In this article we address one of the most common promises of diet and nutrition "gurus", explaining why losing weight fast is the surest way to fail.
In this article I will look at some scientific research. But stay with me until the end. I promise that not only will I be as brief as I can be, but what you read will help you lose the extra pounds.
We start from a study carried out in July 2019, whose conclusion was that large and/or sudden weight loss will result in rapid weight regain.
We now move on to Research "DiOGenes", which was conducted from November 2005 to April 2007 by 8 European centres in 8 countries to analyse whether protein and glycaemic index affect weight loss.
Recent research reanalyzed the DiOGenes data and found the following:
The men in the study who had lost a lot of muscle mass during the weight loss period eventually gained the weight back quickly. On the other hand, the women did not.
The women's lean body mass losses were 27% compared to 35% for the men, so it's very likely that they didn't lose too much muscle mass for the same to happen to them.
So, the first investigation turns out to be correct.
We move on to conclusions and suggestions:
- Sudden and/or large weight loss will result in a sudden weight regain.
- The loss of lean body mass during a diet is an important factor in weight regain after the end of the diet.
- Miracle diets with quick results, apart from making your life miserable, don't work in the long run.
- Anaerobic exercise and protein-rich meals are recommended to prevent loss of muscle mass.
- Less attention should be paid to aerobic exercise, while the tedious and prolonged programmes that are so fashionable should be avoided.
- Larsen TM, Dalskov SM, van Baak M, et al. Diets with high or low protein content and glycemic index for weight-loss maintenance. N Engl J Med. 2010 Nov 25;363(22):2102-13. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1007137
- Turicchi J, O'Driscoll R, Finlayson G, et al. Associations between the rate, amount, and composition of weight loss as predictors of spontaneous weight regain in adults achieving clinically significant weight loss: a systematic review and meta-regression. Obes Rev. 2019 Jul;20(7):935-946. doi: 10.1111/obr.12849. doi: 10.1111/obr.12849
- Turicchi J, O'Driscoll R, Finlayson G, et al. Associations between the proportion of fat-free mass loss during weight loss, changes in appetite, and subsequent weight change: results from a randomized 2-stage dietary intervention trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Jan 17. pii: nqz331. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/nqz331