Slow and Steady Wins the Weight Loss Race
Consistently losing even small amounts of weight in the early days of a new diet plan can increase your chances of long-term weight loss success, according to researchers from the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University in Philadelphia whose study was published in Obesity.
The study involved 183 participants who were either overweight or obese. For one year, each participant followed a weight loss program comprised of meal replacements and behavior goals – including calorie tracking and increased physical activity – and recorded food-related behaviors, such as cravings, binge eating, and emotional eating. Participants also attended weekly weigh-in sessions. The final weigh-in occurred two years after the weight loss program began.
Those who experienced consistent weight loss in the first six and 12 weeks of the program were more likely maintain their weight loss at 12 and 24 months than those whose weight fluctuated in the first 12 weeks. So, for example, those who consistently lost one pound during the first three-week period were more likely to achieve long-term weight loss than those who lost four pounds, regained two pounds, then lost one pound during the first three weeks.