Unbelievable but true, breaking your diet can help you lose that undesirable overweight. Not only does it help you lose net weight, it also produces fat loss, starting with the fat in the abdomen, which is one of the main places where fat is stored. In addition, abdominal fat is one of the most harmful to health as it interferes with the metabolism of sugars and fats in the blood (lipids).
A group of scientists in Australia showed that intermittent energy restriction (diet) improved weight loss efficiency in overweight people. In fact, people who followed the intermittent diet had a greater loss of weight and body fat than people who followed the assigned diet for 30 weeks at a time.
How can this be possible?
To understand this, we must know that when we start a diet, the body undergoes a series of compensatory changes since the hormonal centers located in the brain and in the fatty tissues "interpret" the diet as a state of imbalance that must be corrected. One of these changes is the decrease in basal energy expenditure, which determines how many calories we burn at basal stage per day.
Intermittently dieting prevents the body from slowing down basal energy expenditure, which occurs about two weeks after starting the diet. The free period (when the diet breaks down) prevents this adaptation of the body that slows down the metabolism and allows the basal energy expenditure to increase again to its normal values.
In other words, when dieting intermittently, the body does not "get used to" the low calorie state of being adapted to the lower calorie intake produced by the diet.
These researchers followed a group of patients for 30 weeks, some on a continuous diet and others on a 15-day diet alternating with 15 days of free intake, and found that the group that followed the diet intermittently lost an average of 8.1 kilograms more than the group that followed the diet without interruption during the same time.
This successful intermittent diet approach is currently recommended by major health organizations around the world such as the National Council for Health and Research in Australia.
In conclusion, to lose weight efficiently, periods of caloric restriction or diet should be alternated with periods of rest from the diet. Ideally, this method should be performed under the supervision of a nutritionist.