Eating more food can help you lose more weight.
You did not read that wrong. Eat more food = lose more weight.
…. And it is 100% safe.
Let’s let that sink in a bit.
First of all, I will state the fact that I am not a Registered Dietician, so I am not prescribing this
method by any means. However, I did read the study and the write up performed by Layne
Norton, PhD in Nutritional Science. I will link the site at the bottom. Before getting into the
method, I am going to give some background information, also found in the article.
As we go on a caloric diet, our body goes through a metabolic adaptation. Essentially,
we burn less calories per day than someone who is not dieting and at the same weight. What
ends up happening is that the longer you are on a diet, in a calorie deficit, the body adapts
more and more. As the body adapts, weight loss becomes harder, so we lower calories again.
As we lower calories more, the body again adapts and the weight loss is even harder. Eventually
we are eating 2 apples a day and still struggle to lose weight without overeating the diet.
Eat more. Okay past that now.
A study featured 2 groups. One group was intaking 67% of their maintenance calories.
Maintenance calories is the precise number of calories you need a day to maintain your current
weight. Although this number is very hard to precisely calculate, there are many calculators out
there online (MyFitnessPal is very common) that are accurate enough.
The second group was intaking 67% of their maintenance calories for 2 weeks and then
going to their maintenance calories for another 2 weeks. In total, their diet plan was almost
twice as long as the first group. Taking these diet breaks prevent the body from fully adapting.
Eating at a maintenance means that you will not lose nor gain weight for those two weeks, but
you will feel better because you are not in a deficit. It is also mentally easier to diet for 2 weeks
rather than for 16 weeks at once. It is important as you lose weight, your maintenance calories
will decrease so you need to recalculate it each time.
The first group lost between 4 and 12kg (9 to 26 pounds)
The second group lost between 8 and 18kg (17 to 40 pounds)
Dieting for 2 weeks and then going back to maintenance for 2 weeks prevents the body
from adapting, thus allowing you to lose more weight in the long run. It is easier mentally as
well. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!
Alex Strahle, CSCS- NSCA