Latest News » Study: Quick weight loss doesn’t lead back to quick weight gain

A new study debunks a long-believed myth that quick weight loss leads to quick weight gain.

A new study debunks a long-believed myth that quick weight loss leads to quick weight gain.

One commonly held belief among dieticians and exercise aficionados is that weight lost quickly is just as quickly put back on — but is this science or myth?

A new Australian study sought to test this idea, evaluating 200 obese people randomly separated into two groups. The researchers assigned one group with a "severely calorie-restricted diet" for a 12-week period while the other group was tasked with a more moderate diet over 36 weeks. This created one controlled group of people who lost weight quickly and one that lost it more gradually. About 76 percent of the former and 51 percent of the latter lost at least 12.5 percent of their initial body weight during their respective study periods, and were then put onto a three-year weight maintenance diet.

At the end of the three years, the research team assessed how much weight had been gained by either group, and the findings were remarkably similar

"After three years on the maintenance diet, there was no significant difference in the amounts of weight regained: 71.2 percent was regained on average by the gradual losers, versus 70.5 percent by the rapid losers," writes Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times.

This study debunks the idea that losing weight quickly makes you any more or less susceptible to regaining weight than those who shed pounds over a longer, slower timetable. What's more important to achieving long-lasting weight loss isn't the speed with which you do it, but enriching a healthy regimen with fruits, vegetables, low-fat foods and steady amounts of exercise.

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