Adelaide, South Australia— Obese women ina studyat the University of Adelaide experienced weight loss and improved health by fasting intermittently while following a strictly controlled food formula.

Dr. Amy Hutchison, lead author from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), said ina press releasefrom the University, “Continuously restricting their diet is the main way that obese women try to tackle their weight. Unfortunately, studies have shown that long-term adherence to a restricted diet is very challenging for people to follow, so this study looked at the impact of intermittent fasting on weight loss.”

In the study, which followed 88 women for 10 weeks,according to news shared on Science Daily, obese women who ate 70% of their required energy intake and fasted intermittently lost the most. Women who fasted intermittently without reducing their food intake, as well as women who reduced their food intake but did not fast, or did not restrict their diet at all, were not as successful. Women who fasted intermittently while restricting their food intake also improved their health more than the other groups.

The intermittent fasters ate breakfast, then did not eat for 24 hours, followed by 24 hours of eating. The following day, Science Daily reported, they fasted again.

“This study is adding to evidence that intermittent fasting, at least in the short term, may provide better outcomes than daily continuous diet restriction for health and potentially for weight loss," said associate professor Leonie Heilbronn from the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI in the release. "While the study confirms that intermittent fasting is more effective than continuous diet restriction, the underlying signal for limiting people’s appetite, which could hold the key to triggering effective weight loss, requires further research.”