This two-day-a-week diet plan sounds a lot easier than full-time calorie-counting: Just avoid eating carbs on those two days and eat what you normally would the rest of the time. A recent study suggests this may be more effective than typical diet plans.
Photo remixed from an original by Pixsooz.
The study compared weight loss and other health markers for 115 women who were randomly assigned to one of three diets: a no-carb diet on two days, a no-carb diet that also restricted calories to 650 on the two days, and a standard 1,500-calories-a-day Mediterranean-style diet for all seven days of the week.
Women in the two-day diet lost an average of 9 pounds (4.1kg) over four months, versus the Mediterranean-style dieters who lost 5 pounds (2.2kg) over that same period.
The two-day dieters also showed more improvements in other health markers, including insulin resistance (the women in the study had higher breast cancer risk due to family history). Time Magazine reports:
Both intermittently dieting groups lost more weight and saw more improvements in insulin resistance, compared with the Mediterranean-style diet group. The group that ate the calorie-restricted, low-carb diet fared a little better when it came to insulin levels, however, reducing insulin resistance by 22%, compared with 14% for the unrestricted low-carb dieters and 4% for those on the Mediterranean diet.
Although the study involved a small, specific group of participants, if you're finding that trying to go low-cal every day is a struggle, this two-day-a-week diet (just cut out carbs like bread, pasta, rice, or potatoes for two days) is definitely worth a try.