|Remember, Ramadan fasting is not about eating healthy or dieting, after sundown most Muslims consume at least as much energy as on a non-fasting day.|
Against that background, it makes sense to assume that the two dozen of peer-reviewed Ramadan fasting studies from the Middle East and the Muslim part of Asia provide an (albeit often uncontrolled) model for intermittent fasting.
If we assume that this premise is true, a recent study from the Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital at the Universitas Indonesia, provides intriguing insights into the lean mass conserving effects of "intermittent fasting".
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of Ramadan fasting on body composition in healthy Indonesian medical staff. To this ends, Ari Fahrial Syam et al. (2016) recorded the body composition of healthy medical staff members of the Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo General Hospital before, during and after Ramadan fasting in 2013 (August to October).
|Figure 1: Changes in body composition during the 28-day Ramadan fast (Syam. 2016).|
|According to 24h food recalls, the subjects didn't change their energy intake during Ramadan. The fat loss can thus not be explained by the induction of a caloric deficit.|
|Table 1: Overview of pertinent research comparing the results of the study at hand to previous studies (Syam. 2016).|
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