Background/Aims: Intermittent energy restriction (IER) has become a popular alternative to continuous dieting for weight loss. The aim was to investigate the effect of IER compared to continuous energy restriction (CER) on weight loss and body composition after 8 weeks of energy restriction.
Methods: Participants were adults (n=107, 22 men and 85 women), 51.8 ± 11.3 years who were overweight or obese (94.1 ± 17.0kg and BMI 34.04 ± 5.3kg/m2). Participants visited the clinic every 2 weeks for CER and 4 weeks for IER. Fasting weight, and DEXA scan measurements, to assess body composition, were taken at 0 and 8 weeks CER and 16 weeks IER.
Results: After 12 weeks attrition was 34%. Average weight loss was 6.3 ± 2.3kg for CER (n=39) and 6.5 ± 2.7kg for IER (n=32), with no difference between the groups and no differences between females and males. There was a loss of fat tissue of 4.1 ± 2.7kg and 5.0 ± 2.4kg and a loss of lean muscle mass of 1.3 ± 1.8kg and 1.1 ± 1.8kg for CER and IER respectively (NS).
Conclusions: Those on intermittent energy restriction achieved similar weight loss and body composition changes to those on continuous energy restriction after 8 weeks of energy restriction.
Funding source(s): University of South Australia