Want to lose weight fast? Diet for one month – then take a month off, doc reveals

Well, that could be because long-term dieting doesn't work – at least according to one expert.

Dr Nick Fuller, an obesity boff from the University of Sydney, has been researching the key to long-lasting weight loss.

He says that all people have to do is eat healthily and exercise…for a month.

Yep, his theory is that you should only be on the bandwagon a month at a time, before having a month's break.

"Traditionally weight loss programmes promote a continuous calorie restriction to include a continuous weight loss," he explained in his book, Interval Weight Loss for Life.

"However a weight loss plateau tends to kick in around three to six months and a person will start to regain the lost weight."

That approach – as we all know – is often unsuccessful.

But that isn't down to a lack of willpower, Dr Fuller maintains, it's because our stressed-out bodies actively start to work against us.

He says that when the body is put under stress, it reverts back to its starting weight – meaning that whatever you do, the fat won't budge.

"The only way to prevent these biological processes kicking into place is to impose "diet breaks" along the way – specifically every second month."

By having one month on, one month off, you stop your body from thinking that it's on a diet and therefore doesn't start to slow your metabolism.

For that to happen, he says that it's important you only lose around two kilos (4.4lbs) a month – any more will make the body panic.

Stress has become one of the cornerstones of diet and wellbeing in recent years, with more and more PTs, body transformation coaches and dieticians recognising the impact that chronic stress is having on our waistlines.

We tend to have a high storage of fat around our middles if we’re exposed to high and prolonged stress.

TAKE THE WEIGHT OFF Eat more and get a good night’s sleep…10 ways to shed pounds WITHOUT exercise

Stress comes in many different forms but one of those is physical stress and eating a low-cal diet while working out at a high intensity every day is just that.

If you’re disproportionately storing more fat around your lower belly, then you need to start thinking about reducing your stress levels and getting a good night’s sleep.

Laurence Fountain is the founder of Salus London and specialises in body transformations by way of re-balancing stress.

He previously told The Sun: “Cortisol interferes with different hormonal effects.

“Firstly, it interferes with your thyroid – meaning it’s going to be very hard to burn fat when your cortisol is high. In fact, you’re going to be more likely to burn muscle.

“Too much cortisol can also lead to an overstimulation of the brain during sleep causing an increase of ghrelin – the hunger hormone, which is going to make it impossible for you to control your appetite and stay away from simple sugars and high-fat foods.

"And when ghrelin high, leptin is going to be low so it’s going to stop you from feeling satisfied."

So when you're under stress, you're going to be more prone to storing belly fat and caving into cravings.

One way of combatting the latter, Dr Fuller said, is to make sure you eat carbs and protein at every meal in order to keep fuller for longer.

Although no foods are off-limits in his plan, Dr Fuller recommends that meals get smaller as the day goes on.

During weight loss months, he says dieters can have one treat food and one meal out a week – and that doubles during maintenance months.

Exercise-wise, he says 30 minutes of varied activity six days a week during diet months is needed for successful weight loss and five days a week during off-months.

Dr Fuller says that this is a lifestyle change rather than a diet, so all foods have to be allowed. But it's worth pointing out that you have to be careful about how much you're eating during the maintenance months.

Loads of us eat way more than we normally would when we have cheat days so you want to avoid turning your "off-month" into a four-week binge.

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