Stockbyte/Thinktsock(MELBOURNE, Australia) — For years, dieters have been warned that if they attempt to lose weight as rapidly as possible, they run the risk of putting the pounds back on just as quickly. The recommended method then is gradual weight loss…or is it?
Researchers at the University of Melbourne say it’s all a myth, claiming they’ve proved it in an experiment involving 200 obese people. Half of the test subjects went on a 36-week weight-loss program, consuming 500 fewer calories daily than their regular diet. The other half went on a 12-week diet in which they could only eat 450-800 calories daily.
Not surprisingly, 81 percent of those on the rapid-loss weight plan lost 12.5 percent of their total body fat while 50 percent of the participants on the gradual plan shed the same amount.
Afterwards, everyone was put on a three-year weight-maintenance diet. By the end, participants in both groups each regained 71 percent of the body fat they lost.
In an accompanying commentary, the authors wrote, “For 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.”
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