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Study compares Intermittent Fasting, Paleo, and Mediterranean diets

Study compares Intermittent Fasting, Paleo, and Mediterranean diets


According to surveys, 3 of 10 Americans regularly make New Year’s resolutions. The top four resolutions typically include exercise more, eat more healthfully, lose weight, and save money. Because exercising and eating more healthfully are also associated with weight loss, it’s safe to say that is top on people’s minds after the holidays. We can probably all agree that strict, temporary diets don’t work in the long term – weight lost is easily gained back (and more) – so-called yo-yo dieting. Let’s look at what the research says.

In this 12-month study, 250 healthy but overweight adults chose one of three popular dietary approaches – intermittent fasting (IF), the paleo diet (PD), or the Mediterranean diet (MD). Participants were provided a 30-minute educational session regarding their particular dietary choice at the beginning of the study. Body composition (weight, BMI, etc.) and blood pressure were assessed at the beginning and after six and 12 months; blood indices were assessed at the beginning of the study and after 12 months; and dietary intake was assessed over three days at baseline, six, and 12 months. The purpose of the study was to determine ease of compliance and effectiveness of the diets for weight loss and metabolic improvements. Choice of diets were: IF 54.4%, MD 27.2%, and PD 18.4%.

Results: Although compliance was lacking across the board, at the end of 12 months the Mediterranean diet rated the best in terms of adherence – 57 percent in that group stuck to the diet, compared to 54 percent and 37 percent for intermittent fasting and the paleo diet, respectively. Other findings:

  • MD participants exhibited better glycemic control than the IF or PD group – with an average HbA1c decrease of 0.8, compared to 0.2 decreases for IF and PD.
  • Both MD and IF resulted in clinically significant reductions in blood pressure.
  • In individuals who adhered to the diet, IF resulted in the most weight loss – average of 4.0 kg (8.8 pounds) at 12 months, compared to 2.8 kg (6.16 pounds) and 1.8 kg (3.96 pounds), for MD and PD, respectively.

Click here for abstract of this study.

When it comes to diet, there is no best diet for everyone.  At Vitopia, we work with clients to design the best diet for each individual.  Important considerations include:  current health status, genetics, lifestyle, and other factors.  The successful dietary approach requires identifying a diet the person can live with on a daily basis that addresses their health needs without them feeling deprived or experiencing cravings. 

If you would like to learn more or work with one of the practitioners at Vitopia to identify the best diet for you, contact us at

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