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Go ahead, drop the weight quickly

May 7, 2010 |  3:56 pm

Salad 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.

Here's the abstract of the weight-loss study, as published online Wednesday in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine. And here's Reuters weighing in on the weight-loss results.

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

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Comments (4)

Positive feedback can be important, as the article suggests. However, it is also important not to make yourself nuts by weighing yourself every day during weight loss. Once or twice a week is considered about right. Once the weight is off, whether slow or fast, then daily weighings, first thing in the morning, is a great way to understand how your body naturally changes during the month and also to catch early signs of adding a bit too much.

I've been on a Diet since 1961. I have concluded that if God wanted me to be slim he wouldn't have given me such a screwed up metabolism.

@Tuxmed - People who weigh daily have been shown to weigh less than those who do not weigh daily. They likely are more concerned with weight, and therefore make better lifestyle choices (i.e. eat less, move more).

@Tommy - Try getting a Bodybugg. Then eat less than the amount of calories it says you are burning everyday. You'll lose weight. Studies of people who say they "just can't lose weight" have shown that they underestimate their calorie consumption when eating and overestimate their calorie burn while exercising. It's the first law of thermodynamics, sir. Calories in < calories out = weight loss. I'm guessing that PHD of yours is in Philosophy...

I cannot stand all the fad diets! They just do not work - and it seems like even if they do work for a short time - the weight comes right back as soon as you go off the diet. Because of this frustrating rollercoaster, I have really been working hard at eating whole foods, drinking more water and taking my Vidazorb probiotic. I just want to be healthy!


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