Can you take a five-day “vacation” from your low-carb diet every week and still burn fat? A study suggests that possibility. Researchers here found women who cut carbs for just two days each week lost more weight than women who stuck with a permanent calorie-restricted diet. In other words, for five days every week, the low-carb groups ate what they wanted and still lost weight.
The study, presented at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, randomly assigned 115 women with familial histories of breast cancer (in other words, they’re considered high risk) to one of three diets for four months.
- One group ate a 1,500-calorie Mediterranean-type diet.
- The second group ate their normal diet, but two days a week they cut carbs and also calories to about 650 on those two days.
- The third group also ate as they pleased and low-carbed two days a week, but without any caloric restrictions.
Just to clarify, during these two low-carb days, researchers allowed the two groups 50 grams of carbohydrate. They could eat one piece of fruit each day as well as non-starchy vegetables. I say this because studies fluctuate wildly over what they define as a low-carb diet.
Written by Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS