An Australian obesity expert has identified a simple, but effective way to lose weight.
Nick Fuller, who has even published a book on the subject called Interval Weight Loss, argues losing weight for just one month at a time could be the easiest and best long-term way to shed excess fat.
The book’s month-on-month-off approach has been refined by Nick and his colleagues at The Boden Institute in Sydney over several years.
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Nick explained: “We’ve been wired to believe that dieting is the next best thing, the magic bullet, but it’s actually doing the opposite.”
This is because losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time – which is what happens when you diet – can put the body under stress, causing the body to fight against the diet to go back to “normal”.
Nick argues that if you want to lose weight long-term, you have to go slow to “outsmart” your body.
A recent Australian study of 51 men has backed up this idea as the men compared continuous weight loss with internal weight loss.
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The men who participated in the interval weight loss regime not only lost more weight by the end of the study period, but by the six month follow-up they’d lost, on average, 1.2st more than the people who were on a constant diet.
In the UK, nearly two thirds of adults are either obese or overweight.
One of the reasons why obesity is so prevalent is because weight loss is difficult to maintain. For the majority of people who lose weight through diets, this weight will have returned plus some within five years.
Nick said the main reason people put the weight back on is because your body is used to being that weight – something he calls a “set point”.
Rapid dieting causes our bodies to adjust their metabolism and increase appetite hormones in order to bounce back to the set point.
Nick told news.com.au: “Whenever you lose weight or put the body under stress – for example, severe calorie restriction – your body’s metabolism will lower, because your body is fighting to get back to where it started.”
To combat this, Nick recommends losing no more than 4lbs over one month through eating and exercise changes and then have a rest month following this.
This rest month will allow your body to get used to the new weight and reset it’s “set point”.
During the interval month, Nick’s biggest tips are to have a big breakfast and a small dinner, avoid processed food, change cheese and sugary treats to once-a-week foods and partake in variety of exercises.
During the rest month, still stick to a healthy diet and exercise but allow yourself to have more “treats”.