Dieting? Take a break

We’re looking at a really interesting study about dieting this week. An Australian team took 51 obese men and put 25 of them on a 16 week calorie restricted diet. The other 26 also undertook 16 weeks of the same calorie restriction, but they did their dieting in 2-week blocks, with 2 weeks of no calorie restriction in-between.

The full review of the study can be seen below. The trial was built on something observed in the classic Minnesota Starvation experiment – the observation that there is a drop in metabolic rate within a couple of weeks of starting calorie restriction. The idea behind the trial was thus to see if this known drop in energy need could be countered by the two week rotation pattern: lose/maintain/lose/maintain etc.

The results showed that the men who did the 2 weeks on/2 weeks off, lost more weight than the 16-weeks-altogether group. They also regained less during a six-month follow-up. The trial concluded that a two week cycle pattern of dieting could produce better weight-loss results, as it countered the reduction in metabolic rate that calorie deficit diets are known to produce.


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