It’s one of the most deeply entrenched and persistent myths about weight loss. It’s even on the CDC website:
“People who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1-2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off.”
Turns out that it is truly a myth that doesn’t hold up at all to scientific scrutiny, according to a randomized controlled study published in the journal Obesity.
The authors found that the rate of weight loss, fast or slow, has zero effect on whether a person can maintain their loss.
It is true however, that we all lose at different rates – some dramatically quick, others more slowly. Dr. Casazza, in the New England Journal of Medicine, describes the phenomenon perfectly: “Although it is not clear why some … persons have a greater initial weight loss than others do, a recommendation to lose weight more slowly might interfere with the ultimate success of weight-loss efforts.”
Based on what I see in my own weight-loss practice, I have to admit, I’m biased towards efforts to get weight off as quickly as possible. Most of my patients have struggled with their weight for a very long time (sometimes most of their lives). If that’s true for you, you are probably feeling frustrated, or maybe even ready to give up completely! It’s very understandable.
But picture when you see the scale start to move quickly as a result of your hard work. That can be a VERY powerful motivator to continue working on all aspects of lifestyle change.
Read more here.