Rapid Weight Loss as Effective as Gradual For Maintaining the Weight Loss

scale with feetThe study “The effect of rate of weight loss on long-term weight management: a randomized controlled study,” published in Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology October 2014, showed that both groups regained most of the weight lost.

In this study, 200 obese adults (BMI 30-45) were put on either a very low 450-800 kcal/day 12 week program (RWL) or a 36 weeks gradual weight loss program of 500 kcal/day reduction in intake (GWL).  Those who lost 12.5% or more were then placed on a 3 year maintenance program.  Results showed that 81% of the RWL and only 50% of the GWL groups reached 12.5% weight loss.  After three years, for those who had achieved 12.5 % weight loss, both programs showed a 71% regain of weight.

In the first phase (weight loss period), one of the rapid weight loss individuals had cholecystitis requiring cholescystectomy, and during the study’s weight maintenance phase, two of the RWL participants developed cancer. While not statistically significant, I would encourage all of us who need to lose weight to do so by transforming our diets into one that is based on whole foods and adds plentiful amounts of fruits and vegetables.  It also clearly needs to be a way of eating that we can maintain.  Anyone who has tried different diets knows that regaining the weight is almost universal when we return to our previous way of eating.

You can read this study here…


Dr. Paul





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