TUESDAY, Nov. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Intermittent energy restriction (IER) and continuous energy restriction (CER) over 12 months appear to produce comparable weight loss in overweight women with previous gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), according to a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Kristy L. Gray, from the University of South Australia in Adelaide, and colleagues compared the effects of IER (two days per week of 500 kcal; 61 women) and daily CER (1,500 kcal per day; 60 women) over 12 months on weight loss and diabetes risk markers in overweight women with previous GDM.

Sixty-two participants completed the trial. The researchers found that the mean weight loss was significant over time but with no significant differences by diet group (IER, −4.8 ± 5.0 kg; CER, −3.2 ± 5.0 kg; P = 0.2). The mean between-group difference was −1.6 kg. Furthermore, at 12 months, the groups did not differ with respect to change in hemoglobin A1c, fasting plasma glucose, fasting serum insulin, homeostatic model assessment for insulin resistance, or two-hour oral glucose tolerance.

“Our research shows that the 5:2 diet is just as effective at achieving weight loss as a continuous energy-restricted diet in women who have had gestational diabetes, which is great, because it provides women with greater choice and control,” Gray said in a statement. “The 5:2 diet may provide a less overwhelming option. As it only cuts calories over two days, some women may find it easier to adopt and adhere to, as opposed to a consistently low-calorie diet requiring constant management.”

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