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which is better:  losing weight slowly or rapid weight loss?


Rapid Weight Loss

“A slow and steady approach does not win the race, and the myth that rapid weight loss is associated with rapid weight regain is no more true than Aesop’s fable…..   Efforts to curb the speed of initial weight loss might hinder their ultimate weight-loss success.”  Corby Martin, MD, and Kishore Gadde, MD, of Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Weight Loss: Slow and Steady Does Not Win the Race).  Their editorial accompanied the article discussed below.

Although our whole lives we have been told that the only viable way to lose weight is by doing it slowly — often a pound or two a month — this is not necessarily true.   A new study sheds light on this topic and suggests something I have long-suspected —- that whether done rapidly or slowly, the only real way to lose weight and keep it off is via dramatic lifestyle changes.  This begs the question of what makes a lifestyle change different than the standard diet and exercise program?  We’ll get to that, but first I want to discuss this new study in light of something I showed you several years ago.

Back in 2011 I shared with you the story of a woman who lost 100 pounds in 100 days simply by going strictly LOW CARB and SWINGING KETTLEBELLS (HERE is her story).  This is essentially THE PROGRAM I recommend for almost everyone as far as WEIGHT LOSS is concerned.  By the way, when I’m talking about weight loss, I’m talking about getting the weight off and keeping it off — permanently.  Regaining the weight does not count.  Enter Dr. Joseph Proietto.

Dr. Proietto, a professor at Australia’s University of Melbourne, has research interests that lie in the areas of GENETICS, OBESITY, Weight Loss, and DIABETES / INSULIN RESISTANCE.   Proietto and his team published a study in this month’s issue of Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology (The Effect of Rate of Weight Loss on Long-Term Weight Management: A Randomized Controlled Trial) which reveals that when it comes to Weight Loss, slow and steady is not the best approach. 

In this study that began in 2010, overweight men and women were divided into two groups — rapid weight loss (lose it in 12 weeks) and slow weight loss (lose it in 36 weeks), each having a goal of losing 15% of their body mass.  People from either group who made it to at least 12.5% were then put on a nearly 3 year weight maintenance program (50% of the slows made it, while 81% of the fasts made it to the maintenance diet).  The not-so-surprising fact is that long-term results (keeping the weight off for the duration) for both groups stunk.  Just over 70% of both groups gained it all back by the end of the 144 month period.  Here are the study’s conclusions.

The rate of weight loss does not affect the proportion of weight regained within 144 weeks. These findings are not consistent with present dietary guidelines which recommend gradual over rapid weight loss, based on the belief that rapid weight loss is more quickly regained.

When I make suggestions to people, they frequently want to argue with me (I don’t argue with patients, which means they want to tell me why their way is best).  They want to talk about how effective cutting back on their portions has been, while parroting popular sayings like, “everything in moderation“.  Or they want to share with me the new app that makes it easy for them to COUNT CALORIES — something which is essentially a waste of time and effort.  Ultimately, the problem is that neither one of these approaches involves a lifestyle change.    A lifestyle change means changing your mindset — particularly if you are an addict.  SUGAR / JUNK ADDICTION and heavily processed foods are so ubiquitous in America that using the word “epidemic” to describe this problem would be dramatically understating the case. 

It is my belief that far too many people measure health according to a bathroom scale (HERE).  What we have collectively got to get through our heads is that there are some simple truths we need to grasp in order to achieve maximum health.  The really cool thing is that when you make these changes part of your lifestyle; unless you have some sort of hidden metabolic problem, you will lose weight.  Period.

Again, I am not going to reinvent the wheel here.  If you are interested in solutions for Chronic Pain, Chronic Health Problems, or Chronic Obesity, go back and click on some of the links in the second paragraph from the top.  Or at least take a couple of moments to skim THIS LINK — it might prove to be the lifestyle change you have been searching for.


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