This study has been registered with the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry (ANZCTR) and given the registration number ACTRN12612000197831.
Effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on short-term weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance
Article first published online: 6 MAR 2014
© 2014 The Authors. Clinical Obesity © 2014 International Association for the Study of Obesity
Volume 4, Issue 3, pages 150–156, June 2014
How to Cite
Keogh, J. B., Pedersen, E., Petersen, K. S. and Clifton, P. M. (2014), Effects of intermittent compared to continuous energy restriction on short-term weight loss and long-term weight loss maintenance. Clinical Obesity, 4: 150–156. doi: 10.1111/cob.12052
- Issue published online: 21 MAY 2014
- Article first published online: 6 MAR 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 5 FEB 2014
- National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
- Heart Foundation and Government of South Australia Research Fellowship
- Intermittent energy restriction;
- weight loss
Effective strategies are needed to help individuals lose weight and maintain weight loss. The primary aim of this study was to investigate the effect of intermittent energy restriction (IER) compared to continuous energy restriction (CER) on weight loss after 8 weeks and weight loss maintenance after 12 months. Secondary aims were to determine changes in waist and hip measurements and diet quality. In a randomized parallel study, overweight and obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 27 kg m−2) women were stratified by age and BMI before randomization. Participants undertook an 8-week intensive period with weight, waist and hip circumference measured every 2 weeks, followed by 44 weeks of independent dieting. A food frequency questionnaire was completed at baseline and 12 months, from which diet quality was determined. Weight loss was not significantly different between the two groups at 8 weeks (−3.2 ± 2.1 kg CER, n = 20, −2.0 ± 1.9 kg IER, n = 25; P = 0.06) or at 12 months (−4.2 ± 5.6 kg CER, n = 17 −2.1 ± 3.8 kg IER, n = 19; P = 0.19). Weight loss between 8 and 52 weeks was –0.7 ± 49 kg CER vs. −1 ± 1.1 kg IER; P = 0.6. Waist and hip circumference decreased significantly with time (P < 0.01), with no difference between groups. There was an increase in the Healthy Eating Index at 12 months in the CER compared with the IER group (CER 8.4 ± 9.1 vs. IER −0.3 ± 8.4, P = 0.006). This study indicates that intermittent dieting was as effective as continuous dieting over 8 weeks and for weight loss maintenance at 12 months. This may be useful for individuals who find CER too difficult to maintain.