Table of Contents
Metabolic Confusion – Will You Lose Weight Through Metabolic Confusion Diet?
We go through a lot of diets while going through a weight loss journey. Metabolic confusion is one such diet especially for people who wish to lose a lot of weight. It is a different kind of eating style and is quite different as compared to most of the diets.
Instead of going for a set number of calories or going on a calorie restriction, you are required to alternate the number of calories you consume. It sounds more like a calorie restriction diet, but there are some choices and flexibility allowed once you go for a metabolic confusion diet.
Proponents of the metabolic diet believe that it helps you trick or confuse your metabolic system into working more and working harder which makes you lose weight in the end. This diet is getting more and more popular in the past few months and you might be thinking what is a metabolic diet and should I try it for my weight loss?
Let’s see what it is and figure out if it will help you out or not with weight loss. You will also know its benefits and potential downsides. Keep reading to know more.
What Is A Metabolic Confusion Diet
Some other common names that can be used for metabolic confusion are calorie shifting and calorie cycling. You might have heard about one out of all three names.
It is the type of dieting style that will help you alternate between the calorie intake (high calorie and low calories days) for periods of time. This diet recommends you to do workouts and do exercise daily or regularly. Though many strict requirements of exercise are not mentioned, it is always better if you stick to a good workout routine.
One way in which you can easily use this diet is by alternating between high-calorie and low-calorie intake every other day. Another way to use a metabolic confusion diet is eating a high-calorie diet for a weak and then confusing your metabolism by eating fewer calories for the following week.
Rember that low calorie and high-calorie days are different according to individuals. Although no formal guidelines are given for how many calories to consume when you are on a low-calorie diet or high-calorie- diet, most of the programs involved with this diet include 2,000 calories or even higher on high-calorie days and 1,200 calories on low-calorie diet days.
It is quite similar to alternate fasting diets in which people eat 25% of their normal calories in one day and then eating whatever they want the next day. Metabolic confusion diet works quite similar to an alternate-day fasting diet.
The aim of this specific diet is to keep Metabolism “on the toes” with the varying intake of food every other day or week. It is interesting to note that diets like low-calorie diets or metabolic confusion diets are linked to better management of weight and weight loss because they allow you to take breaks from eating food having low-calorie.
The most notable difference that separates metabolic confusion diet from other diets is that it has relatively more calories even when we take a low-calorie diet in days. Assuming that most people need on an average 1600 to 3000 calories per day, eating 1200 calories would equate to 40% to 75% of the usual intake of individuals.
There is no doubt that it is a restrictive diet, but proponents believe that it allows for greater flexibility between food choices and naturally matches an eating style. This means that on some days, you are required to eat more calories as compared to other days and on some days you will eat less due to factors like your work schedule or hunger levels.
It seems like a lifestyle choice for many people, but how will it help us to lose weight? let’s see if it is related to weight loss or not.
Metabolic Confusion Diet For Weight Loss
As we already read, metabolic confusion diet is also sometimes referred to as calorie shifting diet which encourages daily workout and eating below the calories needs. Due to this, you are more likely to remain in a calorie deficit. Being in calorie restriction will eventually aid in weight loss over a long time.
According to the proponents of this diet, it will create confusion in your metabolic state while shifting constantly from low calorie to high calorie and eventually make it work harder and help in losing weight.
To be precise you cannot really trick the metabolism in your body, you can just prevent it from slowing down b making it work harder. This is the common and logical reason behind weight loss.
Calorie restriction for a long period of time will result in losing weight and decrease the RMR (resting metabolic rate) through a procedure known as adaptive Thermogenesis. This will make your body less effective while burning calories.
The metabolic confusion diet also helps avoid the negative effects by allowing the body few periodic breaks from deprivation of calories which results in preventing any metabolic adaptations that may hinder the weight loss process.
A study conducted in the year 2014 clearly supports the above-mentioned idea. This study conducted compared the traditional calorie restriction diet with calorie shifting for 42 days. In the study, one group of people were asked to intake 1200 calories per day while the other groups of people were asked to restrict the calorie intake for 11 days and then consume as many calories as they want for 3 days and repeat the same until the experiment was over.
Participants that followed a 1200 calorie diet throughout the days were shown to have a decreased RMR rate while people that followed metabolic confusion diet by consuming low calories for few days and then taking higher calories were able to maintain their RMR rate.
More than the RMR rate, those that had calorie shifting in their diets lost more weight than people who were sticking to 1200 calories throughout their journey. The proponents believe that this style of eating provides more flexibility in eating and reduces hunger too. These features make it easier for consumption in long term.
On the other hand, 1-year high-quality research and study were conducted between certain participants. However, in this case on the difference was seen between both the groups. People following restriction diets and metabolic confusion diets have shown the same results. With this, we can clearly make out that the effectiveness of this diet will decrease over time.
The researches are limited over here, the scientists or nutritional experts need to conduct more research to find out the effectiveness of this diet after a certain time exceeding 1 year.
Considering and knowing the fact the calorie shifting allows for more flexibility in eating and breaks from strict dieting sessions, people are adopting this style of diet and eating. Many have reposted satisfaction with this diet and declared it sustainable for weight loss over a long time. However, long-term researchers are required.
According to most of the researches conducted, the most sustainable and healthy method or diet of weight loss should be based on nutrition diets and regular workouts or exercise to create a very small deficit in calories to aid in weight loss. The calorie deficit should not be less than 500 per day.
Some Reasons that this diet will work for you
- Leptin Release And Weight Loss- The leptin hormone in our body affects the overall metabolic rate and helps in burning fat. You will always feel full when leptin is released. Leptin is not the primary reason for weight loss when you are on calorie cycling, it might play a role in weight loss.
- Starvation Mode And Carb-Cycling- Some people say that starvation mode is just a myth, but it is not correct entirely. Calorie cycling is important because it helps in preventing adaptive thermogenesis by signalling the body that food is available.
- Hormonal Effects- Along with the leptin hormone, many other hormones are also changing in response to what you eat and how much you eat. Some important hormone that changes are Insulin, thyroid hormone, growth hormone, sex hormones, etc. Compared to calorie deficit constantly, the calorie cycling process will balance the hormones resulting in better weight loss.
Benefits Of Metabolic Confusion Diet
There are other potential benefits too of this metabolic confusion diet, these include:
1. It Allows For Flexibility
Unlike traditional diets that involve calorie restriction and our body remains in a calorie deficit, metabolic confusion diet provides more choices and flexibility while eating.
Since no formal guidelines are given regarding metabolic confusion diet you are the one to decide how many calories you wish to keep in high-calorie days and how man to consume in low-calorie days giving you flexibility. This will also make it much easier to enjoy occasions related to food like holiday meals, birthdays, parties, date nights, etc.
The more flexibility a diet has, the more likely it becomes to follow it for a long time without switching.
2. Less Hunger
Depending upon the days you choose to follow a metabolic confusion diet, you may experience less and less hunger. Following a low-calorie diet for a long period will result in more hunger and will eventually lead to tiredness. This happens because your body get’s used to it and it won’t get the required energy to perform functions of daily life.
You will face many signs of hunger and you will feel like eating something. The signs include stomach pangs and low energy. This may lead to unhealthy eating behaviour to compensate for the hunger and energy loss like binge-eating or overeating. These are pretty common among dieters.
Unlike the cheat days which are specifically designed to allow unlimited calories through food which often leads to eating more all of a sudden while metabolic confusion diet is designed for increasing the calories in a planned manner that does not affect the weight loss cycle.
Ultimately metabolic confusion diet will help you from feeling deprived of food, hunger, and prevent binge eating or overeating. Depending upon the age, sex, activity, and size of your body, you are required to eat 2000 calories or more on high-calorie days.
Potential Downsides Of Metabolic Confusion Diet
Like every other diet, this diet also has some downsides attached to it, let’s see what are they and the final take on this diet.
1. Restrictive In Nature
There is no doubt that at times you can have high calories and ht number of calories are up to you. But most of the time you are needed to follow a strict pattern of calories and restrict total intake to up to 1200 calories a day.
This arbitrary recommendation of calories becomes problematic because it does not take into account individual differences of people like age, sex, activity level, and body size. Without taking all these things into consideration you will eventually under fuel your body and will not be able to keep up with any diet for the long term.
For instance, a man having a height of 163 cm and a weight of 104 kg will need to intake more calories than a woman having a height of 152 cm and a weight of 54 kgs. Therefore, it becomes highly necessary to select a calorie goal by considering different factors and your body’s unique calorie needs.
If all these factors are not considered, metabolic confusion restrictive diet will be very hard to sustain for the long term as you feel deprived of basic calorie intake. You will feel hunger issues and a lack of enjoyment. The best diets are truly those that keep you satisfied and are easy to follow.
2. Lack Of Research
Although the theory proposed by proponents that follow metabolic confusion diet makes sense, there is not enough research on this topic and many tests are also not conducted. The available research which we discussed above only focuses on the varied version of alternate-day fasting and shifting of calories.
Furthermore, our body is highly sophisticated and has the ability to adapt to any change easily even the calorie intake can be adapted with few changes. Your metabolism cannot be confused easily by changing diet patterns and calories as the name of the diet suggest. It will only shift the number of calories you consume and the number of calories your burn daily.
3. Not Sustainable For Most People
Even though proponents claim that this diet allows high flexibility and is easier to follow, it is highly restrictive if we talk about it for a long time.
It definitely allows for periodic breaks and allows the intake of high calories but puts a lot of restrictions over time. Also, many people recommend 2000 calories in low-calorie days, which is a huge amount to be taken in a single day for many people depending upon their age, height, and weight.
You also need to do physical activity daily for seeing the results. Ultimately this diet is too depriving and too hard to sustain for longer.
Although it is quite different from other forms and more flexible than some diets, it cannot be declared as the best one. It will promote fast weight loss but you cannot reply to it for longer.
According to research conducted most of the diets restrictive in nature fail because they are not able to sustain the weight loss as the body acquired to eating that many calories and adapts to that lifestyle. Therefore, you might benefit from sticking to a more sustainable lifestyle that will encourage a modest calorie deficit by increased physical activity and a nutritious diet.
By following such an approach, you are more likely to lose weight without requiring a restrictive type of diet.
The Bottom Line
While you might be able to stick to a metabolic confusion diet for too long by restricting the calories, do not expect to see visible differences in your metabolism. You will definitely lose weight but not because your metabolism is in a confused state, but because it is working harder than usual.
If you are looking for something to lose weight without restricting the food severely, you should better make changes in your lifestyle. Include minimally processed food, get enough sleep to provide rest to your body, exercise regularly, and manage your stress.
These are some important things you can follow that will be easy to stick with on a long-term basis and you will feel great. Feeling deprived, less energetic, hungry all the time is not a solution that you can go through for years. If you wish to lose weight faster for certain occasions, metabolic confusion diets or calorie shifting or calorie restriction diets are great. But if your decision to leave them in between, you will start acquiring weight because this will eventually end up in overeating.
If you wish to learn more about some other diet for weight loss that is trending nowadays like 3 phase body reset diet and some tips to follow, you may take some ideas from these pieces of information.