Intermittent fasting and protein pacing are superior to caloric restriction for weight and visceral fat loss

Paul J. Arciero, Michelle Poe, Alex E. Mohr, Stephen J. Ives, Autumn Arciero, Karen L. Sweazea, Eric Gumpricht, Karen M. Arciero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study compared intermittent fasting and protein pacing (IF-P) versus a heart-healthy caloric restriction (CR) diet, matched for energy intake and physical activity energy expenditure, on body weight, total and visceral fat mass, and cardiometabolic health outcomes in adults with obesity. Methods: IF-P (n = 21) and CR (n = 20) were assessed pre- (week 0), mid- (week 5), and post- (week 9) intervention. Results: Both groups reduced (p < 0.05) weight, total and visceral fat mass, blood pressure and lipids, and desire to eat food and increased proportion of fat-free mass. IF-P resulted in greater (p < 0.05) reductions in weight (−9% vs. −5%), total (−16% vs. −9%) and visceral (−33% vs. −14%) fat mass, and desire to eat (−17% vs. 1%) and increased fat-free mass percent (6% vs. 3%) compared with CR. These improvements were despite similar weekly total energy intake (IF-P, 9470 ± 550 vs. CR, 9095 ± 608 kcal/wk; p = 0.90) and physical activity energy expenditure (IF-P, 300 ± 150 vs. CR, 350 ± 200 kcal/d; p = 0.79). Conclusions: IF-P and CR optimize weight loss, body composition, cardiometabolic health, and hunger management, with IF-P providing greater benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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