Calorie restriction may be easier to stick to if combined with other health strategies

A new study led by Duke University found that people who cut 300 calories a day, or about 12% of their diet, over two years lost more weight and had better metabolic health than those who did not restrict their calories. But the findings also pointed to the challenges of calorie restriction as a long-term health strategy. Researchers had originally asked dieters to maintain a 25% cut in daily calories, and the dropout rate was high.

In an accompanying editorial published July 11, 2019 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, Frank Hu, Fredrick J. Stare Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology and chair of the Department of Nutrition, wrote that people might have an easier time sticking to a healthy lifestyle and staying lean if they combine calorie restriction with other strategies like intermittent fasting, a low-carb diet, or the Mediterranean diet.

Read New York Times coverage: Cutting 300 calories a day shows health benefits

Read Today coverage: How to lose weight, improve heart health with the calorie-restriction diet

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Molecular mechanism behind health benefits of dietary restriction identified (Harvard Chan School release)