What Is Metabolic Confusion? – Does It Work For Weight Loss?

Cindy Wilson Thumbby Cindy Wilson
BS, Dietetics and Nutrition

Just how real is metabolic confusion for weight loss?

Nowadays, there are varieties of trending dietary methods to burn fat. One of them and it is becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Whatever your goal is; to burn fat and lose weight or get lean muscle, it is necessary to make diet-related changes.

The foundation of whatever changes you make should be based on healthy living. Does metabolic confusion encourage this? You may have heard one or two things about metabolic confusion, but aren’t sure about how it works and whether or not it can help you lose weight.

If you are curious and want to know how to trick your metabolism into working harder to burn more fats in lesser time, read on to learn everything you need to know to get started with metabolic confusion.

Metabolic Confusion – What is it?

Metabolic confusion – a term that is also known as calorie cycling, calorie confusion, or calorie shifting – is an eating plan that is designed to trick your metabolism into working smarter to never reach a plateau for faster weight loss results. This involves alternating the calories you consume daily.

Our bodies do not work in the same way because they are different. This explains why some diets work for some people but don’t work for others. Our metabolism has a lot to say about that; how you lose weight and how successfully you achieve it.

Unlike the rest of us, some people have supercharged metabolism and they can eat whatever they want without worrying about weight gain. The reason is that their bodies burn the calories they consume at a much faster rate. Unfortunately for some of us, we put on weight just by reading the recipes of fast foods.

How Does Metabolic Confusion Diet Work?

There is no specific set of rules you need to follow to do a metabolic confusion diet for weight loss.  We don’t have the same metabolisms, so it is important to pay attention to your body to modify your eating plan along the way.  This means your body still gets to burn more calories when you are not doing anything such as eating boring salad day after day for weight loss.

Eating the same amount of calories continuously makes your body efficient at using calories. This makes it adjust its resting metabolic rate, which is the energy your body uses when you are inactive. This is especially true when you are on a low-calorie eating plan. Your body finds a way to adjust to this, which prevents plateau for you.

This facilitates weight loss. This is why it is important that you try to ‘confuse’ your metabolism if you want to reverse this pattern. Do this by not eating the same number of calories for a long time. Altering your eating pattern resets your metabolism, which makes it hard for you to stop losing weight.

How To Do A Metabolic Confusion For Weight loss?

The concept of a metabolic diet for weight loss is quite simple. There are different choices of metabolic confusion diets to follow. If you need an average of 1500 calories a day to lose weight, vary your calorie consumption daily, weekly, or monthly.

Go for a low-calorie diet first and then opt for a high-calorie intake when you see physical changes. Starting with low-calorie makes metabolic confusion diet plan smooth for you for about a week or two Pick low-calorie days to eat 300 fewer calories than the recommended number of calories that are expected to help you lose weight; that is 1,200 calories.

After this, you are likely to experience a significant drop in your energy levels and quality of life. Other changes includes fat loss, changes in your sleeping pattern, bigger sex drive or energy boost.

Then follow it up with high-calorie days. Eat 300 more calories than 1500 calories, which is 1,800 calories. Adding a high-calorie provides your body with the opportunity to refuel and recover until the occurrence of the low-calorie stage that will soon follow.

If you average the calories you’ve consumed from your food per week, it will still be 1,500 calories daily. It focuses on structuring your weekly and monthly food consumption for the optimal function of your metabolism.

Decide on the cycle that suits you best. Below are some examples of cycling schedules to motivate you:

The Day-by-day cycle requires you to eat low-calorie food on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. You can then switch to high-calorie foods on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The weekend cycle lets you go on 5 days of low-calorie diet intake + 2 days of high-calorie intake (over the weekend)

The Two-week cycle requires you to consume a low-calorie diet 11 days and go on three days high-calorie diet intake.

The 1-month cycle involves 3 weeks of high-calorie diet intake and 1 week of high-calorie diet intake.

Also, you may alternate between high and low-calorie days daily. Eating in this unknown order will help your body adjust your metabolism because of the changes in the number of calories consumed. This means a faster metabolism, which encourages more fat-burn, to compensate for the disruption in your metabolism.

A metabolic confusion diet has some similarities with the paleo of (our ancestors’ eating pattern). They did not eat the same number of calories every day because the availability of food was not predictable. They mostly ate food they caught because they were hunters.

Metabolic confusion diets work well when you follow these rules:

  1. Eat your food within a certain window
  2. Add 20 to 40 grams of protein to every meal
  3. Consume a lot of vegetables by mixing them with a good blender. This will help you meet your fiber requirement.
  4. Eat unprocessed whole foods
  5. Include about 3-6 grams of omega-3 fatty acids in every meal

Foods to avoid on metabolic confusion diet

  • Stay away from sugary beverages. Stick to tea or unsweetened coffee and water.
  • Always make plans and preparations for your next meal
  • Avoid sauce and dressing when seasoning your platter. Use natural herbs and spices.
  • Seek expert guidance for diet and training programs

Endomorphs should avoid the following foods on a calorie-confusion diet plan:

  • Refined cereals
  • Sports drinks, soft drinks and energy drinks
  • Sweets such as chocolates and candies
  • White carbs
  • baked goods and cakes
  • red meats
  • alcohol
  • Sodium-rich foods
  • fried or heavily processed foods
  • palm oil, saturated fats and coconut oil

Does Metabolic Confusion Work For Weight Loss?

Yes, as revealed in several studies. In this study, the participants were grouped into two. One group followed a calorie-restricting diet plan while the other group was required to follow a calorie shifting diet, which is also known as metabolic confusion.

The participants restricted their calories for eleven days. Then they ate what they wanted for 3 days. The analysis of this study revealed that the subjects in the calorie-shifting group successfully lost weight. Metabolic confusion works for weight loss because it counteracts dieting effects.

When you eat less than you usually do, your brain starts thinking that there is starvation. In its effort to defend your body against the worst that starvation might cause, it reduces the levels of energy it requires to maintain the normal biological functions of your body. As a result of this, your body uses a smaller portion of what you eat and store the rest of the food as fat.

However, once you start to sporadically increase the portion of food that you eat, your brain will discover that you are not starving. With this, it will continue to burn fat, which enables weight loss. Also, going on a diet makes you alter many hormones that are directly involved in your body’s weight management system.

A study shows that overweight people tend to become leptin resistant. When you are on a diet for a long time, the hormone that lets your brain become aware that you are full (leptin) reduces. Your ghrelin, which is the hormone responsible that is responsible for hunger, increases.

This means you will always feel the need to eat. Adjusting your eating habit from time to time will help you keep these hormones on the same level. With this, you will not experience a plateau or weight gain.

Metabolic confusion also helps you control your stress hormones (cortisol). Going on a restrictive diet for a long period of time stresses your body and increases your cortisol levels. Another study also reveals that women on diets had more production of the stress hormone in their bodies.

This makes them more vulnerable to weight gain. The stress was a result of the act of monitoring and paying too much attention to what they ate. As you take a break from such activities by going for a metabolic confusion diet plan, you will be able to limit the harmful effects of the stress hormone in your body.

A study published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine also supports metabolic confusion meal plans for weight loss.

What Are The Benefits Of Metabolic Confusion For Weight Loss?

A metabolic confusion diet is becoming popular due to lots of benefits that come with following the diet. Some of these benefits include faster metabolism, energy boost, fat burn, weight loss.

Unlike most conventional diets, a calorie confusion diet is easier to follow and thus increases your ability to stick to a diet plan. Also, the diet does not have negatives effects on your hormones like most other weight loss diet plans do. So, you don’t have to worry about hormonal imbalance.

A study also shows that metabolic confusion resulted in an improvement in asthma’s symptoms and also reduces oxidative stress. This research also revealed that this diet can reduce the aging of the aortic wall.

Most diets fail because of hormonal imbalances in ghrelin and leptin, food limitations, stress, slower metabolism, yo-yo effect, extreme calorie restriction, and being too difficult to follow.

While conventional diets may initially induce excellent weight loss results at the beginning, they later cause more harm in the body.  Although some of these side effects of conventional diet are also likely to happen with a metabolic confusion diet, they will happen to a lesser degree.

How Much Fat Can You Lose On A Metabolic Confusion Diet?

How much fat can you expect to lose on a metabolic confusion diet? There are lots of factors involved in this. This includes the foods you eat, your adherence to the calorie confusion diet, and your current weight among others.

The results of this diet vary because individuals have different bodies and needs. However, with the metabolic confusion diet, you can expect a rapid weight loss, especially when you are on low-calorie intervals.

It is possible to get rid of 10 pounds of body fat in a week. You do need to keep in mind that people lose fat at their pace. You shouldn’t be too hard on yourself or feel you are not doing enough if you happen to lose weight at a slower rate. What is more important is to listen to your body and modify your diet to meet your metabolism’s demands.

Should You Work Out On A Metabolic Confusion Diet?

Are you wondering whether or not to exercise when you are on a metabolic confusion diet? Unfortunately, there isn’t yet a way to stay fit or build lean muscles without leaving your couch to workout.

Whatever your fitness goal is, exercise is required to achieve it. Exercise makes you healthy and strong. It is also a great way to burn calories since fat loss is all about calories deficit. So, it is only ideal for you to pair this diet with regular exercise.

However, working out shouldn’t be an excuse to consume high-calorie diets on low-calorie days. It is recommended that you do low-impact exercises such as yoga and walking on low-calories day and HIIT on high-calorie days.

This way, you will remain active physically. That way, you’ll remain physically active but won’t end up eating more food than necessary during low-calorie phases.

Metabolic Confusion – Is It Safe?

Metabolic confusion is an efficient and quick weight-loss method but there is still room for more research. But so far, different studies have proven that metabolic confusion is safe for weight loss.

Healthcare expert recommends that weight loss should be sustainable but not being able to stick to a certain weight loss eating plan for long can make you regain weight over time. This is a common reason why most diets fail.

A metabolic confusion diet is a sustainable and safe way to get rid of excess body fat. However, if you have any medical condition, you need to be watchful, especially if you are diabetic. As earlier mentioned, we do not all react to diets the same way

Monitor your calorie consumption and sugar levels regularly. Consult your health care provider first before you make any significant changes to your diet.

Metabolic Confusion For Weight Loss – Take Away

Correct eating habit is a very easy way to rebuild your metabolism. Metabolic confusion is an eating pattern that is best known for its simplicity, unlike conventional diets like low-calorie diets. Eating right helps you to boost your metabolism and leads to weight loss.

A metabolic confusion diet balances your hormones. While you are on it, keep stress at bay with meditation and mindfulness. Eat every 3-4 hours and eat different types of foods, detox regularly, cycle your calories, and snack healthy.

Sleep well. Don’t overdo things on a metabolic confusion diet for weight loss. Simply stick to the basics and your success is guaranteed.

About Author

Cindy Wilson Thumb
BS, Nutrition & Food Science | Connect with on LinkedIn
Cindy Wilson

Hello, I am Cindy, and this a website where I inspect everything related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I have a BS in Dietetics and Nutrition (Kansas State University) and have completed a dozen specialty courses related to nutrition, biochemistry, and food science. I am open to learning more, but foremost I would like to share all my knowledge with you.

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