown to be a solid solution if you could use clear dieting guidelines, but don't want to sacrifice the foods you love. If you've been tinkering with your intermittent fasting schedule to figure out what's most effective for you, a team of nutrition and physiology scientists in Chicago has zeroed in on a precise two-day program that just may get you results.

For a meta-analysis that was published Friday in Nutrients, six researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago's Nutrition and Kinesiology Department initiated a review of past studies to see how intermittent fasting affects sleep among adults who are overweight or obese. Although the scientists have concluded that "sleep quality and sleep duration remained unaltered" based on this study, they made another key discovery in the process.

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Weight loss participants in the studies they reviewed responded to time-restricted eating—which the researchers define as eating all food within a four- to 10-hour window—combined with alternate-day fasting. Alternate-day fasting allowed for 600 calories on the "fasting" day, alternated with a "feast" day when participants ate ad libitum—in other words, as much as they wanted of whatever they liked within that four- to 10-hour timespan. (Though, if you've ever tried intermittent fasting, you might find that even the most disciplined foods sound delicious when mealtime finally arrives!)

healthy salad
Anh Nguyen/ Unsplash

The researchers suggest that this intermittent fasting method yielded an average weight loss rate of 1% to 6% when compared with the participants' baseline.

The team categorizes this weight loss range as "mild to moderate." However significant you think losing up to 6% of your weight would be, most nutrition pros would suggest that slow, steady, and balanced methods can keep weight loss on the healthy side.

Just keep in mind that however (and whenever) you're eating, it's important to get those nutrients in! (Read One Major Effect Eating Fiber Has on Your Liver, New Study Says.)

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Krissy Gasbarre
Krissy is a senior news editor at Eat This, Not That!, managing morning and weekend news related to nutrition, wellness, restaurants and groceries (with a focus on beverages), and more. Read more