(Natural News) According to researchers from the University of Tasmania, taking two-week-long breaks between dieting is the key to greater weight loss. More than just making it easier to shed pounds, taking 14 days off can help keep the weight off far better than continuously dieting.
They came to this conclusion after conducting a randomized clinical trial that had enlisted 51 obese male participants between 25 to 54 years of age. None of the participants exercised regularly, nor did they lose or gain any more weight in the six months leading up to the trial. The men were divided into two groups: one control group that maintained an uninterrupted 16-week diet that cut back their caloric intake by a third; and the experimental group that followed the diet for two weeks, stopped following their meal plan for a fortnight, then resumed the diet once more for another two weeks. The experimental group repeated this pattern for 30 weeks until they had accumulated a total 16 weeks of dieting.
Not only did the men in the experimental group lose 47 percent more weight than the men in the control group , but they also kept the weight off, sustaining a 17.5-weight loss six months after their diet ended.
Nuala Byrne, lead author and head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, explained to the DailyMail.co.uk that dieting alters several of the body’s biological processes that could actually lead to weight gain.
“When we reduce our energy (food) intake during dieting, resting metabolism decreases to a greater extent than expected — a phenomenon termed ‘adaptive thermogenesis‘ — making weight loss harder to achieve. This ‘famine reaction’, a survival mechanism which helped humans to survive as a species when food supply was inconsistent in millennia past, is now contributing to our growing waistlines when the food supply is readily available,” Byrne stated.
She further added: “There is a growing body of research which has shown that diets which use one to seven day periods of complete or partial fasting alternated with ad libitum food intake, are not more effective for weight loss than conventional continuous dieting. It seems that the breaks from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach.” (Related: Nutritionist reveals tricks for slimming down quickly; limit eating hours, don’t snack, eat light at night, among others.)
Even more weight loss tips
In addition to taking two weeks off your diet, there’s so much more you can do to make your weight loss efforts successful. These include:
- Drinking green tea – This soothing beverage is loaded with potent antioxidants known as catechins. These flavonoids help us shed pounds by making it easier for the body utilize excess body fat, and by increasing fat metabolism. Black tea has few catechins due to its fermentation process, so that’s why green tea is the best for this.
- Eating more spicy foods – If you can handle the heat, then you should add some spice to your mealtimes. Capsaicin, a compound present in chili peppers, has been found to reduce appetite by a small margin and is believed to enhance metabolism.
- Keeping healthy food around – Prepare some healthy and simple snacks — such as whole fruits or nuts — for you store in your home and your place of work. This way, you’ll be less tempted to buy unhealthy foods when a snack craving hits you.
- Using smaller plates – This is an odd one, but it helps with portion control. Smaller plates and bowls can trick you into thinking that you’re filling them up, so you’re less likely to pile on more food, and thus more weight.
- Sleeping better – Yet another unusual tip, but it makes as much sense as the last one. Sleep deprivation can hike up cortisol levels, which in turn can increase your appetite and your stress levels. When you’re stressed, you’re likely to opt for carbohydrate-dense, high-fat foods to boost your serotonin and calm you down.
To read more diet tips, or stories about the benefits of weight loss to get you motivated, go to Slender.news today.