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The short- and long-term advantages of rapid weight loss

There has long been a stigma attached to rapid weight loss diets. Often, people say they lead to short-term success but set the individual up for long-term failure. They say the individual will regain all the lost weight, plus more.

But, as more and more research is done, it is becoming increasingly clear that this is simply not the case.

A study published by The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal looked at 204 participants enrolled into either a 12-week rapid program or a 36-week gradual weight loss program. The results showed that the rapid weight loss group had better short-term outcomes (greater weight loss) while the long-term weight loss was the same as a gradual weight loss diet.

Rapid weight loss is achieved by a very low calorie diet, usually using shakes, formulas and/or dietitian-approved meals to ensure nutritional adequacy, providing high protein and a balance of vitamins and minerals to help you lose weight while staying well nourished. Consuming low calories (approximately 1,000-1,600 calories per day) promotes rapid fat loss, resulting in improvements to blood sugar levels, blood pressure and cholesterol.

Further, it is very motivating for individuals to see results of their hard work thereby encouraging them to maintain a healthy eating regime. Individuals who follow a rapid weight loss diet often see 10-25% weight reduction during the first 3-6 months and maintain 5% or greater weight loss after four years.

So, if you’re thinking about the optimal rate of weight loss for you, consider this: those who follow a rapid weight loss diet achieve greater weight loss in the short-term AND long-term maintenance, and they are no more susceptible to weight regain than other dieters.

References:
  1. The effect of rate of weight loss on long-term weight management: a randomised controlled trial. Purcell, Katrina et al.The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology , Volume 2 , Issue 12 , 954 – 962.http://www.thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(14)70200-1/abstract
  1. The Association Between Rate of Initial Weight Loss and Long-Term Success in Obesity Treatment: Does Slow and Steady Win the Race?Nackers LM, Ross KM, Perri MG. International journal of behavioral medicine. 2010;17(3):161-167. doi:10.1007/s12529-010-9092-y.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780395/