Researchers from the University of Florida looked at 262 women and put them on a 30 day diet and exercise program. They then broke the women out into three categories.
- Fast: more than 1.5 pounds per week
- Average: between .5 and 1.5 pounds per week
- Slow: less than .5 pounds per week
Researchers then continued the diet and exercise program for a total of six months and followed up with the women intermittently for the following 18 months.
- Women in the “fast” weight loss category lost more weight overall
- Women in the “fast” weight loss category were more successful at keeping the weight off
It’s important to note that the dieters weren’t expected to lose more than 2 pounds per week. There are no “lose a dress size in a week” strategies going on here. Basic concepts of eat less and exercise more were safely employed.
I’m sure DNA plays a role here. Some people just naturally have an easier time losing weight than others. (This is rather frustrating to the “others!”) There are intricate interactions between nutrition, metabolism, exercise, even sleeping that doctors are just now beginning to understand. There is also an entire area of research dedicated to DNA testing and metabolism (I’ll be posting about that later this week.)
What this study is also suggesting is start big! Don’t tiptoe into a diet but start aggressively from the beginning and you could see more success overall. The participants strove to lose no more than 2 pounds per week and also included exercise along with dieting to achieve results. They did not take celebrity endorsed diet pills or lock themselves into over heated saunas for hours.
This is new angle of research for me, I haven’t seen this type of study conducted elsewhere. What are your thoughts to this new piece of information? Does it make you want to start a diet with a bit more of a Spartan attitude? Or are you perfectly fine with slow and steady win the race?