Intermittent moderate energy restriction improves weight loss efficiency in diet-induced obese mice

Radhika V. Seimon, Yan-Chuan Shi, Katy Slack, Kailun Lee, Hamish A. Fernando, Amy D. Nguyen, Lei Zhang, Shu Lin, Ronaldo F. Enriquez, Jackie Lau, Herbert Herzog, Amanda Sainsbury*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
22 Downloads (Pure)



Intermittent severe energy restriction is popular for weight management. To investigate whether intermittent moderate energy restriction may improve this approach by enhancing weight loss efficiency, we conducted a study in mice, where energy intake can be controlled.


Male C57/Bl6 mice that had been rendered obese by an ad libitum diet high in fat and sugar for 22 weeks were then fed one of two energy-restricted normal chow diets for a 12-week weight loss phase. The continuous diet (CD) provided 82% of the energy intake of age-matched ad libitum chow-fed controls. The intermittent diet (ID) provided cycles of 82% of control intake for 5-6 consecutive days, and ad libitum intake for 1-3 days. Weight loss efficiency during this phase was calculated as (total weight change) divided by [(total energy intake of mice on CD or ID)-(total average energy intake of controls)]. Subsets of mice then underwent a 3-week weight regain phase involving ad libitum re-feeding.


Mice on the ID showed transient hyperphagia relative to controls during each 1-3-day ad libitum feeding period, and overall ate significantly more than CD mice (91.1 +/- 1.0 versus 82.2 +/- 0.5% of control intake respectively, n = 10, P


Intermittent moderate energy restriction may offer an advantage over continuous moderate energy restriction, because it induces significantly greater weight loss relative to energy deficit in mice.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0145157
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


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