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Taking dieting breaks helps weight loss

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By Maria Cendejas

Taking dieting breaks may help weight loss more effectively, according to a new study reported by abc4.

The Genesis Prevention Center conducted the study and found if you stick to a very restrictive low-carb diet, you might not be able to lose weight , lower blood levels of insulin and cancer causing hormones as fast as you wanted.

The study of 115 women compared 3 diets for their effects on losing weight and blood biomarkers for breast cancer risk for a 4-month period.  The first group was on a calorie-restricted, low-carb diet for just 2 days a week.  A second group went on a diet for just 2 days a week also with a low-carb diet that included unlimited protein, healthy fats, olives, nuts, and lean meats.  The third group was on a standard calorie restricted Mediterranean diet.

The both groups that were on the two-day diet lost more weight than those who dieted 7 days a week.   They lost about 9 pounds, compared to only five pounds lost in those who followed a standard diet.

Dr. Dale Abel at the University of Utah studied the effects of diets on insulin levels.   He said it's important to remember this study was done in a very controlled environment. "On the days when they were not on the diet they were still eating a healthy diet. It’s important to recognize that they weren't just binging on anything that they liked." 

He also said that having good fats and a less calorie restricted diet could lead to being less hungry.  People tend to eat more when you are hungry, which is obviously not good for weight loss.

The two-day diets were found to be more effective at reducing insulin levels and cancer promoting hormones.

Dr. Abel and colleagues said more research is needed. 

It is important for those who want to lose weight to remember that limited intake of calories is critical for weight loss.  Studies show that using small food containers or plates, eating foods slowly, drinking water while eating solid foods can reduce intake of calories.  

Using less salt and eating low calorie-density foods can also reduce your food intake and help you achieve your weight loss goal, a health observer suggested.
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