When someone makes up their mind to lose weight, they typically cut calories for an extended period of time. A study published in the International Journal for Obesity compared that diet to an intermittent diet where subjects altered between cutting calories for weight loss and eating to maintain weight every 2 weeks.
Two groups of volunteers took part in the program. One group cut caloric intake by 1/3rd for 16 continuous weeks. Subjects in the other group took that approach for 2 weeks before increasing calories to maintain weight for another 2 weeks. This group’s program lasted 30 weeks to match the 16 weeks to dieting.
Six months after the program ended, subjects in the intermittent group lost an average of 17.6 more pounds than subjects in the continuous dieting group. Not only did they lose more weight during the diet intervention, they gained less back afterward.