MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jennifer Keogh PhD, MSc, APD
Associate Professor Dietetics and Nutrition
Fellow of the South Australian Cardiovascular Research Development Program
School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
University of South Australia
Medical Research: What is the background for this study?
Dr. Keogh: A variety of weight loss strategies are needed to help individuals lose weight and maintain weight loss. In this study we investigated the effects on weight loss of an intermittent energy restricted diet using a ‘week-on, week-off’ strategy compared to a continuous energy restricted diet after 8 weeks and on maintenance of weight loss at 12 months in healthy overweight and obese women. Using a group setting participants were advised to reduce their energy intake to approximately 5500 kJ per day when restricting their intake. The diet plan used was based on the previously published CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.
Medical Research: What are the main findings?
Dr. Keogh: The main finding was that weight loss was not significantly different between the two groups after 8 weeks. At 8 weeks the continuous diet group lost 3.2 kg compared with weight loss of 2.0 kg in the intermittent diet group this was not significantly different. At 12 months the continuous diet group had lost 4.2 kg and the intermittent group had lost 2.1 kg which was not a significant difference.
Medical Research: Were any of the findings unexpected?
Dr. Keogh: The findings were consistent with our hypothesis that that those on the intermittent energy restriction would achieve comparable weight loss and weight loss maintenance at 12 months compared to those on the continuous diet.
Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Dr. Keogh: Intermittent dieting may be a useful weight loss strategy for individuals who find continuous dieting too difficult to maintain.
Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Keogh: Future research is needed to help clarify if the metabolic benefits are the same with both strategies. The effects on energy expenditure and body composition particularly muscle mass also need to be clarified.
Keogh, J. B., Pedersen, E., Petersen, K. S. and Clifton, P. M. (2014), Effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on short-term weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance. Clinical Obesity, 4: 150–156. doi: 10.1111/cob.12052