London: If you always take some 'break' in your diet regime, then you might lose more weight than you intend to. According to a new research, taking 'breaks' in your diet regime might help you lose more weight in the long run, reports The Independent.
By embracing 'cheat days' or taking a more lenient approach to dieting at the weekend, you could give yourself the psychological motivation to continue with your stricter regime the rest of the time.
Nuala Byrne, the study's lead author suggests that partaking in diet resting periods helps to combat adaptive thermogenesis, which previous studies have proven "creates the ideal situation for weight regain" after dieters have lost initial weight.
This process is largely prompted by the body's deprivation of the hormone leptin, a satiety hormone which helps to regulate our energy levels when we are hungry.
It is invariably low for those on restrictive diet regimes and puts the body into starvation mode, whereby the metabolism slows and it holds onto more calories than normal as a survival method.
The researchers concluded that dieters should attempt to rebalance their caloric requirements once they have slimmed down in order to sustain their weight loss and prevent adaptive thermogenesis from having a strong effect on them.
They suggested partaking in two week long periods of dieting and 'breaking' to manage this balance.
The theory was carried out on 51 obese males, who were split into two groups: continuous dieters and intermittent dieters.
The group was given food that surmounted to two-thirds of the calories they needed in order to maintain their weight, which was adjusted as weight loss occurred over a 16 week period.
They underwent the same caloric deprivation (two thirds) but in two week intervals with rest weeks in-between where participants would consume more calories.
This continued for 30 weeks so both groups endured the same 16 week period of dieting in total.
The intermittent dieters lost more weight and body fat than the continuous dieters.
What's more, their weight loss was sustained, with an average of 18 pounds more weight shaved off than the continuous group six months later.
Byrne, added, "It seems that the 'breaks' from dieting we have used in this study may be critical to the success of this approach."
She concluded by saying, "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."