Dieting and calorie restriction is popular for weight management. However, there is little research to show their effectiveness especially over long periods and adhering to the long-term energy restriction that is required to achieve lasting, clinically significant weight loss is notoriously difficult.
Weight reducing diets involving intermittent energy restriction have recently gained popularity amongst health professionals and members of the public alike. These involve restricting energy intake by varying degrees for a pre-defined period of time, and eating ad libitum (i.e. to satisfy appetite)–or at least more than during the energy-restricted period—at all other times. The most common form of intermittent energy restriction is ‘intermittent fasting’.
In this study mice that were made obese by a diet high in fat and sugar for 22 weeks were then fed one of two energy-restricted normal chow diets for a 12-week weight loss phase. The continuous diet (CD) provided 82% of the energy intake of age-matched ad libitum chow-fed controls. The intermittent diet (ID) provided cycles of 82% of control intake for 5–6 consecutive days, and ad libitum intake for 1–3 days.
Mice on the ID overall ate significantly more than CD mice however there were no significant differences between the two trial groups at the end. Body weight, fat mass, circulating glucose or insulin concentrations, or the insulin resistance index were the same.
This type of intermittent moderate energy restriction may offer an advantage over continuous moderate energy restriction, because it induces significantly greater weight loss relative to energy deficit in mice.
The rationale for this is that while energy restriction—notably severe energy restriction—is known to induce adaptive responses such as reduced energy expenditure that inhibit further weight loss and promote weight regain. In other words you reduce your metabolism when you stay on energy restricted diets and having a break form them appears to kick start the metabolism.
So it seems that if you break your diet it ok and may actually have some advantages but only iff like the mice you eat as much healthy food as you want. Not processed foods.
Intermittent Moderate Energy Restriction Improves Weight Loss Efficiency in Diet-Induced Obese Mice
Radhika V. Seimon,
Hamish A. Fernando,
Amy D. Nguyen,
Ronaldo F. Enriquez,
Herbert Herzog ,
January 19, 2016