Faster Weight Loss Appears to Yield Better Results

Women who lose weight quickly no more likely to regain it than those who lose weight slowly
By Monica Smith
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, May 20 (HealthDay News) -- People who lose greater amounts of weight initially in weight-loss attempts may experience better weight loss and maintenance results than those who lose weight gradually, according to research published in the June issue of the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

Lisa M. Nackers, of the University of Florida, Gainesville, and colleagues categorized participants in a weight-loss program as fast, losing 0.68 kg/week or more; moderate, losing 0.23 to less than 0.68 kg/week; or slow, losing less than 0.23 kg/week, to examine whether a gradual approach was more effective than a rapid approach. The 262 participants were obese women with a mean age of 59.3 years.

The fast, moderate and slow groups differed significantly at six months, losing a mean of 13.5, 8.9 and 5.1 kg, respectively, and the fast and slow groups differed significantly at 18 months, losing 10.9 and 3.7 kg, respectively; the moderate group lost 7.1 kg at that point. No significant weight regain was found among the three groups at 18 months. The fast and moderate groups were 5.1 and 2.7 times more likely, respectively, than the slow group to experience a 10 percent weight loss at 18 months.

"Collectively, findings indicate both short- and long-term advantages to fast initial weight loss. Fast weight losers obtained greater weight reduction and long-term maintenance, and were not more susceptible to weight regain than gradual weight losers," the authors write.

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