Metabolic Confusion Diet – What You Need To Know…
Whether you want to burn fat and lose weight or build muscle, diet-related changes are necessary. Healthy living is the foundation for any change we want to make.
Nowadays, there are different kinds of dietary approaches to slim down, burn fat, support muscle growth, and so much more.
One of those approaches is a metabolic confusion diet and chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about it, but aren’t quite sure how it works or whether it can really help you.
In this post, we are going to focus on metabolic confusion diet and everything to know about it.
What is a metabolic confusion diet?
Metabolic confusion diet, also known as calorie confusion, calorie cycling, and calorie shifting, is not a typical diet that requires adherence to a strict eating schedule and avoidance of different kinds of foods.
Instead, a metabolic confusion diet revolves around shifting between low-calorie and high-calorie days.
In other words, instead of consuming a certain amount of calories a day to lose weight or burn fat e.g., 1400 calories, you vary calorie intake to confuse the metabolism and increase its function. Hence the name of this diet!
In calorie confusion or calorie cycling diet, there are no strict guidelines and food restrictions that are the basis of other eating programs that keep emerging.
We can easily consider the metabolic confusion diet as a way of structuring the weekly and monthly food intake for optimal function of metabolism.
What most people don’t realize is that the metabolic confusion diet is quite similar to the eating pattern of our ancestors, who were hunters and gatherers. The reason is simple, and they only ate food they caught or grew themselves.
The availability of food was unpredictable, so they didn’t eat the same amount of calories every day.
How does metabolic confusion diet work?
The conventional diets have strict rules you need to follow in terms of how much and what to eat. As mentioned above, the metabolic confusion diet is different. That’s why there is no definite set of rules for implementing this diet.
After all, everybody is different, just like metabolism. Two people don’t have the same metabolism, meaning they also have different needs.
To make metabolic confusion diet work for you, it’s important to listen to your body and modify your diet along the way.
For instance, a vast majority of metabolic confusion diet meal plans focus on eating 2000 calories on the high-calorie day and about 1200 calories on low-calorie days.
People who want to kick-start their weight loss and want results faster may want to consult a nutritionist who can create an ideal meal plan for their needs and preferences.
Below, you can take a look at some examples of cycling schedules that may motivate you to start your own:
- Day-by-day cycle – eating low-calorie diet on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday then switching to high-calorie diet on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday
- The weekend cycle – 5 days of low-calorie food intake + 2 days (over the weekend) of high-calorie intake
- Two-week cycle – low-calorie intake for 11 days and three days of eating a high-calorie diet
- The 1-month cycle – eating a high-calorie diet for three weeks and switching to high-calorie intake for one week
Choices to follow a metabolic confusion diet are numerous. You may want to opt for a low-calorie diet first and follow it up with high-calorie intake when you notice physical changes.
These changes can include energy boost, improved athletic performance, sleep changes, bigger sex drive, and fat loss.
The reason why it may seem more practical to start with low-calorie intake first is that diets tend to go nicely for a while, usually a week or two, but then a person experiences a significant drop in energy and overall quality of life.
But, when you add a high-calorie period, you’re allowing the body to refuel and recover until the upcoming low-calorie stage. This is what a metabolic confusion diet is all about.
Whether you’ll alternate days or do it over the course of a few weeks depends only on you and your preferences.
Does metabolic confusion work for weight loss?
The first thing most people want to know before they start with some diet is whether it really works or not. Well, you’ll be pleased to know that metabolic confusion diet works, and science confirms it.
A study from the International Journal of Preventive Medicine found that a calorie cycling diet led to significant weight loss and fat loss after four weeks. The same study also found that, compared to conventional calorie-restriction diets, metabolic confusion was associated with better adherence.
In other words, a metabolic confusion diet can work for weight loss, and it’s easier to stick to it compared to other dietary patterns.
Is it good to have a high-calorie day?
Calories are feared and demonized, but the truth is that we do need to live, function, work, and do pretty much anything. Calories aren’t the ones that are ruining our weight or muscle-building efforts, but our own lack of control and proper organization.
Most people think a high-calorie intake is the worst thing they can do, but the reality is different. Regular high-calorie days, with boundaries, can help your diet efforts.
As mentioned above, after calorie restriction, the energy levels start depleting, and our metabolism can slow down as well. High-calorie days can help refuel our energy and get metabolism back on its track.
Do I need to exercise on a metabolic confusion diet?
If only there were a way to lose weight and stay fit or build muscles without getting off the couch to exercise. But, there’s no such a thing (at least not yet). Weight loss, fat burning, muscle building, body toning, everything you want to improve on your body requires exercise.
Let’s also not forget the fact that physical activity keeps us strong and healthy.
But, you’re probably wondering whether you really need to exercise when doing a metabolic confusion diet. Ideally, you should pair the diet with regular exercise. After all, weight loss is all about calories deficit, and exercising is a wonderful way to burn calories.
One thing to bear in mind is that you should not use exercise as an excuse to increase calorie intake on low-calorie days.
To make it easier for yourself, it would be practical to do low-impact exercises and lower intensity activities on low-calories day. On the other hand, opt for high-intensity workouts on high-calorie days.
That way, you’ll remain physically active but won’t end up eating more food than necessary during low-calorie phases.
Is carb cycling the same as metabolic confusion?
Carb cycling is defined as a planned alteration of carbohydrate intake in order to prevent a fat loss plateau and support metabolism as well as athletic performance. Bearing in mind that carb cycling also involves periods of high and low food intake, it’s easy to think it is the same thing as metabolic confusion.
But, they’re not actually the same thing. You see, carb cycling only refers to consuming high or low amounts of the carb while intake of fats and proteins remains the same.
Carb cycling involves calorie cycling to some extent, but they are not synonyms you can use interchangeably. After all, metabolic confusion involves reducing or increasing the amount of all calories in the diet, rather than a specific nutrient only.
What should I eat on a metabolic confusion diet?
The beauty of a metabolic confusion diet is that there are no restrictions and limitations. Conventional diets tend to forbid the consumption of certain foods and limit food intake on some foods only. That’s not how metabolic confusion diet works.
You can choose foods you want to eat but make sure they fall into either low-calorie or high-calorie range. Fortunately, it’s easy to eat delicious foods, even on low-calorie days, when you know what to cook.
Nowadays, there are cooking programs such as Metabolic Cooking with tons of recipes and recommendations that are bound to make it easier for people to follow this type of diet.
While you can eat pretty much “anything” on a metabolic confusion diet as long as you still get to follow calorie limits (whether high or low), you should still be careful. Don’t use high-calorie days as an excuse to eat unhealthy foods such as trans fats, heavily processed and refined foods, snacks, candies, sugar-laden foods, and others.
Instead, you need to focus on healthy sources of nutrients and micronutrients.
Enrich your diet with fruit, vegetables, lean meats if you will, nuts, and seeds. This way, it will be easier for you to maintain your weight. On low-calorie days, you may want to consume more fiber as it makes you feel full for hours and decreases the need to eat more and more.
Metabolism Boosting Recipes.
Highly recommended…Check out the Metabolic Cooking recipe guide.
How much weight can I lose on a metabolic confusion diet?
How much weight to expect losing on calorie confusion diet depends on various factors such as current weight, metabolic rate, foods you eat, adherence to the diet, among others. Bearing in mind that every person is different and so are their needs and bodies, the outcome of the diet remains different as well.
But generally speaking, you can expect a rapid weight loss, especially during low-calorie intervals.
It’s entirely possible to lose 10lbs a week. You do need to remember that people lose weight at their own pace, so you shouldn’t force yourself or feel bad if you tend to slim down at a slower rate than someone else. It all comes down to listening to your body and modifying your diet to meet its demands.
What are the benefits?
The reason why metabolic confusion diet is gaining on popularity is that it has tons of benefits you can expect if you adhere to your plan. These benefits include weight loss, fat burning, energy boost, faster metabolism, and it’s not a conventional diet plan.
What’s more, the fact metabolism confusion diet is not a “standard” diet is probably its greatest advantage because conventional diets tend to fail.
Why do they fail?
Reasons for that are numerous, including:
- Severe calorie restriction
- Food limitations
- Difficult to follow
- Hormonal imbalances (thyroid hormones, testosterone, cortisol)
- Yo-yo effect
- Slower metabolism
- More stress
- Imbalances in hormones leptin and ghrelin which notify your brain when you’re full or hungry
Conventional diets may induce excellent results at the beginning, but after a while, they cause more harm than good. A person can’t follow the restricted and limited diet in the long-term. That’s why a metabolic confusion diet is so good for you.
This diet allows you to surprise or confuses your metabolism constantly. As a result, you don’t experience problems such as hormonal imbalances, slow metabolism, stress, just to name a few.
Metabolic confusion diet a popular eating pattern praised for its effectiveness and simplicity. It includes periods of low-calorie intake (day or weeks) followed by high-calorie intake to confuse metabolism into burning more calories and fat for a successful weight loss.
The effectiveness of this diet was confirmed by scientific studies. Although you can eat anything, it’s still better to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly.
Thankfully nowadays, there are guides with recipes specifically made to help people follow a metabolic confusion diet. One of the biggest advantages of this eating pattern is that it’s easy to follow, unlike conventional diets, and people are more likely to stick to it.
Read more articles on weight loss in our weight loss category.