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Better way to lose weight involves taking breaks from diet – Business …


Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Diets are made to be broken.

At least that’s what a small new study, which found that breaking
up extended periods of dieting with more normal eating, suggests.
People in the study who took two weeks at a time off of their
diet lost more weight than peers who stuck to it for the same
amount of time. They also kept more of the weight off for longer.

Research has long shown that most diets are plagued by a sad
reality — when they end, the people on them almost always

gain most or all of the weight back
. But the new study offers
hope for a possible way to avoid this pitfall.

Best of all, it essentially involves giving yourself a break.

For the study, published this
month in Nature’s International Journal of Obesity
, 51 obese
men between 25 and 54 were split into two groups. The first group
followed a strict diet that involved slashing their calorie
intake by a third of their needs (something called the “energy
restriction” phase) for just over 3 and a half months.

The second group followed the same diet, but every two weeks they
would take a break from it and go back to eating enough calories
to meet their needs (the “energy balance” phase, in the
researchers’ parlance). The dieters who took breaks stuck to
their interval plan for nearly 7 months — twice as long as the
plain old dieters — but wound up with the same amount of strict
diet time.

At the end of the study, the men on the diet-break-diet plan lost
47% more weight than the men who stuck to the traditional diet.
More importantly, they also kept more of the weight off.

“Interrupting energy restriction with energy balance “rest
periods” may … improve weight loss efficiency,” the researchers
wrote in their paper.

Overriding the body’s drive to hold on to fat


Shutterstock

Losing weight can often feel like an uphill battle. There’s some
science that suggests that when we try to coax our bodies into
healthy eating, our bodies fight back.

Research shows that people who’ve lost significant amounts of
weight produce
fewer of the hormones
that make them feel full and more of
the hormones that make us feel hungry. There’s also evidence that
the metabolism slows down, perhaps because strict dieting
convinces the body that it is starving, leading it to
run as efficiently as it can
and burn the fewest calories
possible.

But the new study suggests it may be possible to trip those
wires.

The clue to this possibility was in the last phase of the study,

Krista Varady
, a professor of nutrition who studies
another type of dieting for weight loss known as intermittent
fasting
, told
Newsweek
.

Towards the end of the interval dieters’ eating plan — around the
time where most dieters stop losing or even sometimes regain
weight, also known as the “dieting plateau” — the men in the
study were still shedding pounds.

“Somehow they’re kind of keeping the body on its toes,” she said.

Another potential advantage of the interval plan is that it could
be easier to maintain than a traditional diet. While it might
sound like a minor problem, sticking to a diet, something
nutritionists call “diet adherence,” is really important when it
comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

For a recent
study
published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, out of 160 adults who tried one of four popular
diets, more than half of the participants in one group dropped
out before the study ended.

Andy Bellatti, a
registered dietitian and the cofounder of Dietitians for Professional
Integrity
, told Business Insider that it’s something he sees
all the time with the people he works with, suggesting that a
more sustainable weight loss plan involves incremental, long-term
changes that someone can stick to for life.

“I know many people who’ve gone on some kind of crash diet for a
week and lost a bunch of weight and a few months later they’re
back to square one,” said Bellati.

Instead of encouraging his clients to try something
extreme, he advises taking small steps toward weight loss that
can be maintained for the long haul. “I’d say 9 times
out of 10 the people who change slowly and do manageable goals
are the people who 3 years out still have success,” he said.

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Why Cycling is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Having worked as a certified fitness trainer for 21 years, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if you’re looking for the best exercise to shed a few pounds—and keep them off—nothing beats cycling. Over the years, I’ve seen clients shed half their size and heard from readers who have lost more than 100 pounds by adding cycling to their weight loss arsenal, which, yes, must include a healthy diet. (But you already knew that.)

So what makes cycling so special? In short, it makes you happy, says Jimmy Weber, of Enid, Oklahoma, who at 6’2” and 260 pounds is not a small rider, but is now 150 pounds lighter than his max weight of 410 pounds seven years ago. He initially shed weight through bariatric surgery and walking—a lot of walking. But walking his usual seven miles a day got boring and running was out of the question—“I’m too big and the impact would damage me more than benefit me,” he says. Although he has a membership to the Y, he says he has a hard time making himself go. The bike, however, is another story entirely.

Related: 7 Reasons Cycling Is Better Than Running

Weber bought his first bike in more than 20 years in 2011 and has clocked more than 20,000 miles in the five years that followed, including numerous club and charity rides along the way.

“Bike riding is diverse when it comes to weight management,” he says. “You can go hard and fast and burn a lot of carbs, or slow and steady to burn a lot of fat. Plus I would not be as happy if I had to maintain my weight with diet alone.”

Weber speaks the truth. In case you need more convincing, here’s more great reasons why cycling rules for weight loss.

Custom Search

Why Cycling is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Having worked as a certified fitness trainer for 21 years, I’ve long since come to the conclusion that if you’re looking for the best exercise to shed a few pounds—and keep them off—nothing beats cycling. Over the years, I’ve seen clients shed half their size and heard from readers who have lost more than 100 pounds by adding cycling to their weight loss arsenal, which, yes, must include a healthy diet. (But you already knew that.)

So what makes cycling so special? In short, it makes you happy, says Jimmy Weber, of Enid, Oklahoma, who at 6’2” and 260 pounds is not a small rider, but is now 150 pounds lighter than his max weight of 410 pounds seven years ago. He initially shed weight through bariatric surgery and walking—a lot of walking. But walking his usual seven miles a day got boring and running was out of the question—“I’m too big and the impact would damage me more than benefit me,” he says. Although he has a membership to the Y, he says he has a hard time making himself go. The bike, however, is another story entirely.

Related: 7 Reasons Cycling Is Better Than Running

Weber bought his first bike in more than 20 years in 2011 and has clocked more than 20,000 miles in the five years that followed, including numerous club and charity rides along the way.

“Bike riding is diverse when it comes to weight management,” he says. “You can go hard and fast and burn a lot of carbs, or slow and steady to burn a lot of fat. Plus I would not be as happy if I had to maintain my weight with diet alone.”

Weber speaks the truth. In case you need more convincing, here’s more great reasons why cycling rules for weight loss.

Custom Search

There’s new evidence that a strict diet isn’t the best way to lose weight


Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Diets are made to be broken.

At least that’s what a small new study, which found that breaking
up extended periods of dieting with more normal eating, suggests.
People in the study who took two weeks at a time off of their
diet lost more weight than peers who stuck to it for the same
amount of time. They also kept more of the weight off for longer.

Research has long shown that most diets are plagued by a sad
reality — when they end, the people on them almost always

gain most or all of the weight back
. But the new study offers
hope for a possible way to avoid this pitfall.

Best of all, it essentially involves giving yourself a break.

For the study, published this
month in Nature’s International Journal of Obesity
, 51 obese
men between 25 and 54 were split into two groups. The first group
followed a strict diet that involved slashing their calorie
intake by a third of their needs (something called the “energy
restriction” phase) for just over 3 and a half months.

The second group followed the same diet, but every two weeks they
would take a break from it and go back to eating enough calories
to meet their needs (the “energy balance” phase, in the
researchers’ parlance). The dieters who took breaks stuck to
their interval plan for nearly 7 months — twice as long as the
plain old dieters — but wound up with the same amount of strict
diet time.

At the end of the study, the men on the diet-break-diet plan lost
47% more weight than the men who stuck to the traditional diet.
More importantly, they also kept more of the weight off.

“Interrupting energy restriction with energy balance “rest
periods” may … improve weight loss efficiency,” the researchers
wrote in their paper.

Overriding the body’s drive to hold on to fat


Shutterstock

Losing weight can often feel like an uphill battle. There’s some
science that suggests that when we try to coax our bodies into
healthy eating, our bodies fight back.

Research shows that people who’ve lost significant amounts of
weight produce
fewer of the hormones
that make them feel full and more of
the hormones that make us feel hungry. There’s also evidence that
the metabolism slows down, perhaps because strict dieting
convinces the body that it is starving, leading it to
run as efficiently as it can
and burn the fewest calories
possible.

But the new study suggests it may be possible to trip those
wires.

The clue to this possibility was in the last phase of the study,

Krista Varady
, a professor of nutrition who studies
another type of dieting for weight loss known as intermittent
fasting
, told
Newsweek
.

Towards the end of the interval dieters’ eating plan — around the
time where most dieters stop losing or even sometimes regain
weight, also known as the “dieting plateau” — the men in the
study were still shedding pounds.

“Somehow they’re kind of keeping the body on its toes,” she said.

Another potential advantage of the interval plan is that it could
be easier to maintain than a traditional diet. While it might
sound like a minor problem, sticking to a diet, something
nutritionists call “diet adherence,” is really important when it
comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

For a recent
study
published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, out of 160 adults who tried one of four popular
diets, more than half of the participants in one group dropped
out before the study ended.

Andy Bellatti, a
registered dietitian and the cofounder of Dietitians for Professional
Integrity
, told Business Insider that it’s something he sees
all the time with the people he works with, suggesting that a
more sustainable weight loss plan involves incremental, long-term
changes that someone can stick to for life.

“I know many people who’ve gone on some kind of crash diet for a
week and lost a bunch of weight and a few months later they’re
back to square one,” said Bellati.

Instead of encouraging his clients to try something
extreme, he advises taking small steps toward weight loss that
can be maintained for the long haul. “I’d say 9 times
out of 10 the people who change slowly and do manageable goals
are the people who 3 years out still have success,” he said.

There’s new evidence that a strict diet isn’t the best way to lose weight


Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Diets are made to be broken.

At least that’s what a small new study, which found that breaking
up extended periods of dieting with more normal eating, suggests.
People in the study who took two weeks at a time off of their
diet lost more weight than peers who stuck to it for the same
amount of time. They also kept more of the weight off for longer.

Research has long shown that most diets are plagued by a sad
reality — when they end, the people on them almost always

gain most or all of the weight back
. But the new study offers
hope for a possible way to avoid this pitfall.

Best of all, it essentially involves giving yourself a break.

For the study, published this
month in Nature’s International Journal of Obesity
, 51 obese
men between 25 and 54 were split into two groups. The first group
followed a strict diet that involved slashing their calorie
intake by a third of their needs (something called the “energy
restriction” phase) for just over 3 and a half months.

The second group followed the same diet, but every two weeks they
would take a break from it and go back to eating enough calories
to meet their needs (the “energy balance” phase, in the
researchers’ parlance). The dieters who took breaks stuck to
their interval plan for nearly 7 months — twice as long as the
plain old dieters — but wound up with the same amount of strict
diet time.

At the end of the study, the men on the diet-break-diet plan lost
47% more weight than the men who stuck to the traditional diet.
More importantly, they also kept more of the weight off.

“Interrupting energy restriction with energy balance “rest
periods” may … improve weight loss efficiency,” the researchers
wrote in their paper.

Overriding the body’s drive to hold on to fat


Shutterstock

Losing weight can often feel like an uphill battle. There’s some
science that suggests that when we try to coax our bodies into
healthy eating, our bodies fight back.

Research shows that people who’ve lost significant amounts of
weight produce
fewer of the hormones
that make them feel full and more of
the hormones that make us feel hungry. There’s also evidence that
the metabolism slows down, perhaps because strict dieting
convinces the body that it is starving, leading it to
run as efficiently as it can
and burn the fewest calories
possible.

But the new study suggests it may be possible to trip those
wires.

The clue to this possibility was in the last phase of the study,

Krista Varady
, a professor of nutrition who studies
another type of dieting for weight loss known as intermittent
fasting
, told
Newsweek
.

Towards the end of the interval dieters’ eating plan — around the
time where most dieters stop losing or even sometimes regain
weight, also known as the “dieting plateau” — the men in the
study were still shedding pounds.

“Somehow they’re kind of keeping the body on its toes,” she said.

Another potential advantage of the interval plan is that it could
be easier to maintain than a traditional diet. While it might
sound like a minor problem, sticking to a diet, something
nutritionists call “diet adherence,” is really important when it
comes to losing weight and keeping it off.

For a recent
study
published in the Journal of the American Medical
Association, out of 160 adults who tried one of four popular
diets, more than half of the participants in one group dropped
out before the study ended.

Andy Bellatti, a
registered dietitian and the cofounder of Dietitians for Professional
Integrity
, told Business Insider that it’s something he sees
all the time with the people he works with, suggesting that a
more sustainable weight loss plan involves incremental, long-term
changes that someone can stick to for life.

“I know many people who’ve gone on some kind of crash diet for a
week and lost a bunch of weight and a few months later they’re
back to square one,” said Bellati.

Instead of encouraging his clients to try something
extreme, he advises taking small steps toward weight loss that
can be maintained for the long haul. “I’d say 9 times
out of 10 the people who change slowly and do manageable goals
are the people who 3 years out still have success,” he said.

Cheat days may actually help dieters lose weight, study finds

Taking cheat days, or breaks, while dieting may actually help aid weight loss, according to a new study from Australian researchers.

The small study looked at two groups of obese men who participated in a four-month diet requiring them to restrict calorie intake by one-third.

One group of dieters maintained the diet for two weeks, then broke from the strict diet for two weeks, and continued to go on and off the diet in two-week cycles. During the two-week cycle off the strict diet, these dieters ate calories consistent to the number of calories they were burning, creating an “energy balance.”

Meanwhile, the second group continuously maintained the diet during the entire four-month period.

The group who alternated between adhering to the strict diet and having cheat weeks lost more weight during the study, researchers said in their findings, which were published Tuesday in the International Journal of Obesity. The group who took breaks from their diet also gained back less weight after the study finished.

“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,” Nuala Byrne, the head of the University of Tasmania’s School of Health Sciences, and leader of the study said in a statement announcing the findings.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, ABC News’ senior medical contributor, said that cheat days allow one’s body and mind get a rest from dieting. She says that although she is skeptical that taking cheat days can boost one’s metabolism, as some claim, she does see the psychological benefits of taking cheat days while dieting.

However, Ashton stressed the importance of consistency in building habits. Additionally, she said that doing major damage to one’s diet during cheat days may be negating some of the good work put in.

Finally, Ashton shared her quick tips for those trying to lose weight:

1. Don’t drink your calories.

2. Keep your food to as much lean protein, fruits and vegetables as possible.

3. Eat from the farm, not the factory.

4. Watch your sugar intake.

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