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What are the benefits of part-time diets?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
It's a dieter's dream: you don't have to restrict calories or carbs every day to see results! Eat fewer carbs and calories just a few days a week and you'll lose weight -- and keep it off. Fantasy? No. It's reality. Part-time weight-loss plans deliver real results and may even lower breast cancer risk.
  • Part-time diets take time. Don't expect to lose 5 pounds in a week. You don't want to anyway! Slow, steady weight loss is more likely to be permanent. A healthy diet-two-days-a-week plan that cuts out extra carbs, such as the added sugars, syrups and refined grains that don't do your body any favors, can help you lose a little more weight over four to six months (about a pound a week) than following a low-calorie diet for the same length of time.
  • Part-time diets work -- if you're disciplined. One of the part-time diets that have been studied limited carbohydrates to 40 grams a day, two days a week, and let dieters choose the healthy foods they love best the other five days of the week. That's not a license to order the triple cheeseburger and biggie fries. It's an opportunity to practice lifelong healthy eating habits during your diet.
  • Part-time diets keep hunger in check. Eating fewer carbohydrates helps to keep your blood sugar on a more even keel, getting past the rollercoaster spikes and dips that lead to between-meal cravings.
  • Part-time diets pack a health bonus. Done right, this way of eating can lower your risk for diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. How? Eating fewer carbohydrates two days a week makes your muscle cells become more sensitive to insulin, the traffic cop that tells cells to open up and let in the sugar from your bloodstream.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.