Friday, May 07, 2010

Study says fast fat loss helpful--False, BUT it is worth looking at....

Today's Post: Friday, 5-7-2010

I found an article online by which has many very interesting articles.:

“Surprising New Diet Tip: Lose Weight Quickly LiveScience Staff Thurs, 5-6-2010

The key to long-term weight loss and maintenance might be to lose weight quickly rather than gradually, at least in the initial stages of dieting, a new study suggests.

More research is needed to determine the best approach, however.

Successful weight loss in obese individuals is defined as a reduction of 10 percent or more of initial body weight maintained for at least a year. The jury is still out, however, as to whether fast or slow initial weight loss is the best approach for weight control over the long-term.

On the one hand, there is evidence that starting off a diet losing weight slowly results in continued weight loss, reduced risk of weight gain later, and successful long-term weight loss maintenance. On the other hand, it has also been shown that the greater the initial weight loss in obese people, the larger the total weight loss observed longer-term.

The new study, conducted by Lisa Nackers and colleagues, from the University of Florida, looked at data from 262 middle-aged obese women who took part in a six-month weight loss program.

Participants were encouraged to reduce calorie intake and increase physical activity to achieve an average weight loss of just under a pound (0.45 kilograms) per week for the first six months. Then during the following year, participants got weight-loss support that involved contact twice a month in the form of group sessions, telephone contact or newsletters.

The researchers found that some of the women shed pounds quickly, while others did so relatively gradually, and others were slow to lose weight during the first month of the study.

Women in the fast weight-loss group lost over 1.5 pounds (0.68 kg) per week; those in the moderate group lost between 0.5 and 1.5 pounds (0.23 and 0.68 kg) per week; women in the slow group lost less than 0.5 pounds (0.23 kg) per week. They then looked at the women's weight loss at six and 18 months, as well as any weight regain at the end of the follow-up year.

Those in the fast weight-loss group shed more weight overall, maintained their weight loss for longer and were not more likely to put weight back on than the more gradual weight losers. At the end of six months, women in the fast group lost an average of around 30 pounds (13.5 kg), while those in the moderate group lost around 20 (8.9 kg), and those in the slow group lost about 11 pounds (5.1 kg).

Women in the fast group were five times more likely to achieve the clinically significant 10-percent weight loss at 18 months than those in the slow group. And those in the moderate group were nearly three times more likely to achieve this milestone than women in the slow group. “

Does this mean that making a special effort to lose weight really FAST is a good idea?

That depends; but the answer is mostly NO.

And, that’s NOT what I think they found in this study either.

1. Note the article writer or the people who ran the study said this.:

“…there is evidence that starting off a diet losing weight slowly results in continued weight loss, reduced risk of weight gain later…..”

The people who cut back from 1700 calories a day to 700 to lose weight and are aiming for MORE than the moderately high 6 pounds a month this study reports invariably trigger their famine response. This response has been honed over tens of thousands of years in our ancestors who survived famines multiple times to be virtually fail safe and the resulting famine response almost always is.

The person who has a triggered famine response begins to feel too lazy and tired to exercise and their metabolism goes way down. That’s too be sure they burn less calories and that’s what happens. Then they begin to crave MORE food and to crave the most fattening and high calorie foods most! That’s to help be sure the person survives the famine their body reads them as being in, they are virtually certain to find they have no sufficient will power to keep them eating so little. And, they wind up eating even MORE fattening foods than they did before.

Or they slam into more exercise so much too fast and too hard they get injured or over-train to the point they are exhausted and feel too bad to continue.

Or, they take lots of some kind of drug that is a kind of speed or powerful stimulant but experience such bad health problems after a while that they have to stop, or go to the hospital or even wind up in the cemetery.

So, never, ever try to starve yourself thin to gain more than 2 to 6 pounds a month or slam into more exercise too fast or take lots of stimulant drugs with no medical oversight.

It’s a sure way to fail at weight and fat loss and can even kill you.

2. But this the study IS interesting. The lessons from it may be unusually valuable.

Here are the two things I think may be the real explanation of what this study found.

The great news is that both of them suggest some real potential for getting good results with weight and fat loss.

a) The main one is that I think the people who lost closer to 6 pounds a month and a total of 30 pounds likely had three things going on.

They were the heaviest and fattest to begin with. They also eat or drank the largest amount of the most fattening things at the start. Then, the ones that succeeded at all, gave up all or most of the very fattening foods and drinks.

That resulted in their more robust weight loss per month and the most at the end of the study.

Last – but far from least – they NOTICED their good results and apparently decided that giving up soft drinks and junky treats really was worth it after all. So they tended to keep doing it.

People may not believe what you tell them and often don’t. But if something very, very noticeable happens to them for real, they tend to believe it.

Here’s a simple example to illustrate this.

One study found that for every daily soft drink people drank, they weighed about 15 pounds more than if they drank water or tea plain and by itself or coffee black or with just a tiny bit of 1% lowfat milk instead.

So let’s take two people. They both are somewhat active but have desk jobs and are middle-aged.

But one never drinks soft drinks as we just described just as I currently do not & is only 15 pounds of fat overweight.

The second person drinks 3 soft drinks every day all seven days of each week and is 60 pounds overweight.

The both eat a bit better and gradually add some exercise which causes them to lose about 15 pounds over a year’s time.

But, the second one ALSO completely stops drinking soft drinks and loses the extra 45 pounds they were feeding by the end of the year.

So the person who started out not drinking soft drinks only lost 15 pounds with an average of 1.25 pounds a month. But the person who had 45 more pounds to lose and gave up soft drinks to lose it, lost a total of 60 pounds with an average weight loss of 5 pounds a month.

And, since losing 60 pounds gets your favorable attention more than losing 15, they might even be more likely to keep up the things that worked for them.

I think that something like 90 to 98 % of the explanation of what this study found came from this source.

But there IS a valuable lesson here! In fact, it has a very large upside.

If you or someone you know is pretty darn fat and too heavy and now eats junky foods and always drinks two or more soft drinks every day,

And-- if you or that person completely stops doing so and does a decent job of following a low pressure but effective weight loss program too, you or they WILL lose a lot of weight in the first year and will lose enough weight almost every month to make it fun and enjoyable to do.

The other possible explanation is just as valuable; and, although the article does not include evidence it had an effect in this study, it may have had some effect on some of the people who succeeded.

This is the easiest way to see it.

Suppose one person does 4 small things that average helping them lose a half a pound a month each and loses 2 pounds.

Then suppose a second person who is a good bit more determined and did more research into ways to lose excess fat does 12 things that average helping them lose a half a pound a month each and loses 6 pounds.

If none of the methods used by either person triggers the famine response, the second person will lose more fat, and more weight, and lose it more reliably.

That’s why I have so many parts of my own fat loss plan for this year and still plan to add more.

I wanted to lose 14 pounds in 12 months and have lost 11 pounds in 4 months.

So by simply continuing all the doable steps that have done the job, I not only am almost guaranteed to reach my 14 pound goal this year, I may wind up losing far more fat and weight than I ever expected to lose. (In fact, the math suggests I may lose 22 pounds more for a 33 pound loss when I aimed for 14!)

Since I’ve only lost ¾ of an inch off my waist when I wanted to lose 4 inches though, I may well have started with MORE than 33 pounds of fat that I needed to lose.

That also means that I’ve lost some muscle since I was younger; & I also need to do something more than my current strength training to add some or all of it back.

I do have several such things planned; but am only about half started on one. So I have some work to do!

The bottom line is this.

1. Do NOT try to lose weight so fast, more than 6 to 8 pounds a month, with methods like excessively low food intake that trigger your famine response or methods that might cause you to be injured or damaged. People who do almost always fail at long term fat loss. Resolve NOT to join them!

2. The closer you come to drinking no soft drinks and eating no junky snacks or treats, the faster you can safely lose weight and excess fat. And, if you haven’t done that yet, you will be pleasantly surprised how fast your excess fat will disappear once you do

3. The more small and effective methods you use that are doable and sustainable, to lose weight, the faster you will lose it safely and the more reliably you’ll lose it.

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