The 2-Days a Week Low-Carb Diet

Want to lose weight just dieting two days a week? Even if you can’t seem to stick with your diet for a week, you could still lose weight, perhaps even more weight, dieting just two days a week. No way! you say? Read on…

A British study just presented at the Cancer Therapy & Research Center-American Association for Cancer Research San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium discovered that an intermittent low-carb diet could result in more weight loss than the standard, reduced-calorie Mediterranean diet. And, as an added bonus, the intermittent low-carb diet was even better at lowering hormone insulin levels.

In the study, a group of 115 women were randomly given one of three diet programs to follow for four months. The diets were:

  • The standard 1500 calorie Mediterranean diet followed daily
  • A very low calorie (650 calories) low-carb diet followed just two days a week
  • A low-carb diet with unlimited amounts of protein and healthy fats for two days a week

The groups following the two-day low-carb diets ate normally the rest of the time.

The results? The women on the low-carb diets lost an average of 9 pounds compared to the 5 pounds lost in the group who were on the 1500 calorie Mediterranean diet.

The intermittent dieters also had healthier improvement in the levels of the insulin and leptin hormones. Both of these hormones, when in the healthy range, help to keep your appetite in check.  High levels of insulin and leptin may increase the risk of breast cancer, as does being overweight.

Why did the researchers choose an intermittent low-carb diet for this study? As reported by Linda Carroll at msnbc.com:

“We came up with the idea of an intermittent low-carb diet because it enables people to still have foods that are very satiating,” said the study’s lead author Michelle Harvie, a research dietician at the Genesis Prevention Center at the University Hospital in South Manchester, England. “Also, there’s a lot of evidence from other studies showing that restricting carbohydrates has the same effect as restricting energy.”

Want to try this at home? Here are the specifics from Ms. Harvie…

  1. Eat sensibly 5 days a week.
  2. Eat low-carb 2 days a week

On your low-carb days, keep your carb intake to less than 50g. per day by restricting pasta, bread, and root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and potatoes. You can eat one piece of fruit on your low-carb days plus lean protein and healthy fats. You can also eat:

  • Nuts
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower

Lose weight dieting just two days a week? Now that’s a diet I can live with!