Losing Weight Without Dieting

Losing Weight Without Dieting

fork with tape measureToday we have Will Kashis.

Tired of failing at your daily diet? Maybe it’s time to start thinking “weekly.”

So many of today’s diet plans require users to follow a strict diet – forcing them to keep track of calorie consumption daily, and sometimes even hourly.

And if you ever tried dieting, you may agree that the number one reason your diet failed is compliance.

More over, you can also confirm the results of an interesting study, published in the International Journal of Obesity back in 2007.

In this study, 311 overweight women were recruited to follow one of the following popular diet programs: The Atkins Diet, The Zone Diet, the LEARN diet or the Ornish Diet.

To start the study, each woman was given a copy of the popular diet book that she was randomly assigned to follow.

Then, to make sure she was an “expert” on her program before she started dieting, each woman attended a series of 8 classes (each lasting an hour) explaining exactly how to follow her assigned diet.

After the courses were completed the women then set off to follow their assigned diet plan for a total of 1 year.

As result, everybody lost a lot of weight in the first two months, after that the diets tended to even out and by the end of the trial the weight loss was far from impressive – none of the groups averaged more than 10 pounds of weight loss after an entire year of dieting.

But here is the most interesting fact.

Astonishingly only one subject in the entire study followed the diet as directed for the whole 12 months. This means that every other subject was not following her assigned diet properly at some point during the research trial!

The researchers also found that adherence was significantly correlated with 12-month weight change for all three-diet groups. So the better a woman was at following her diet, the more weight she lost.

And to give a practical idea on how you can simplify your weight loss, I want to tell you about a little-known Eat Stop Eat method.

The Eat Stop Eat Method

Eat Stop Eat uses a combination of short-term (24-hour) fasting and weight training to teach people how to get fit. The program was developed in 2008 by Brad Pilon, a Canadian research scientist who had worked in the nutritional supplement industry for more than a decade.

A unique aspect to the Eat Stop Eat plan is that it encourages users to count calories week-by-week rather than daily. I believe that this aspect offers a strong psychological advantage over other diet methods. While other diet plans force the user to follow daily – sometimes even hourly – caloric recommendations, thereby adding stress to the dieter’s life, Eat Stop Eat only requires that users reduce their caloric intake over the course of a week.

For example, if you need to consume 2,000 calories per day in order to maintain your body weight, that means you need to eat 250 fewer calories per day, every day, in order to lose a half a pound in one week.

With Eat Stop Eat, however, you are allowed to eat normally six days per week as long as you fast on the seventh day. You will still cut 1,750 calories from your diet, and you’ll still lose half a pound. But you’ll also still be able to enjoy your favorite foods, and you won’t have to count calories every day. The weight loss process becomes much more flexible.

When you’re free to monitor your calories on a weekly basis rather than keeping track of your eating seven days a week, your weight loss efforts become much less stressful. One of Eat Stop Eat’s mottos, in fact, is “Think weekly, because nothing changes in one day.”

Individuals who follow the Eat Stop Eat method usually fast once or twice during the course of a week, and exercise to build muscle mass if necessary. Beginners may fast once a week, while those who are more experienced may do it twice. The very experienced followers may perform workouts during their fasting days.

Before I close, I should clear up a misconception about intermittent fasting. Many people believe that the body slows its metabolism, going into “starvation mode,” during times of fasting.

Brad Pilon says scientific research shows individuals can consume minimal calories for extended periods of time with no change in metabolism.

Recent studies have also shown that the body releases cholesterol during periods of fasting, enabling the body to tap into its fat reserves for energy. Muscle mass is also not decreased during periods of fasting as long as some resistance training is done.

Image: winnond / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Author: Will is a freelance writer who writes for health publications and recently launched his site Diets.md

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

Will is a freelance writer who writes for health publications and recently launched his site Diets.md

14 Enlightened Replies

Trackback  •  Comments RSS

  1. Dan says:

    Hi Evelyn,

    This is the first time I’ve read about the Eat Stop Eat method. A new knowledge for me. 🙂

    Theoretically, fasting for a day in a week to lose weight may work if at the end of the week, your total consumed calories are less than calories burned.

    The critical part of this program is the day of fasting. I agree with lance that this really needs a lot of will power.

    If it takes too much for starters, maybe they could do this instead on the fasting day:

    – Week 1 : vegetables and fruits (Normal size)
    – Week 2 : vegetables and fruits (moderate size)
    – Week 3 : vegetables and fruits (small size)
    – Week 4 : Try to fast.

    Bearing in mind that losing weight the healthy way takes time. 🙂

  2. Sean says:

    Hi Evelyn and Will,

    I never followed a diet plan but I try my best to eat healthy. Not that I’m overweight or obese. I just want to live healthy. Anyway, the Eat Stop Eat Method is interesting and I think its not very stressful and people will not feel pressured with the method.

  3. Emma G. says:

    Hi! Thinking “lifestyle” instead of “diet” is a must to succeed in weight loss. Diet implies something that’s temporary, meanwhile lifestyle is, as you said – for the long run.

    As for fasting, I don’t believe it’s very effective because it could trigger the body’s starvation response and slow down your metabolism. But that’s just my opinion.

    Anyway, great job on the site. Keep it up!

    – Emma

  4. Tatianna says:

    I kept trying this method but it’s on and off for me. Sometimes I can do it, and sometimes I can’t. I found a really great way to loose weight without dieting – water. A glass before, and after every meal. Also in the morning right after waking up, a big glass of water. It’s the European way, and it works pretty well, I know a lot of girls in Russia swear by this method.

    • Hi Tatianna,

      Water is great! It helps move things out of the body. Sounds like a great plan. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. 😉

      Thanks for sharing!


  5. I’ve read Brad Pilon’s work a couple of years ago and I’m refreshing my memory by going back and reading it again. I’m also getting into Martin Berkhan’s work on intermittent fasting. Little different than Brad’s where you’re “fasting” daily. 16 hours off and 8 hours on I believe.

  6. Michelle says:

    Since fasting is biblical, I’m pretty sure that He knows it wouldn’t screw up our metabolism.

    I think my biggest issue is deprivation. I always feel deprived on diets. I’ve done Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and that’s all I can remember. They all do work to help you lose weight. The problem is when you are done. If you don’t know how to eat, you go right back to bad habits and wham! The weight is back along with friends 🙁

    • Hey Michelle,

      Yes, fasting is biblical and I agree with you! 😉

      That’s why diets don’t work. I think a change in lifestyle and serving sizes work for the long haul. Of course I support fasting too.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


  7. Yes, intermittent fasting or “eat stop eat” can reduce weight, as yo are consuming lesser calories for a particular duration and if it is less than your requirement, you can loose weight.

  8. lance says:

    I read once that calorie intake should be recorded weekly,not daily. I always liked that way of thinking. Fasting for one day just doesn’t sound like it would work for someone who is obese. Will they be able to go an entire day without eating? Thats a lot of will power. Something many overweight people have very little of.