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Can Intermittent Fasting Help You Lose Belly Fat?

June 01, 2015 2 min read

Every week there seems to be new information about dieting and healthy eating. If you're looking to lose weight, all this -- often contradictory -- information, can make you feel dizzy. Of course, this week is like all the others. A new study has suggested that skipping meals leads to more belly fat and the types of metabolic changes that lead to diabetes. In the study, rodents who were forced to eat a restricted diet for 5 days (compared to mice who were free to eat steadily throughout the day), ended up gorging and gaining weight especially around their midsections. They also showed unhealthy blood sugar levels. Martha Belury, Ph.D., co-author of the study and an energy metabolism researcher at Ohio State University, says, "There is evidence that people who skip meals struggle with weight control. Our study seemed to support that." Belury explains that when we cut back on calories, it may lead to us overdoing it on our next meal. This would spike blood insulin and lead to fat storage. Another study suggests otherwise. Another mouse study --done in 2014 -- found that mice who fasted for 15 or 16 hours every day lost 12% of their body weight, had lower levels of inflammation, and were better protected from diabetes than the mice who ate around the same number of calories spread out over the course of the day. Hmm. Nothing like conflicting studies to muddy the waters. Belury notes that her study forced mice to eat less for 5 days.  "If you did this meal-skipping for longer periods, or just one day a week, your body might adapt to the restriction in different ways," she says. This probably explains why people who lose weight on crazy restrictive crash diets have a tendency to put the weight back on just as quickly. It appears science doesn't have a definitive answer, although it may soon. In the meantime, it is best to spread small, healthy meals and snacks throughout your day. Belury says, "In general, people who eat regularly are more likely to keep weight off than people who skip meals." What are your experiences with fasting? Leave us a comment and let us know. Source: Shape

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