What's the deal with quick vs gradual weight loss?

A group of 200 persons were divided into two groups and given either 12 weeks or 36 weeks to lose 15% of their body weight.

The rapid weight reduction group consumed meal replacements such as shakes, bars, and soups three times a day in lieu of regular meals. 

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating was recommended to the sluggish weight reduction group.

While just around half of those in the gradual weight reduction group were successful, 81% of those in the quick weight loss group did so.

Those who achieved a loss of 12.5% or more during this time were moved to a weight maintenance diet that lasted for another 2.75 years.

By the end of the third year, 76 percent of the gradual weight loss group and 76 percent of the quick weight loss group had put on the weight they had lost.

Thus, it was irrelevant how quickly or slowly the weight was lost, since recovery was the same in both cases.

Fast weight reduction was associated with better outcomes than delayed weight loss among postmenopausal women in a separate research.

However, changes in body composition and bone mineral density are also important considerations when weighing the pros and downsides.

A big meta-analysis would best illustrate this point. These studies compile data from all prior research that met strict criteria for quality.

Although this study revealed no significant difference in the total amount of weight lost between the two methods.

It did find that moderate weight loss led to better results than quick weight reduction with regard to metabolism or calorie expenditure at rest.

Both the gradual and rapid weight reduction groups saw similar losses in lean body mass and muscle.

However, bigger decreases in fat mass and a better fat-to-muscle ratio occurred after sluggish weight loss.

Rapid weight reduction resulted in twice as much bone loss and increases a person's risk of brittle bones or osteoporosis compared to slow weight loss.



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