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episode #229

New Study: Intermittent Fasting + Protein vs. Caloric Restriction!

February 27, 2023 in Podcast


This week I discuss an interesting 8 week study comparing intermittent fasting (5:2) along with protein pacing (IF-P) vs. heart healthy caloric restriction (CR). Protein pacing involves eating an optimal amount of protein at regular intervals throughout the day.  Caloric restriction of a heart-healthy diet consists of an increased intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and liquid plant oils and minimal intakes of processed foods, added sugars, salt, and alcohol (65% carbohydrate intake, 20% fat, and 15% protein) [(1516)]. In comparison, the IF approach is a modified IF regimen, which allows consumption of 20% to 25% of energy needs on scheduled fasting days (1-2/wk), combined with a protein meal plan consisting of 35% to 45% carbohydrate, 20% to 30% fat, and 30% to 35% protein for 5 or 6 days weekly.

Conclusion: IF-P resulted in greater (p < 0.05) reductions in weight (−9% vs. −5%), total (−16% vs. −9%) and visceral (−33% vs. −14%) fat mass, and desire to eat (−17% vs. 1%) and increased fat-free mass percent (6% vs. 3%) compared with CR.

Episode Resources:

*15: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23660#oby23660-bib-0015

*16: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.23660#oby23660-bib-0016


Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the Get Lean and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Grn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle-aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple, actionable items to get long-term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All right, welcome to the Getline e Klean podcast. My name is Brian Grn. I hope you had a great weekend and hope you listened to my interview with Dr. David Spiegel.

Brian (41s):

We touched all about hypnosis and the clinical applications around it, and Dr. David Spiegel has a ton of experience around this, over 40 years of research and clinical applications for hypnosis such as sleep stress, weight management, peak performance in sports, which really drew my attention. And so if you haven't listened to it, it's a, it's a great interview Dr. David Spiegel. Definitely check that out. We also talked about his Revere app where you can do sort of your own self-directed hypnosis and it doesn't take that long. I'm gonna start using it soon and I'll let you know how that goes. So really enjoyed meeting Dr. David Spiegel. So check it out if you haven't already.

Brian (1m 22s):

And today I'm gonna touch on a study. I know you guys enjoy that. The title of this one is Intermittent Fasting and Protein Pacing are Superior to Caloric Restriction for Weight Loss and Visceral Fat Loss. So the study compared intermittent fasting and protein pacing and protein pacing is pretty much just having 20 to 40 grams of protein per meal and prioritizing it for each meal. So a little bit of a higher protein intake verse, maybe a little bit of a less, which is done with a heart healthy caloric restriction diet. So they compared intermittent fasting in a protein pacing diet verse heart healthy caloric restriction diet and they matched energy intake and physical activity and they compared body weight total and visceral fat mass cardiometabolic health outcomes in adults with obesity.

Brian (2m 13s):

Wasn't a long study eight weeks, so you know, obviously take it with a grain of salt. But eight weeks study and it pretty much the, the group with intermittent fasting and protein pacing resulted in greater reductions in weight, both total and visceral and also and their desire to eat, which I thought was interesting. Also an increase in fat-free mass percent as well compared with caloric restriction. So yeah, interesting that not totally surprised here that intermittent fasting combined with prioritizing protein compared with just doing caloric restriction.

Brian (2m 55s):

There was an optimi, you, you were able to optimize weight loss, body composition, cardiometabolic health and hunger management and you know, the intermittent fasting with the protein pacing provided those greater benefits. Now with the fasting group, I'll just talk a little bit about some of the nuanced within this study. And as far as like the macronutrient counts, the heart healthy caloric restriction group took intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, liquid plant oils, and minimal intakes of processed foods. So they, you know, sugars and salts and alcohol and things like that.

Brian (3m 38s):

65% carbon take 20% fat and 15% protein in comparison to the intermittent fasting approach where they used, essentially what they did is one, the two, the, the, the type of fasting they did here was they did normal eating for five days and then for two of the days they did the fasting day where they would drastically reduce calories to like less than 500. So nothing I've actually ever really done is like, I've never really done a five two. You could try that. Some people really enjoy that where they eat normally for five days and then they do two days of, of fasting.

Brian (4m 19s):

And those two days of fasting are more so just very low caloric intake, like less than 500 calories. It, it, it says in here 20 to 25% of their energy needs were was scheduled for the fasting days and the, and other days were combined as far as macros 35 to 45% carb. So a little bit less carbon intake than the, than the, the heart healthy caloric restriction was 65% and then 20 to 30% of fat intake, which was about what they did for the other one. And then 30 to 35% protein for that for the intermittent fasting protein pacing group. So they doubled the amount of protein for the individuals that were doing the schedule fasts along with just normal eating and protein pacing as they call it.

Brian (5m 9s):

So essentially I think there's some conclusions that come from this study. I mean granted it was just eight weeks, but it did have effects, positive effects on body composition, cardiometabolic and hormonal and hunger responses for the individuals who for a couple days did, did some fasting and then the rest ate normally but prioritize protein. And I think, you know, one of the things to take from that is, is the importance of prioritizing protein. You know, not only for, you know, not only for satiation but also for, you know, to avoid sarcopenia muscle loss and things like that. So it obviously played a positive role in body composition as well.

Brian (5m 53s):

So I think the thing to take from this is, you know, as far as whatever, if you do do fasting, you know, let's just say you are doing a 16 eight fast and you're having an eight hour eating window, really wanna make sure that, you know, I would have two ma even three meals of 20 to 40 grams of protein for those meals so you can get in your protein amounts cuz we can, we see how it, this, this plays such a positive role in body composition and cardiometabolic health as well. So I think that's the big thing to take from this. I mean it was a short, fairly short study and, but you know, if you, you know, do the, you know, combined a a little bit of fasting with some with prioritizing protein, I think that's important.

Brian (6m 42s):

And just if you're just doing like one meal a day, I think it's tough to do that. So that's why I always, you know, I did two meals a day for a while. Now I've actually added in a third because I was having trouble getting in, you know, for me if I want to get in about one 50 to one 70 grams of protein a day, it's tough to do that in one meal or even two. So just keep that in mind. I think that's the main conclusion to take from this study. Again, it's just one study and, and as I was looking, the individual who put on the study, there was a few people, but he actually has a whole like program slash book around this protein pacing. I guess it's just another way of, you know, marketing himself in the sense that, you know, protein pacing is pretty much just prioritizing protein with each meal and it's just his way of, of doing that.

Brian (7m 28s):

But that, that was, that was the study that was funded by a company called Isogenix if you ever heard of them. So that's all I wanted to touch on the day. Thought this would be interesting just showing you that, you know, intermittent fasting and protein pacing provided greater reductions in most of the outcomes compared with just restricting calories and over this 8, 8, 8 week weight loss period. So I will put a link in the show notes so you can read more about this study and dig deeper if you'd like, but I thought this would be advantageous for you to hear. So hope this helps and have a great rest of the week and I will talk to you on Friday.

Brian (8m 12s):

Thanks for listening to the Get Lean EAN podcast. I understand there are millions of other podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes@briangrin.com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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