Does fasting really help with weight loss? Local volunteers wanted for 8-week dieting study

Does fasting work with weight loss?

Does fasting work for weight loss?

Researchers from our Department for Health are looking for local volunteers to participate in an 8-week study into the effects of intermittent fasting on health.

Participants in the study, who should be aged from 21 – 65 and not currently dieting, will be asked to undertake one of three weight loss programmes.

Studying the impact of fasting

The fasting-based diets that will be tested have been designed by the research group in order to assess the reported health benefits of fasting, whilst still allowing participants to eat at least one unrestricted main meal per day to reduce the motivational demands.

The effects of these diets will be compared against those arising from a more conventional approach to weight management to establish whether intermittent fasting is a more effective strategy.

For taking part, participants will benefit from a thorough appraisal of their metabolic health, including a full cholesterol profile, an assessment of diabetes risk and comprehensive dietary analysis.

PhD candidate, Iain Templeman, who is leading the project, said: “What is interesting in this project is that we are providing the first direct comparison of two very different approaches to dieting, intermittent fasting and caloric restriction. Coupling this with the range of health outcomes being measured and the focus on individual responses it should prove to be an interesting and useful experience for our participants.”

Dr James Betts, who is supervising the research, said: “This is a great opportunity for volunteers to get involved in a very topical piece of research. Although there is a lot of coverage in the media about fasting-based diets, such as the 5:2 diet, we actually know very little about how they affect our health, let alone how they compare to more conventional methods of dieting.”

Participants will need to attend one short session to assess their eligibility and undergo an initial health screening. After this they will be asked to maintain their normal diet and activity for four weeks before undertaking one of three diets for three weeks.

Get involved

Data collection sessions placed before and after the diet will allow the effects of the diet on numerous aspects of their metabolic health to be examined.

For more information on the study or to volunteer to take part please contact Iain Templeman on 01225-385918 or via email at


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