No one's offering up a rallying cry for fad diets, but losing weight quickly may not be such a bad thing after all. Researchers at the University of Florida compared keep-it-off results among 262 middle-aged obese women in a six-month program intended to help them make better lifestyle choices (i.e. eat less, move more). A year of supportive followup ensued.
Ultimately, researchers found, women who lost the most weight during the first month were more likely to keep that weight off than were women who lost a more moderate amount of weight during that time period. Similarly, women in the moderate group were more likely to keep the weight off than were women who lost only a bit of weight that first month.
Even if the study isn't an endorsement of fad diets (and trust us, it's not -- in fact, here's the American Heart Assn. offering a lecture on fad diets), it might offer lessons about the effect of positive reinforcement when it comes to weight loss. There would seem to be little fun in cutting back on delightful baked goods without something to show for it.
-- Tami Dennis
Photo: Choose well and the whole "healthful eating" thing isn't so bad -- especially not if it yields tangible results. Credit: Los Angeles Times