Maintain, Don't Gain this Holiday Season with New Nutrition Program

Holli Ryan RD, LD/N

Indulge Without the Bulge this Holiday Season

The holidays are coming! People often ditch their diet plan altogether during this time of year. Why are diets hard to adhere to? Often, it’s because the diet plan is too restrictive, especially when compared to a person’s typical dietary pattern that they were accustomed to when they weren’t “on a diet”. Healthy eating should be part of everyone’s lifestyle. It should be maintainable, so anything outlandish that promises quick results is usually not a good approach in the long run. Plus, avoidance of major food groups can result in nutrient deficiencies.

Any nutritional program that limits calories should be carefully designed to ensure an adequate intake of key essential nutrients, including vitamins and minerals.

So skip that trendy fad diet your friend told you about and try a method that has been shown to be supportive for healthy weight management in clinical research studies.

The Problem with Counting Calories and Fad Diets

Studies published in 2018 report an approach that only restricts dietary intake part of the time. Recent research has found that less-restrictive dietary programs, such as intermittent calorie restriction, may be as effective as calorie counting — promoting weight management along with other health benefits but in a program that is easier to stick to.2

Note: simply counting calories is not the be-all and end-all answer to all of our weight management woes. Consider the nutrient composition of a given food. Is the food nutrient dense (providing vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals)? Or, less favorably, is it calorie dense, containing “empty” calories — a high amount of calories, yet not a significant source of important nutrients?

Best of Both Worlds: An Intermittent Calorie Restriction Nutrition Program

While calorie restriction and intermittent fasting in their traditional contexts are two types of dietary patterns that have been shown to be beneficial in promoting weight loss and longevity, the issue for most is that these diets are just too restrictive.

Not Another Fad Diet: Intermittent Calorie Restriction

Scientists at Life Extension® have developed and studied a hybrid pattern called intermittent calorie restriction as part of a nutrition program that has been shown to both help people maintain weight and beneficially impact blood lab values such as lipids (improvement cholesterol profile).

The program utilizes intermittent calorie restriction only two days per week, with the added benefit of supportive supplemental nutrients to help make adherence easier and maximize beneficial outcomes. Plus, during the pilot study of this program, participants successfully avoided weight gain during the holiday season, making this a great time to consider trying this regimen.3 Now, you can have your cake and eat it, too. (In moderation, of course.)

This program should be taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and regular exercise program. Individual results are not guaranteed, and results may vary. Consult your physician or health care professional before making any dietary or fitness modifications.

About the author: Holli (Lapes) Ryan RD, LD/N is a Social Media Content Specialist at Life Extension. She is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist residing in the South Florida area. Holli believes that quality dietary supplements are an essential tool that have a variety of applications from maintaining good health to managing chronic disease. 

  1. Mann T, Tomiyama AJ, Westling E, et al. Medicare’s search for effective obesity treatments: diets are not the answer. Am Psychol. 2007 Apr;62(3):220-33.
  2. Sundfor TM, Svendsen M, Tonstad S. Effect of intermittent versus continuous energy restriction on weight loss, maintenance and cardiometabolic risk: A randomized 1-year trial. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2018 Jul;28(7):698-706.
  3. Hirsh S, Pons M, Joyal SV, et al. Intermittent calorie reduction to prevent winter holiday weight gain. In Press. 2018.


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