I’m sure you’ve heard this saying at some point?
It’s commonly recommended that weight loss should be slow and gradual in order to prevent weight regain.
As it turns out, the rate of weight loss in obese individuals does not dictate how much weight they’ll pile back on after dieting. I don’t want you to confuse this with crash dieting, detoxing, teatoxing or any other bullshit approach out their.
Since it’s D2EW, here’s something to back this up; Purcell et al (2014) looked at the rate of weight regain if you diet down to shred weight fast, or slowly in obese individuals:
Here’s what they did.
– 200 participants were split into two groups;
Group 1: Rapid weight loss (12 weeks)
Group 2: Gradual/slow weight loss (36 weeks)
The aim of phase 1 was for the participants to lose 12.5% of their starting bodyweight. If they managed this, they would proceed onto phase 2.
Results from Phase 1.
– 50% of the participants lost 12.5% of bodyweight in the SLOW group
– 81% of participants lost the weight in the RAPID weight loss group.
What does this tell us? Perhaps that participants had greater ‘buy in’ when weight loss was achieved more rapidly and were more compliant to the programme, where the gradual weight loss group didn’t see quick results and dropped out – I.e. results actually matter! Or, perhaps it was the fact that long ass phases of dieting suck?
– Participants who lost 12.5% of their beginning bodyweight followed a 144 weeks maintenance phase.
Results from Phase 2:
– At the end of the 144 weeks, both groups regained roughly 76% of their weight back.
WHAT THE F#CK!
– Thus showing that the rate of weight loss may not have any influence on the rate of weight regain in the obese population LONG TERM. This also highlights that we have a weight maintenance problem, not a weight loss problem.
So, I can only assume this was because the dieting phase;
1) Was not enjoyable. Their diet probably sucked.
2) Didn’t build good habits or behaviours.
3) Didn’t have enough accountability and guidance.
4) Was not sustainable.
5) Didn’t focus enough on mindset, goal setting, eating environment, social support etc.
So, the next time someone tells you not to diet down too fast, tell them that this reason alone really makes sweet f#ck all of a difference. There’s so much more that goes into this..
BTW, athletes have a separate rule-book for rates of weight loss.
To be continued champ!
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