Research News

Gradual weight loss is no better than rapid weight loss for long term weight control, study finds

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g6267 (Published 16 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6267
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

A new study has challenged the common belief that losing weight gradually is better in the long term than rapid weight loss. The findings showed that regaining weight was just as common regardless of the speed of weight loss.

Over the past decade dietary experts have recommended gradual weight loss for obese people—probably because they believe that the longer people spend losing weight, the more likely they are to establish healthier eating habits.

To test this hypothesis Australian researchers randomised 204 obese adults (body mass index 30-45 kg/m²) to either a 12 week rapid weight loss programme on a very low calorie diet (450-800 kcal/day) or a 36 week gradual weight loss programme, which reduced participants’ daily energy intake by about 500 …

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