A new study has found that losing weight gradually, as opposed to rapidly, does not increase the chances of keeping the weight off after dieting. It seems that if weight losing is done quickly, reducing 12.5 percent of weight is more likely and drop-chance becomes lower. In other words, gradual weight loss was proven not to be more effective than the crash diets.
“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,” said study lead author Katrina Purcell, a dietitian at the University of Melbourne in Australia, in a journal news release.
To conduct this study, researchers divided 200 obese participants into two groups. The gradual weight loss group received 500 fewer calories every day for 36-week while the rapid weight loss group got very-low-calorie diet of 450 to 800 calories per day for the period of 12-week. Among the participants, 50 percent individuals of gradual weight loss group and 81 percent of rapid weight-loss group achieved more than 12.5 percent decline in their body weight. For three years after that, participants were held on maintenance diet. By the end of third year, participants of both groups got back 71 percent of their lost weight.
It appears that the limited carbohydrate intake of very-low-calorie diets might promote a greater feeling of fullness and less food intake by triggering ketosis.
This is a process in the body, which occurs when reducing carbohydrate intake. It forces the body to burn fat which then leads to the production of ketones which are breakdown products of fat burning that are known to suppress hunger.
Losing weight quickly may also motivate participants to persist with their diet and achieve better results.
Professor Susan Jebb, from the University of Oxford, said: “This is an important and well conducted study. It shows clearly that the common claim that more rapid initial weight loss is associated with more rapid regain is false.
On the other hand, other experts were cautious about the findings. They pointed out that fad crash diets such as the cabbage soup or juice diets could be dangerous. Moreover they warned it was ‘impossible’ for crash dieters to get all the nutrients they needed and said they also had to take medically approved supplements.
The research was published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.