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‘On-Demand’ Fast Mobilizes Fat; Low-Carb Breakfast Stymies Hunger

Greater fat tissue mobilization can be achieved through early-day fasting in comparison to consuming a low-carbohydrate breakfast or a Mediterranean-style breakfast, shows a small study that explored the short-term effects of intermittent fasting by lean people.

The study also found that consumption of a low-carbohydrate breakfast results in longer suppression of hunger compared to a Mediterranean breakfast.

Dimitrios Tsilingiris, MD, PhD, led the study and presented the findings recently at the virtual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

“Through fasting intervals as short as those achievable through a 16:8 restricted feeding scheme, a substantially and measurably increased fat tissue mobilization ― as indexed by increased ketone body production ― may occur,” said Tsilingiris, reporting the main finding.

He added that for most ketogenic diets, time is needed for the switch toward fat burning, but the findings from this study could provide support for an “on-demand” application of this strategy.

“The quite high subjective hunger scores at the end of the fasting sessions should also be taken into account, since the feeling of hunger may obviously drive the subsequent caloric quantity intake,” Tsilingiris, formerly of Laiko General Hospital, Athens, Greece, but now based at the University Hospital Heidelberg, in Germany, pointed out.

Anne-Marie Aas, PhD, clinical dietitian and associate professor at Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway, was session moderator. She told Medscape Medical News that she welcomed the study because there is a lack of human studies of the clinical implications of different forms of intermittent fasting.

“The findings from this Greek study in healthy people is interesting but not surprising, since a prolonged fast would naturally prolong the time the metabolism yields energy from fat stores,” she said.

“The most interesting finding is perhaps that fasting resulted in increased hunger, while the low-carb breakfast suppressed appetite for longer than the typical Mediterranean breakfast.” she said.

“This is in line with an earlier study from the same group [as reported from EASD 2018] showing that morning-time carbohydrate restriction resulted in greater weight loss in obese individuals over a 2-month period,” she noted.

First Study of Short-term “On-Demand” Intermittent Fasting

Tsilingiris explained that evidence in the literature suggests that intermittent fasting is associated with numerous health benefits. The term refers to a relatively heterogeneous group of dietary habits that commonly include prolonged fasting intervals within a month (periodic fasting), a week (5:2, alternate day fasting), or a day (time-restricted feeding, 16:8).

In theory, intermittent fasting leads to loss of fat tissue through a metabolic milieu that promotes fat mobilization, he said.

“To our knowledge,” he said, “this hypothesis regarding the shortest-term application of intermittent fasting ―that is, the increasingly popular 16:8 ― has not been put to the test until now.”

He and his team investigated early-day fasting for adipose tissue mobilization, as indicated by β-hydroxybutyrate levels, and they compared this approach with two different kinds of breakfast.

“We compared the ketogenic response of [early-day] fasting to that following a zero-carb and a standard Mediterranean breakfast,” Tsilingiris

Is The Keto Diet Good For PCOS? Benefits Of Low-Carb Diet For PCOS

Having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) can affect a lot of different areas of your life. Among other things, PCOS can impact your weight, and a lot of questions come up about the best way to manage PCOS weight gain via your diet. One frequently searched query? Whether the keto diet is a good eating method to help manage PCOS weight gain and other symptoms.

Before we get into that, it’s important to go over some PCOS basics. PCOS is a health condition caused by an imbalance of reproductive hormones, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office on Women’s Health (OWH). This hormone imbalance causes problems in the ovaries, which make an egg that’s released each month as part of your menstrual cycle. When you have PCOS, the egg might not develop the way it should, or it might not be released during ovulation, according to the OWH.

PCOS can cause a range of symptoms, including irregular periods, infertility, excess hair growth, severe acne, and weight gain, per the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). As many as four in five women with PCOS deal with weight issues in conjunction with the condition, ACOG says.

PCOS may be managed with medical interventions like hormonal birth control pills. But lifestyle management, like losing even a little weight, may also help alleviate symptoms, according to ACOG.

And that’s where the keto diet question comes up a lot. Here’s what you need to know about how the keto diet can impact PCOS symptoms.

Is following the keto diet beneficial if you have PCOS?

There’s a lot to dig into here. People with PCOS often deal with insulin resistance, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This means that the body can make insulin, which helps blood sugar enter the body’s cells to provide energy, but can’t use it effectively. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Insulin resistance can also lead to patches of thickened, velvety, darkened skin, a condition known as acanthosis nigricans, and this commonly occurs with PCOS, per ACOG.

So, how does the keto diet factor in here? The keto diet is an eating plan that focuses on minimizing your carbs and increasing your fat intake to get your body to use fat as a form of energy. People on the keto diet usually have no more than 50 grams of carbs a day, but some keto fans aim to have no more than 20 grams a day.

As you may (or may not) know, carbs convert into glucose (sugar) in the body, and insulin is needed to take that sugar to your cells for energy. Limiting your carb intake—like you would on the keto diet—can help relieve the insulin resistance that can occur as a result of having PCOS, but likely only for the short term, says Scott Keatley, RD, of Keatley Medical Nutrition Therapy. However, building lean body mass (read: muscle) and losing weight will help your body