What Is Metabolic Confusion and How Does It Work?
If you’re like many Americans, you may have gained a few extra pounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, gaining weight is all too easy – and losing it can be hard.
There are a number of diets out there, from ones that have you drinking hot lemon water to those that require you to track the “points” of everything that you eat. Another popular diet, metabolic confusion, allows you to alternate how many calories you eat each day, with the goal of “tricking” your metabolism into working harder. While it may work in the short term, a metabolic confusion diet is difficult to maintain over time, making it a poor choice for sustained weight loss.
At Ideal You Health Center, we understand just how hard it can be to drop pounds. Our program is different, with a focus on changing (not tricking!) your metabolism. With Ideal You, you can lose a life-changing amount of weight…in just 40 days.
What Is the Metabolic Confusion Diet?
The metabolic confusion diet is a style of dieting that allows you to switch between high and low calorie days (or longer periods of time). Also known as calorie cycling or shifting, this diet involves days of strict calorie restriction alternating with days of slightly higher calorie intake. For example, you might eat 1,200 calories on one day and 2,000 calories the next day.
Advocates of the metabolic confusion diet claim that switching between high and low calorie days in this way will confuse your metabolism and make it work harder. The theory is that because your metabolism has to continuously adapt to changes in calorie intake, it will work faster than if you simply adopted a low calorie diet.
Scientific research has shown that reducing calories over the long term can actually work to decrease your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This can make your body less effective at burning calories, slowing your weight loss. Proponents of the metabolic confusion diet argue that by alternating between low and high calorie days, your metabolism doesn’t slow down in the same way, which means that you can continue to lose weight.
There is limited research to support this claim. A 2014 study compared people who used a calorie shifting diet versus those who simply cut calories. At the end of 42 days, the RMR of people who cut calories had decreased, but the RMR of people who did metabolic confusion stayed the same.
Importantly, this study was relatively limited in time, at approximately a month and a half. A longer study found that there was no significant difference in weight loss between people who followed a low calorie diet and those who did a metabolic confusion diet over the course of one year.
Does Metabolic Confusion Work?
Many people do lose weight – at least initially – on a metabolic confusion diet. That is because you are still operating in a calorie deficit on most days, not because your metabolism is “tricked.” Some people may also find it easier to stick to this type of diet because they get breaks from days of more significant calorie restriction.
Because the metabolic confusion diet requires participants to stick to a very low calorie diet most of the time, it often is not sustainable over the long term. If you have to eat 1,200 calories or fewer 5 days a week, it can be challenging to maintain that type of lifestyle. This diet also recommends regular exercise, which may not be possible for everyone who wants to lose weight using it.
There isn’t much research to support the idea that alternating calorie intake will lead to weight loss. Despite claims to the contrary, a person’s metabolism cannot be confused. Instead, it adapts depending on the number of calories that you consume and expend each day.
At the end of the day, metabolic confusion is a diet – and diets don’t work for weight loss. While you might lose weight initially on the metabolic confusion diet – or a similar restrictive diet – you probably won’t be able to maintain that weight loss.
Ideal You is a different type of weight loss program. We don’t require you to eat pre-packaged meals, exercise, or drink nasty weight loss shakes. Instead, we will help you train your body to burn fat instead of storing it.
Resetting your metabolism allows you to lose weight in a way that is both healthy and sustainable. You can achieve this goal by addressing all of the complex factors that cause you to gain weight – and make it hard to drop pounds.
With Ideal You, you will get access to a team of weight loss coaches, take all natural supplements, and eat real food. Within 40 days, you’ll lose a life-changing amount of weight. Over time, we will help you improve your metabolism for long-term, healthy weight loss.
The Ideal You Difference
Metabolic confusion is another popular diet that makes big promises…and often fails to deliver. The simple fact is that diets don’t work for weight loss. Instead, by focusing on changing your metabolism, you can change your life.
If you are ready to get started on your weight loss journey, we are here to help. When you choose Ideal You Weight Loss Center, you will get a structured food list, a weight loss journal, all natural supplements, and support from a team of weight loss coaches. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, give us a call at 888-488-7258, or book a consultation online.