Time Restricted Eating (Intermittent Fasting) vs. Calorie Control: Which Diet Approach Is Better For Weight Loss?
There are so many fat loss diets out there. Countless “dieting tips” that will help you “shred your body to 6 pack abs”.
Different approaches to weight loss that all have some who swear by it and promote it like it’s the be all, end all.
So it is no surprise that many people wonder if time restricted eating is better than classic calorie control dietary approaches. Which is better? Do both lead to fat loss? Which one leads to more weight loss?
As a Dietitian and Nutritionist, I have worked with countless clients seeking the sweet nectar of fat loss success and I know a thing or two about the science and the actions needed to achieve weight loss success.
In this short n sweet blog, I quite simply answer the question: Which is better for fat loss…time restricted eating (aka Intermittent Fasting) or calorie counting?
What Is Time Restricted Eating and Calorie Control?
First and foremost, let’s address the two challengers in today’s round of “which diet is better”. We need to know what the definition is of each so you can understand the rest of the piece and be informed.
Time restricted eating is essentially Intermittent Fasting - a dietary approach whereby one alternates periods of eating and fasting in a strategic way to reduce calories or harness the health benefits (as some believe it to be the case…debatable at best).
Calorie control in this scenario relates specifically to calorie counting and tracking measures as part of say, flexible dieting.
It is an approach whereby one tracks and counts their calories to try and keep within a specific range to reap the results - in this case to be in a calorie deficit for fat loss.
So which one is better?
Well, here is the thing….
Neither is better nor worse than the other. Neither is more effective for fat loss nor less effective. Neither approach is the “right stuff” when it comes to achieving successful fat loss.
This is because they are both simply 2 different approaches to dieting. Two means to an end. And 2 of the more sane ones you’ll see people do in the dieting world.
The fact of the matter is that both time restricted eating and calorie control have their merits and their pitfalls.
It really does come down to finding the right approach for the right PERSON, for the right REASON, and done in the right WAY.
There are many ways to climb a mountain as there are different ways to be a weight loss success story. Both of these can help you or impede you in your pursuit of happiness (aka the coveted reduction in bodyfat we all know you so desire).
How Do They Achieve Weight Loss?
So how exactly does each of these 2 diet approaches initiate fat loss? Is one question you may be wondering (or should be asking to be honest).
The answer to this will provide the nuance and perspective you need to understand my stance on this question as you have seen so far during this blog post.
Time restricted eating cuts off chunks of time in which you can not eat in the hopes that it will cut down your calories…and cut down enough to create a calorie deficit.
Calorie control is a much more specific and direct method in which you would control your caloric input with the goal in this case, of cutting calories down and maintaining a…you guessed it. A calorie deficit.
So both work on the principle of creating a calorie deficit. The fundamental necessity in ANY fat loss endeavour. If you want to be successful, that is.
So Which Do I Choose?
Hopefully by now it is very clear that there unfortunately is not set answer to the question of which approach is better for weight loss: time restricted eating vs. calorie control.
That should not be seen as a bad thing though. It means there are more options at your disposal. Ways of doing things. Finding the right match for YOU.
You should be looking at both approaches (and also not limiting yourself to only these 2 as there are more ways too) and thinking about:
These are just some of the questions you can ask yourself to make a more informed decision.
All in all, both Intermittent Fasting AND calorie control can work for you and be very solid fat loss approaches.
I have personally used both (and a combo at times) for myself and some of my clients. Food for thought.
There you go!
Now you know that the truth and answer to the long questioned debate of Intermittent Fasting vs. calorie counting.
Neither is better nor worse. Context matters. Both have pros and cons. Either can be the solution for you…or I should say a piece of the puzzle of the solution that is a lifestyle change reinforced by strategy, consistency, and balance.
Now go work hard on your weight loss goals!
However, before I leave you…I do want to ask you some things because maybe you need someone you be your guide on this journey…
Do you feel you need expert guidance when it comes to your fuelling, recovery, and nourishment?
Not seeing the body you feel happier, healthier, and more confident in?
Performance lagging like an early 2000’s dial up internet setup?
I may be able to be of assistance.
If you are ready to take your nutrition and body to the next level and elevate your performance in a way that doesn’t make you want to punch your Sports Dietitian, then let’s chat.
I have developed a bespoke nutrition coaching solution that allows you to work with me personally 1:1 to help start bridging the gap between where you are now and where you want to be with your physique & performance.
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Interested in learning more?
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Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Nutritionist
Hi there! My name's Aleksa Gagic - i'm a Brisbane Sports Dietitian & Brisbane Sports Nutritionist. I have 7+ years experience in providing professional nutrition consulting and want to help you learn about the power of flexible nutrition.