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Take part in our research into the health benefits of intermittent fasting

We are recruiting volunteers to take part in our research into the impact of intermittent fasting on energy balance and associated health outcomes.

Obesity is considered a chronic disease and a global health problem. It is linked to metabolic conditions such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Intermittent fasting (IMF) has been suggested as an effective way to improve metabolic health by helping individuals lose weight and body fat through alternating periods of eating and fasting.

The overall aims of this study from the Centre for Nutrition, Exercise and Metabolism are to:

  • establish whether IMF elicits changes in energy balance components and compare these results against changes resulting from daily caloric restriction (CR)
  • examine the effects of IMF on postprandial metabolism (the period following a meal) relative to daily CR
  • explore whether IMF impacts postprandial metabolism and components of energy balance independently from chronic energy imbalance

Take part in our research

We are recruiting for this study until December 2024.

What you’ll do

You'll take part in a number of sessions spread across eight weeks. These will be:

  • Lab one (60 minutes): Anthropometric measurements, eating habits questionnaire, capacity to exercise and general health. If deemed eligible, you’ll need to provide informed consent to take part in the study.
  • Monitoring (4 weeks): A 60-minute visit to collect additional anthropometric measurements, blood and urine samples, calibration of monitoring equipment. During this period, individuals will be given two monitoring tools: a physical activity monitor and a log book plus scales to record diet.
  • Lab 2 (approximately 7 hours): You will drink a pint of water before this visit. A urine sample will be collected, followed by a body composition scan, fat biopsy and cannulation. Afterwards, you’ll have breakfast, blood samples will be collected. Your appetite, hunger and fullness will be assessed. A milkshake will be provided at 12:30pm and additional blood samples will be taken until 2:30pm.
  • Break (1 week): no activities or measurements required.
  • Intervention (3 weeks): Participants will be randomised to 1 of 3 diet groups. The CR 75% group will consume 75% of their habitual energy intake daily. For the other 2 groups, transition between fasting and feeding periods will happen at 3pm. During fasting periods, participants can only consume water and black tea/coffee with no sugar. During eating periods, participants will either consume 150% or 200% of normal daily calorie intake.
  • Lab 3 (approximately 7 hours): Same as lab two.


To take part in this study, you must:

  • be 18-65 years old (pre-menopausal if female)
  • have a body mass index of more than 25 kg/m2
  • have had a stable body weight (+/- 3kg) for the past six months
  • be willing to undertake fasting

You will not be eligible for this study if:

  • your body weight is greater than 120kg
  • you have previously suffered from, or are currently suffering from, an eating disorder
  • you have dietary restrictions (vegan, lactose intolerant, etc.)
  • you are engaged in/planning fasting and/or changing dietary patterns
  • you are pregnant (or planning to become pregnant) or breastfeeding
  • you have an ongoing medical condition (such as diabetes) or are undergoing medical treatment

Why take part

By taking part in this study you will learn about your:

  • basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn in a day)
  • activity energy expenditure (how many calories you burn during physical activity)
  • body composition (fat and muscle percentages)
  • energy intake (how many calories you consume daily)
  • nutrient intake (how many grams of key nutrients you eat daily)
  • postprandial response (how your body handles what you eat)
  • appetite regulation (how your body regulates your appetite before and after meals)
A plate with an alarm clock on it, and a knife and fork either side.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this study, please contact us.