Slow and steady may win the race, but contrary to popular belief, it may not be the longest-lasting way to lose the weight.
A study by the University of Florida followed 262 obese women who were split into three weight-loss plan groups: fast, moderate and slow. After monitoring how much weight the women lost-and how quickly-in the first month, they followed up at six and 18 months to analyze any additional weight loss or regain.
Counter to what many experts recommend, those who initially lost weight fastest had the best results. They lost more weight and maintained it longer than the slower groups, and the regain rate was no higher than the slower groups. In fact, those in the fast group were five times more likely to have lost 10% of their original body weight by 18 months than the slow group.
Although this study focused specifically on obese women, the advice given by the study authors can be applied to overweight women as well.
“We suggest that, within lifestyle weight control programs, substantial efforts should be focused on promoting large rather than small behavioral changes during the initial weeks of treatment.”
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