Weight loss experts and trainers have long advised that slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss — but a weight loss study is proving them wrong.
Slow and steady seems a common sense approach but a recent study is debunking this view and has revealed that rapid weight loss programs achieve greater results when compared to gradual weight loss programs.
According to Forbes, a study, published in the Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal, suggested that the widely held belief, that weight loss is less likely to stay lost if it is achieved by rapid weight loss, is a myth. Instead, the study indicates that although long-term weight loss remains elusive regardless of the diet, short-term weight loss is actually more likely with rapid weight loss.
The study looked at 200 obese adults who were randomly assigned to one of two slimming diets. One was a 12 week rapid weight loss (RWL) program on a strict diet of 450 to 800 calories a day. The other was a 36-week gradual weight loss (GWL) program which reduced energy intake by around 500 calories a day in accordance with current guidelines.
Participants who lost more than 12.5% of their body weight were then placed on a weight maintenance diet for three years.
Those on the rapid diet were more likely to meet their slimming target, with 81% of the group shedding at least 12.5% of body weight. In contrast, only half of the gradual slimmers achieved this goal. Weight regain was about the same for both sets of participants on the maintenance diet. In each case, about 71% of lost weight was restored after three years.
According to the Press Association the findings contradict current dietary recommendations that favor slow and steady weight loss.
“Across the world, guidelines recommend gradual weight loss for the treatment of obesity, reflecting the widely held belief that fast weight loss is more quickly regained. However, our results show that achieving a weight loss target of 12.5% is more likely, and drop-out is lower, if losing weight is done quickly,” said Katrina Purcell, one of the researchers who worked on the study.
British dietary expert Professor Susan Jebb, from Oxford University, views the study as an important one because it will enable professionals to recommend a broader range of treatment options for obesity.
The Inquisitr has reported that obesity rates have skyrocketed in recent times.
The weight loss study seems to imply that rapid weight loss programs could decrease obesity rates.
[Image via Latorre Wellness Center]