A new study has been analyzing the pros and cons of maintaining a steady, long-term weight loss program when compared to the benefits of a crash diet.
Its results suggest that a steady approach is nonetheless the best option for people looking to lose weight in general, and not for a particular event, for example.
Consistency is More Helpful in Weight Loss than Believed
The study was approved by the Drexel University Institutional Review Board and included 183 adult participants, all of them deemed overweight. These enrolled themselves in a long-term weight-loss program.
For a period spanning across a year, the participants continued with the program and received advice on exercise and weight. From the very beginning, their weight was measured and analyzed on a regular basis. The participants were also asked to three set assessment meetings. These were held three twelve, and twenty-four months later.
The research team noted that people whose weight fluctuated a lot in the first few weeks fared poorly when analyzing their weight loss outcomes 1 and 2 years later.
In contrast, those who lost pounds gradually and over a period of a few weeks returned better results in the follow-up meetings. Based on this, the scientists suggest that consistency is the actual key to a long-term, successful weight loss.
“Higher variability in weekly weights during the first 6 and 12 weeks of treatment predicted poorer subsequent weight loss 1 and 2 years after treatment initiation,” concluded the study team.
The researchers also consider that developing “stable, repeatable behaviors” towards weight loss and food intake early on in the program are really important. They consider that this consistency helps maintain the weight loss event on the long-term and when including other factors.
The study also reinforces the idea that crash diets are useful on the short-term, and that a “tortoise-like” strategy is better and more successful in the long term.
Research results and premises were presented in a paper in the journal Obesity.
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