Indirect comparisons suggest that alternate-day fasting (ADF) may produce greater improvements in body composition, fat distribution, and/or the adipokine profile compared to daily calorie restriction (CR), but this has not been tested directly. In a pre-planned secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial, we compared changes in the VAT:SAT ratio, FFM:total mass ratio, and the adipokine profile between ADF and CR.
Overweight and obese participants (n = 100) were randomized to 1) ADF (alternating every 24-h between consuming 25% or 125% of energy needs); 2) CR (consuming 75% of needs every day); or 3) control (consuming 100% of needs every day) for 24 wk.
The VAT:SAT ratio did not change in any group. The FFM:total mass ratio increased in both ADF (0.03 ± 0.00) and CR (0.03 ± 0.01) compared to the control group (P < 0.01), with no differences between the intervention groups. Circulating leptin decreased in both the ADF group (-18 ± 6%) and CR group (-31 ± 10%) relative to the control group (P < 0.05), with no differences between the intervention groups. Circulating levels of adiponectin, resistin, IL-6, and TNF-α did not change in either intervention group relative to the control group.
ADF and CR similarly improve the FFM:total mass ratio and reduce leptin after a 24-wk intervention.
Clinicaltrials.gov, number NCT00960505.