SHAFAQNA- Move over month-long diets that force you to remove entire food groups or significantly decrease your calorie intake, there is a better way to lose weight.
Experts say taking two-week breaks in between dieting is the key to shortening the waistline and keeping the pounds off instead of the type of diet, reports the Daily Mail.
They analysed the body’s “famine reaction” and its impact on obese men who are altering what they eat.
The reaction causes the body to have a fight response when it starts to lose a significant amount of weight. The body will burn less fat once the person starts eating normally again, which hinders weight-loss goals.
Researchers recommend two-week breaks from diets to promote an increase in weight loss that will stay off once the diet is over.
Researchers from the University of Tasmania, Australia, studied two groups of participants in a 16-week diet which cut out calorie intake by one third.
One group maintained the diet continuously for 16 weeks.
The other maintained the diet for two weeks, then broke from the diet for two weeks eating simply to keep their weight stable, and repeated this cycle for 30 weeks in total to ensure 16 weeks of dieting.
Those in the intermittent diet group not only lost more weight, but also gained less weight after the trial finished.
The intermittent diet group maintained an average weight loss of 17.5lbs (8kg) more than the other group, six months after the end of the diet.
Head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences Professor Nuala Byrne, who led the study, said dieting altered a series of biological processes in the body, which led to slower weight loss and possibly even 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,” Professor Byrne said.
“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.”
This reaction causes the body to hold onto fat more once the person starts eating at a regular rate again.
It is harder for the person to lose weight once the body starts storing more fat instead of burning it off.
Professor Byrne said while this two-week intermittent diet proved to be a more successful means of 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.
“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,” she said.
“It seems that the breaks from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach.
“While further investigations are needed around this intermittent dieting approach, findings from this study provide preliminary support for the model as a superior alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss.”
POPULAR DIETS OF 2017
Every year, new diets come out claiming to be the best for your health and your waistline.
But not all of them work depending on the person.
Here are some diets from this year that might be worth testing out.
The Mediterranean Diet
This diet is an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. It cuts out sugary foods, pastas and breads which have been known to be bad for the heart.
On this diet you can also consume fish and lean meats.
Red wine is allowed as well, but only in moderation.
This part-time diet allows for the person to eat what they want for five days of the week.
For the other two, it is recommended for people to eat only 25 per cent of their daily calorie allotment.
This diet is more likely to send the body into ‘starvation mode’ for brief periods of the week.
But it could work for people who don’t want to give up some of their favourite foods.
The DASH Diet
DASH stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension.
Hypertension is when someone has abnormally high blood pressure, which is a growing condition in the US.
The diet consists of lowering the sodium intake to no more than 2,300mgs per day.
Also, it encourages eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.