The risk of developing breast cancer could be reduced by following a strict diet for just two days a week.
This is the conclusion of recent research conducted by Dr Michelle Harvie at the University Hospital of South Manchester.
Dr Harvie's study split a group of 100 overweight women in two and gave each group a different diet.
The first group was told to follow a strict 650-calorie-a-day diet for two days a week, but were told to eat what they wanted for the remainder of the week.
Meanwhile, the remaining group was put on a Mediterranean diet.
After six months following the eating regimes, the women from both eating plans had lost an average of 13 lb each.
Furthermore, they demonstrated significant improvements in the three key areas relating to breast cancer: leptin hormone levels, insulin levels and inflammatory proteins.
Pamela Goldberg, chief executive of the Breast Cancer Campaign, commented: "This intermittent dieting approach provides an alternative to conventional dieting which could help with weight loss, but also potentially reduce the risk of developing breast cancer."