Australian scientists from the University of Tasmania believe that a two-week break is more effective than a continuous, long-term reduction in calorie intake.
The study involved more than 50 men aged 25 to 54 years. All of them at the time of the beginning of participation in the project suffered from obesity. The subjects were divided into 2 groups. One of them was on a calorie-restricted diet for 16 weeks, without changing the principles of nutrition during this time. Another followed the same diet, but every 2 weeks the participants "went on a break" - during this period, the number of calories increased to such an extent that it was possible to maintain the weight at which the subjects stopped. The "dietary" part of the second group also took 16 weeks, but taking into account the breaks, their part of the experiment lasted a total of 30 weeks.
At the end of the project, it turned out that men on the intermittent diet lost 8 kg more than people who were losing weight continuously. According to scientists, this clearly shows that alternating two-week "diet" and regular eating periods may be more effective in losing weight and keeping it within the specified limits than traditional diets. Previous studies that looked at breaks of 1 to 7 days have not shown similar results. Researchers believe that 2 weeks is a critical period for increasing the effectiveness of weight loss.
Scientists point out that during a continuous diet, constant long-term calorie restriction leads to so-called adaptive thermogenesis. That is, the body responds to hunger by reducing the volume of various metabolic reactions and thereby reducing calorie expenditure. “Once this mechanism allowed humanity to survive in times of food scarcity, and now, in a well-fed time, it contributes to the growth of our waists,” emphasizes Professor NualByrne. Switching to an intermittent diet avoids triggering adaptive thermogenesis.