Dieters are often deterred from losing weight too quickly, as many people believe that rapid weight loss is difficult to maintain. However, a new study suggests that both gradual and rapid weight loss methods can be effective, and they also have similar levels of weight regain. This information dispels the myth that rapid weight loss via crash dieting is ineffective because that weight loss is difficult to maintain.
New Research Regarding Rapid and Gradual Weight Loss
The recent study was led by Dr. Joseph Proietto from Australia’s University of Melbourne. The participants included 200 obese adults who took part in a 12-week or 36-week program for weight loss. The 12-week program restricted calorie intake to 450-800 calories per day. The 36-week program only required that participants reduce their calorie intake by 500 calories per day. After the weight loss program was completed, each participant who lost at least 12.5% of their body weight was put on a three year weight maintenance diet.
At the end of the weight loss program, researchers found that 50% of the gradual loss group and 71% of the rapid loss group had achieved the 12.5% body weight loss goal. It is thought that more success in the rapid weight loss group may be attributed to the fact that rapid weight loss can promote fullness while suppressing appetite. Over the next three years, both groups regained approximately 71% of the weight that they had lost during the program.
These findings allowed the study authors to conclude that gradual and rapid weight loss programs can be just as effective for obese adults. This can be helpful for nutrition and weight loss professionals who may have previously discouraged people from using rapid weight loss plans as a way to drop pounds. Efforts to curb crash dieting and the speed in which dieters lose weight could actually hinder the patient’s ultimate success in weight loss.