Scientists found the “flexi” diet was an effective way to lose weight and keep healthy. Picture: Thinkstock
FASTING is the best way to lose weight, according to Australia’s peak research body.
The CSIRO has even released a new diet where everyday Australians can follow recipe books and meal plans.
Scientists found the “flexi” diet, which encourages intermittent fasting and meal replacement shakes, was an effective way to lose weight and keep healthy.
Those who took on the 16-week diet lost 11kg on average.
Research participants all recorded improved levels of cholesterol, insulin, glucose and blood pressure.
“This was the largest study exploring the effects of an intermittent fasting style of diet on weight loss, health and nutrient status,” CSIRO research dietitian Dr Jane Bowen said.
“In addition to improvement in weight loss and overall health, we also observed psychological improvements, with participants indicating better control over eating habits.”
Along with intermittent fasting and meal replacement shakes, participants had a “flexi” day for one day of the week, where they could enjoy any food and drink they liked.
The flexi diet was released by the CSIRO yesterday with the creators of the Impromy weight loss program Probiotec.
The latest research follows the popular 5:2 diet, which encourages participants to restrict their kilojoule consumption to 25 per cent for two days and eat normally for five.
It also comes as some short studies showed intermittent fasting resulted in weight loss and metabolic improvements.
“Losing weight can be challenging, with results often limited by an individual’s ability to stick with a diet,” Dr Bowen said.
“The flexi program offers a flexible alternative to traditional diets, which could help Australians to fit a weight loss diet around their busy, social lifestyles.”
CSIRO said few studies had compared the long-term effects of intermittent fasting and continuous energy restriction.
Pharmacies are offering the program, which includes a recipe book and a website with personalised meal plans.
The meal plans can be modified toward more whole foods the diet progresses.