There are several forms of dieting that have been created recently. Most of them are designed to help people limit calorie intake and lose weight. Metabolic confusion is one of them and is unique on its own.

Metabolic confusion is a form of dieting that is different from other diets. Most dieting forms aim for a certain number of calories per day, but metabolic confusion alternates calorie intake for each day. While it tries to restrict calorie intake, the diet permits flexibility on a day-to-day basis. Its followers claim that it tricks your metabolism into more work, which in the end, leads to weight loss. This diet is seemingly rising in popularity, and you may be wondering if it can really work for you. This article discusses everything you need to know about metabolic confusion diet and whether it can work for you.

What Is Metabolic Confusion?

Metabolic confusion diet can also be referred to as calorie cycling and calorie shifting. In this diet, you can choose a day or days for high calorie intake and the other(s) for low calorie intake. Alongside the diet, you are also required to exercise, though this is not a strict requirement. One popular way of doing the diet is to alternate between low and high calorie intake for consecutive days. The other way is to consume high calories for a whole week, which is followed by low calorie consumption the following week. The intake of high ad low calories may vary from one person to another. In most cases, the program requires you to consume 2,000 calories or more on days selected for higher calories and 1,200 calories or below for low calorie intake days. The metabolic confusion diet is the same to alternate-day fasting, in which you consume 25 percent of your daily calorie intake for day one, followed by sourcing your calories from any food of your preference. In addition, the metabolic confusion diet is created to keep your metabolism paced up as you will be taking varied amounts of calories. Studies have linked such diets to healthy weight maintenance and long-term adherence, because you are able to rest from low calorie intake. However, the metabolic confusion diet has a key difference, it allows you to consume more calories on the days meant for low calories. For instance, the average calorie intake per day for everybody is 1,600-3,000, while the diet requires you to take 1,200 calories, which translates to 40-75 percent of your calorie intake on usual days.

Can It Support Weight Loss?

Also called calorie shifting or calorie cycle, the metabolic confusion diet encourages regular exercises every day alongside the intake of calories below your usual needs. As a result, you will you will be in a calorie deficit, which will definitely lead to weight loss with time. The followers of this diet claim that shifting from high calories to low calories, “confuses” your metabolism making it to work intensely as it has to adapt changes in calorie intake. In essence, our metabolism cannot be “tricked” or “confused”, but cycling calorie intake may prevent it from slowing. Several diets claiming to promote weight loss, uses long-term calorie restriction, which only slows your resting metabolic rate (RMR) through adaptive thermogenesis. In the end, you will not burn fats effectively. The creators of metabolic confusion diet claim that the diet helps you escape such negative effects, since your body will periodically rest from calorie deprivation, thus preventing adaptive thermogenesis. Some studies, however, indicate that the effectiveness of the diet may decrease with time. Keeping in mind that you will be shifting calorie intake and periodically have breaks from the restriction, following and adhering to this diet may be easy and sustainable.

Other Potential Benefits Apart from Weight Loss

Besides promoting weight loss, the metabolic confusion diet may offer added benefits.

It Is Flexible

Unlike many calorie restriction diets, the metabolic confusion diet allows for flexibility as you will choose foods of your preference. The diet has no official guidelines, therefore, you can alternate calorie intake for a number of days you want. This allows you to partake in various occasions, such as birthdays, parties, and holiday meals.

Less Hunger

Regardless of how you follow the diet, you are likely to feel less hunger. People who follow low-calorie diet for a long time experience more hunger and in most cases, are tired since their body is deprived of enough calories for proper function. They have stomach pangs and low energy, among other things that signal them to eat. As a result, they develop unhealthy compensatory behaviors like overeating and binging. The metabolic confusion diet, on the other hand allows you to consume high and low calories in a well-planned manner.

Potential Downsides

The metabolic confusion diet has promising benefits, but also has many downsides.

It’s Very Restrictive

The diet requires you to have many days of low-calorie intake than a high intake of calories. The restriction aims for not more than 1,200 calories per day. Why is it very restrictive? This recommendation doesn’t consider people’s differences such as age, sex, activity levels, and body size. If these factors are not accounted for, you are likely to under fuel your body severely. In the end many people may opt-out of the diet due to feelings of hunger and deprivation. The best diets allow for satisfaction and enjoyment, as well as easy to follow.

Lack of Research

The claims put forth to support the metabolic confusion diet are more of theoretical as there is little research on them. Taking into consideration that your metabolism cannot be confused, the name of the diet is irrelevant and only confuses you. Your body is made in such a way that it can easily adapt to changes in consumption of calories. depending on the number of calories you consume and burn per day, your metabolism also shifts.


While the metabolic diet presents promising claims than other calorie-restrictive diets, it may not lead to a magical weight loss. Even if you may lose weight, it is not due to a confused metabolism, but because you are in calorie deficit and can control your hunger better.

Tatyana Dyachenko
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For the past years, Tatyana has worked as a sex blogger and a relationship advisor. She has been featured in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue. Vice, Tatler, Vanity Fair, and many others. Since 2016, Tatyana has focused on sexology, attended various training courses, participated in international conferences and congresses. “I wish people would address sexual issues in a timely manner! Forget shyness, prejudice and feel free to see a sex doctor for help or advice!” Tanya enjoys pursuing her flare for creativity through modelling, graffiti art, astronomy, and technology.

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