Newton’s first law of motion says that an object at rest will remain at rest unless a force acts on it. Inertia is the name given to this tendency of objects to stay the way they are. The human body is also in a state of inertia. Most diet plans focus on the composition or quantity of the food we eat.
Metabolic confusion, on the other hand, is a diet plan that involves alternating between high-calorie and low-calorie periods of eating to tackle the inertia of our body’s metabolism. That also explains why the program is known by names like calorie cycling, calorie shifting, etc.
How This Plan Is Different?
Almost all diet plans can help you lose weight if you follow them correctly. But some diet plans are easier to follow. Owing to our busy lives, following a diet plan that requires you to meticulously count calories is difficult.
Strictly speaking, metabolic confusion is also a calorie restriction plan, except that it is more flexible compared to the other diets that take a toll on your willpower. The plan also recommends exercise, but you have the flexibility to choose the workout program of your choice.
Connection With Evolutionary Biology
Not only is calorie cycling easier to follow, but it also aligns more closely with the eating habits of humans from an evolutionary point of view. Back in the days when we were hunter-gatherers, there was no such thing as three square meals a day.
Our ancestors would wake up in the morning and start moving in search of food. Along the way, they may find some nuts or berries they could snack on. On the days they get a big game, they feast with family and friends.
The Science And Some Math
In theory, losing weight is plane algebra. If you eat less than your daily caloric needs, your body will dip into its fat stores to make up for the energy deficit. But it’s easier said than done because calorie restriction also slows down the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).
RMR is the rate at which you burn calories when you do nothing. It’s a coping mechanism our body has adapted since primordial times to avoid starving to death. Calorie restriction also tends to raise cortisol levels in your body, leading to increased stress levels. Metabolic confusion allows you to take the necessary breaks that will bring your metabolism back on track.
What Research Says
A 2014 study compared traditional calorie restriction with calorie shifting over a period of 42 days. The people in the first group maintained a calorie deficit for the whole time, while the second group had 3 days of unrestricted intake after every 11 days of caloric restriction.
After the period of study, group 2 not only lost more weight but also reported an easier time going through the program. However, another one-year study showed that there was no significant difference in weight loss between the two groups.
This could mean that the effectiveness of a calorie cycling program to trick the metabolism may decrease over time. But it would still mean that one can achieve the same results as a stressful, strict calorie restriction plan with a flexible metabolic confusion plan, which is also more likely to stick to.
The Only Dieting Plan You Will Ever Need
The best weight-loss plan for you is the one you can stick with for a while. A metabolic confusion plan with 20% cheat days will be a good place to start. This would mean that every 10 days of the program, you can have 2 days of unrestricted eating.
On your cutting days, it is advisable to eat healthy, unprocessed foods with a 10% calorie deficit. Aiming higher on the calorie deficit can leave you feeling deprived and low on energy during the day. This can also strike back with a binge or overeating session in the following days.
Losing Weight Without Counting Calories
The good news is that if you are targeting a 10% calorie deficit, you wouldn’t even have to count the calories. All you have to do is stop eating your meals just before your stomach feels full. On your cheat days, you can indulge in your favorite delicacies.
This will help you enjoy special occasions like holiday meals or parties without worrying about your dieting goals. Also, make exercise a part of your life. Studies after studies show that barbell training with progressive overloading results in increased metabolic rates not only during the workouts but also between sessions.