For years we’ve been advised not to shed the kilos too quickly and told the answer to long-lasting leanness is to lose weight slowly and sensibly. However, new research suggests the hard-and-fast approach has its place for people whose lives are at risk due to their weight.
Experts now say that if you’re obese or seriously overweight, the best way to budge the bulge is fast and furiously, dropping up to 2kg a week, as you’ll be more likely to achieve your goal than those doing it slowly and steadily. And the old adage that the faster you lose it, the faster you regain it, has also been shown to be a myth. That’s the finding of dietitian and University of Melbourne researcher Katrina Purcell, co-author of a recent study into rapid weight loss.
“At university, the message given to us was to promote gradual weight loss because that was the best way to lose weight and keep it off,” she says. “That’s not the message I give out anymore.”
Purcell says the most significant discovery in her research, which was undertaken with Melbourne’s Austin Health weight control clinic, was unexpected: more than 80 per cent of dieters on the rapid program lost 12.5 per cent or more of their weight, but only half of those on the gradual one did.