Have you been dieting but just can’t seem to either lose the weight or keep it off?
If so, you’re not alone.
While losing weight is consistently one of the top resolutions that are made at the start of every new year, 95% of diets fail and most dieters will regain their lost weight in as little as a year.
That could be why close to 200,000 Americans take the drastic step of weight loss surgery each year. Yet, even after facing all of the dangers and pain of surgery, many can’t maintain their initial weight loss after a brief “honeymoon” period.
These are depressing statistics but there is hope for dieters everywhere and it comes with a surprising recommendation…
Take a break from your diet!
Boost weight loss by preventing the famine reaction
A new study, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) of Australia, investigated the body’s ‘famine reaction’ to continued dieting and its impact on weight loss in men with obesity.
During the study, two groups of participants took part in a 16-week diet which cut calorie intake by one third.
One group maintained the diet continuously for 16 weeks while the other followed a simple schedule of two weeks on followed by two weeks off the diet, eating simply to keep their weight stable, and repeated this cycle for 30 weeks in total to reach 16 weeks of dieting.
And, the results may surprise you.
Those in the intermittent diet group not only lost more weight, but also gained less weight after the trial finished.
In fact, the intermittent dieters maintained an average weight loss of almost 18 pounds more than the continuous diet group, even six months after the end of the diet.
According to the researchers, this is because dieting alters a series of biological processes in your body, which leads to slower weight loss, and possibly even weight gain.
This is based on what’s known as the “famine reaction”, which helped our ancestors survive even when food supplies where limited.
Unfortunately, now it just adds to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available.
Even more surprising, the researchers also found that while this two-week intermittent diet was more successful for weight loss compared with continuous dieting, other popular diets which included cycles of several days of fasting and feasting were not any more effective that continuous dieting.
This means that taking two weeks off your diet at regular intervals, to allow your body’s biological processes to reset could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your weight loss goals.
Scheduling your diet
Here’s a sample schedule to optimize your diet based on the study’s findings:
- Cut caloric intake by 1/3 for weeks you follow your diet.
- Two weeks – follow diet strictly.
- Two weeks – eat normally but within reason.
- Repeat cycle until you reach your weight loss goals.
Just be sure that on your two week diet break that you don’t go overboard and pack all of the weight that you’ve lost right back on.
So, if you’re ready to finally take off the extra weight you’ve been carrying around, use the simple advice above to beat the famine reaction, lose more weight and keep it off.
Editor’s note: According to a study referenced in The Part-Time Health Nut by Dr. Michael Cutler, researchers found that temptations to go off-diet led to binges about 50 percent of the time. That’s because restrictive dieting just doesn’t work. Find out how you can attain your best health ever, without extreme diets, dangerous pills or brutal workouts! Click to here for a preview…
- Statistics on Dieting and Eating Disorders — Monte Nido
- 23 Exceptional Fad Diet Statistics — HealthResearchFunding.org
- Estimate of Bariatric Surgery Numbers, 2011-2015 — American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS)
- Bariatric Surgery Patients See Weight Gain After ‘Honeymoon’ Period — Healthline Media
- Taking a break from dieting may improve weight loss — ScienceDaily