Contrary to popular belief, taking a break from your diet may be just what you needed to finally reach that tipping point and start to see measurable results in your weight loss efforts. According to a study that was recently conducted by the International Journal of Obesity, this might in fact be exactly how you can lose that stubborn weight.
According to this unique study, 51 obese men were dividing into two groups during the testing. One of these groups dieted continuously for 16 weeks, eating 33 percent less calories to maintain their weight. The second group took some dieting breaks, committing to a diet for two weeks then breaking for two-week, eating enough calories to keep up their ideal weight. This testing continued for a total of 16 weeks.
What surprised even the experts was that after the testing period was completed, the group of obese men who were taking two-week diet breaks actually lost an average of 18 pounds more than those obese men who dieted straight through the program.
How is it possible after everything we have learned about dieting that taking breaks in between a weight loss regime actually can result in losing more pounds? The answer is adaptive thermogenesis, a natural process the body goes through while the body is losing weight, says the author of the Fat Loss Prescription, Spencer Nadolsky.
Nadolsky goes on to explain that your resting metabolic rate should be lower because muscle and fat burn calories while resting. Theoretically, when you lose weight, it should decrease. When you are giving the body less energy, metabolism must compensate, so it is harder to lose the weight.
Adaptive thermogenesis reduces when the diet breaks happen, so if you are taking those little breaks in your dieting and increase caloric intake, leptin levels go up without you gaining back the weight. While the adaptative thermogenesis process may be reduced, your metabolism is actually revving, helping you to in fact lose more weight.
It is important to note that the participants in the study did have their meals prepared for them, not something that happens in the real world with real dieters. Although it can be tempting to overeat when left to diet on your own, those breaks can actually be a healthy choice for sustainable weight loss, according to Dr. Nadolsky.
Nadolsky went on to say that even though the study was conducted on obese individuals, and the ideal candidates for Nutrisystem for men, those looking to lose a few pounds could absolutely benefit from this approach to dieting. Many people in physique competitions already know about this dieting technique, they call it caloric cycling, essentially utilizing an energy deficit to ensure success.
If you are considering trying this caloric cycling technique, determine how many calories you need to cut in the dieting phase. Continue dieting for two weeks, then enter the break phase, going back to eating your normal caloric intake. After two weeks, go back to dieting, then repeating this dieting cycle.
That break in your diet shouldn’t be considered an eating free-for-all or a cheating period. Stick to your plan and don’t consider the break as a break, but as part of the overall diet plan. Making healthy dieting choices during the breaks will help achieve maximum success in the plan.