My own research found that people following a very-low calorie diet (550 kcal) experienced reduced levels of the “hunger” hormone ghrelin the following day. As high concentrations of ghrelin are associated with feeling hungry, lower concentrations of it after a very-low calorie diet suppress appetite, and could help people with short-term weight loss.
And that's not all, says Courtney Peterson, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of nutrition sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "Studies suggest you keep more muscle and lose more fat than on other diets, even if you lose the same number of pounds." That's because after about 12 hours of fasting, you run out of stored energy from carbs and start burning stored fat.
Prolonged very low calorie diets can cause physiological changes that may cause the body to adapt to the calorie restriction and therefore prevent further weight loss. [2] Intermittent fasting attempts to address this problem by cycling between a low calorie level for a brief time followed by normal eating, which may prevent these adaptations. However, research does not consistently show that intermittent fasting is superior to continuous low calorie diets for weight loss efficiency.
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