Longer Diet Breaks for Better Body Composition?

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Should you take diet breaks when you are trying to lose weight?

"Visual Impact Kettlebells" - Home Workout Course
A kettlebell course we filmed on the beach in Costa Rica, aimed at helping you get slim and lean without adding bulk.

I found a recent study which compared taking long diet breaks -vs- dieting without breaks.

Intermittent energy restriction improves weight loss efficiency in obese men: the MATADOR study [1].

In this study…

  • One group dieted nonstop for 16 weeks.
  • The other group alternated 2 weeks of dieting with 2 weeks at maintenance for a total of 30 weeks.

The results were interesting.

Both groups went through 16 weeks in a calorie deficit.

calorie deficit through dieting

The group that took breaks every 2 weeks wound up with better body composition (maintained more muscle and lost more body fat).

“Greater weight and fat loss was achieved with intermittent ER. Interrupting ER with energy balance ‘rest periods’ may reduce compensatory metabolic responses and, in turn, improve weight loss efficiency.”

It took almost twice as long, but the ride was more enjoyable.

I USED to be more interested in losing fat as quickly as possible.

It seems patience is rewarded when it comes to losing body fat.

losing weight takes patience

I don’t think you need to alternate 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off.

It doesn’t even have to be as structured as the study.

I like the idea of eating at maintenance levels for a couple of weeks after a period of strict dieting.

Going on a vacation is a good example.

I don’t believe in dieting while on vacation.

If you view this as a maintenance period or a bit above maintenance will see eating more on vacation as a GOOD thing (not believing you blew your diet).

eating more on vacation

When you get back from vacation simply get back into a deficit and understand that this 1-2 week break is AWESOME over the long term.

If you follow my high carb low-fat diet?

Get back to that.

If you follow the keto diet?

Get back to that.

I know this works well, but it is good to finally have a study that backs this approach.

Dieting is such a mind-game.

If you see dieting breaks as a WIN and a GOOD thing, you will jump back into your diet plan.

carb load to increase metabolism

If you see breaks as a NEGATIVE?

You will probably feel defeated and quit your diet.

"Visual Impact Kettlebells" - Home Workout Course
A kettlebell course we filmed on the beach in Costa Rica, aimed at helping you get slim and lean without adding bulk.

Same behavior, but a different way of looking at it.

Longer Diet Breaks for Better Body Composition?Longer Diet Breaks for Better Body Composition?

Cheers,

-Rusty Moore

As a former fitness coach to fashion models, I can teach you how to increase muscle definition without adding size.

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