Crash diets may be most effective weight-loss technique, U.K. study suggests
Crash dieting may be more effective than steady weight loss regimens, a U.K. study has found.
Although most health experts and dietitians agree that long-term diets are more effective, the research suggests the opposite could be true.
Dr. Steve Hirsch believes one of the single most important rules to live by for weight loss is, never go hungry. Hunger, he says, always wins.
The family doctor and author of Health First: Winning at Weight Loss and Wellness says his program is not about diets or deprivation. People don't have to give up all that much of anything, he says. Instead, the focus is on three regular meals a day and strategic snacking (four times a day.) Alcohol is permitted, albeit in moderation.
His program hinges on being mindful and fully focused around food what we're eating, when we're eating it and why. The more attention paid to food choices, he says, the healthier your choices become and the lower the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
An Australian trial followed 200 obese adults, half of whom were encouraged to lose 12.5% of body weight within 12 weeks, and half who were allowed 36 weeks. The researchers found that eight out of 10 people assigned to the rapid weight loss program achieved their goal compared with just 50% of the steady dieters.
"Across the world, guidelines recommend gradual weight loss for the treatment of obesity, reflecting the widely held belief that fast weight loss is more quickly regained," said Katrina Purcell, the lead author of the study from the University of Melbourne.
"However, our results show that achieving a weight loss target of 12.5% is more likely, and dropout is lower, if losing weight is done quickly."
The number of people who regained weight after three years was also the same in both groups, 71%, suggesting that crash dieting is better than gradual weight loss in the short term and no worse in the long term. The researchers suggest that losing weight quickly motivates dieters because they see rapid results. Very low calorie crash diets also usually cut out carbohydrates, which usually fuels the body and therefore forces the body to burn fat more quickly.
Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health, University of Oxford, said: "This is an important and well conducted study. It shows clearly that the common claim that more rapid initial weight loss is associated with more rapid regain is false. This is important because it will enable professionals to recommend a broader range of treatment options so that people may be more likely to find the one that is best suited to their lifestyle."
However, some British experts suggested that losing weight over 36 weeks may be considered too fast to be considered very gradual weight loss.
Tom Sanders, professor emeritus of nutrition and dietetics, Kings College London, said it was unfortunate that seven out of 10 of the volunteers had regained their weight within three years.
"The challenge is not losing weight but sustaining weight loss," said Sanders.
Via - news.nationalpost.com