What is Metabolic Confusion?
Metabolic confusion refers to an eating plan in which a person alternates the calories they consume per day.
When you eat the same number of calories continuously, your body becomes efficient at using those calories. In other words, it adjusts its resting metabolic rate (the energy you use when inactive).
This is true especially when you’re on a low-calorie diet. Your body will find a way of adjusting to the low calories. As a result, you may experience a weight loss plateau.
To reverse this pattern, you should attempt to ‘confuse’ your metabolism by not eating the same amount of calories year in and year out. Changing eating patterns resets your metabolism and enables you to keep losing weight.
Does metabolic confusion work for weight loss?
According to this study, metabolic confusion causes significant weight loss. In the analysis, subjects were divided into two groups. One group was required to follow a calorie-restricting diet plan. The other group did a calorie shifting diet (this is another name for metabolic confusion).
The subjects would restrict their calories for 11 days and then eat what they want for 3 days. It was found that the calorie-shifting group experienced positive changes in weight.
Metabolic confusion works because it counteracts the effects of dieting.
When you start dieting or eating less than you normally do, your brain immediately thinks that it is starving. It thus sets up mechanisms to prepare for the worst by lowering the amount of energy it needs to maintain your normal biological functions.
As a result, your body uses a small portion of the food you eat and store the rest as fat. However, if you start to increase the food you eat sporadically, your brain will realize that you are not starving, so it will keep burning fat and enable weight loss.
Additionally, when you go on a diet, you alter several hormones involved in weight management.
In this study, it was shown that obese people tend to become leptin resistant. When you restrict your food for a long duration of time, leptin hormone (the hormone that signals to your brain that you are full) decreases. Conversely, the hormone responsible for hunger (ghrelin) increases. Meaning that you always feel like eating.
However, when you adjust your eating from time to time, these hormones remain at the same level, so you are less likely to experience weight gain or plateaus.
Finally, dieting makes you feel stressed and this increases cortisol hormone. This study proved that women on calorie-restricted diets had greater cortisol production. They were thus more susceptible to weight gain. The outcome came from the act of monitoring and watching what they ate.
When you take a break from these activities through a metabolic confusion plan, you reduce the harmful effects of cortisol in your body.
How to do metabolic confusion
You have to keep a keen eye on your calorie intake for a metabolic confusion plan to work for you. You need to know how many calories per day you should take to lose the weight you desire. Use apps for this purpose.
Let’s say the calorie-counting app tells you to need to eat an average of 1500 calories a day to lose weight. Pick low-calorie days in which you eat 300 fewer calories than the recommended amount; that is 1,200 calories.
Then pick high-calorie days where you eat 300 more calories than the recommended amount; that is 1,800 calories. When you average the food you’ve consumed per week, it should be 1,500 calories daily.
You also need to decide on the cycle that works for you.
Some people opt for the weekend cycle. In this plan, the low-calorie days are 5 and high-calorie days are on the weekend.
Others prefer the 2-week cycle where they eat low-calorie foods for 11 days and high-calorie foods for 3 days.
You may also alternate high and low-calorie days every day. Finally, others choose the 1-month cycle, which entails 3 weeks of low-calorie eating and 1 week of high-calorie feeding.
7-Day Metabolic Confusion Meal Plan
This meal plan is based on a 5-day low calorie and 2-day high-calorie weekly strategy. It is also assumed that a low-calorie day is 1,200 calories while a high-calorie day is 2000 calories. This means that the average amount of calories you take will be around 1500 calories.
|Breakfast||Snack 1||Lunch||Snack 2||Dinner||Total Cal.|
|Day 1||Whole, low sugar cereal and 1 cup milk – 283 Cal||2 bags of popcorn – 200Cal||Tuna wrap (1 whole wheat tortilla, ¼ avocado, 4 Oz. tuna, ¼ cup of carrots, 2 tsp. Sriracha)-302Cal||No added sugar protein bar -160Cal||Turkey sandwich (3 Oz. turkey, 2 tbsp. mustard, lettuce, tomato, zucchini, 2 slices whole wheat bread) – 250Cal||1195Cal|
|Day 2||Orange Pineapple smoothie (1 cup oranges, 2 cups pineapple and ¼ cup nonfat milk) -294Cal||½ cup Sherbet – 140Cal||Mashed potato & chicken (1/2 cup potato and 1 chicken drumstick, eggplants) – 360 Cal||1 cup carrot sticks and 1 tbsp. peanut butter -170Cal||Chicken tortilla – (1/4 cup celery, 1 whole-wheat tortilla, 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt, 2 tsp. hot sauce, 3 Oz.grilled chicken) – 244 Cal||1208Cal|
|Day 3||Blueberry smoothie (1cup blueberries, 1 banana and 1 cup nonfat milk) -276 Cal||½ cup of frozen yogurt – 150Cal||Chicken hummus wrap- (2 tbsp. hummus, 1 whole wheat tortilla, 2 slices tomato, 3 ounces grilled chicken, ¼ cup cucumber) – 300 Cal.||English muffin and 2 tbsp. cream cheese – 164Cal||Grilled cheese sandwich -2 slices bread, 1slice cheese, 1 tbsp. butter) -350Cal||1240Cal|
|Day 4||Oatmeal – ½ cup milk, 1 tbsp. sugar,1/4 apple, 1 envelop oatmeal – 300Cal||1 apple & 1 string cheese – 200Cal||Spaghetti and egg – 3/4 cup spaghetti, 1 egg, 1tbsp. butter – 300Cal||
¼ cup almonds -155 Cal
|Tuna sandwich (1/2 cup tuna, 2 slices brown toast, tomatoes and cucumber, 1 cup milk) -300Cal||1255Cal|
|Day 5||Apple and banana salad – 1 diced apple, 1 sliced banana, 6 peanuts – 300Cal||Whole Wheat Pita & ¼ cup hummus -178Cal||Vegetable rice – (1 cup rice, peas, sweet corn, carrot, broccoli, green beans, and edamame) 360Cal||2 hard-boiled eggs – 160Cal||Mexican Quinoa Salad (1/cup quinoa, 2tbsps. salsa, ½ cup black beans, ¼ avocado, 1 cup lettuce ) -202 Cal.||1200Cal|
|Day 6 (High-Calorie day)||1 ½ cup vanilla cookies & a glass
Milk – 700 Cal
|15 tortilla chips & ½ cup salsa – 222Cal||Pesto Pasta Salad (1 tbsp. pesto, 1cup arugula, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, 1 cup whole wheat pasta, ½ cup chickpeas) – 456 Cal.||Skip||Roasted steak, baked potato and broccoli soup (1/2 cup roasted steak, 1 baked potatoes, steamed broccoli) – 700Cal||2078Cal|
|Blueberry muffin and a vanilla latte -750Cal||1 cup strawberry yogurt – 192Cal||I cup low-fat chocolate milk – 100 Cal||1 cup oranges (mandarin) and 1/4 cup cottage cheese – 120Cal||
3 pizza slices- 855Cal
The Bottom Line
For metabolic confusion to work, you must constantly be aware of the calories you consume. To make things easy, follow the timetable above and track all your meals manually or through an app. If you are consistent, you could keep losing weight even in the long-term.
Note that diet works best when combined with exercise. Therefore, start doing these simple 15-minute home workouts to lose fat rapidly while toning your entire body.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]