I recently read an article in The Daily Telegraph on July 16, 2010.
The article refers to a study by Dietitian Katrina Purcell that was presented at a recent obesity conference. You can read the full article here. As I’m based here in Melbourne it’s great to be able to view all of newspapers online everyday!
The results of the study suggests that the best way to lose weight and keep it off might not be the slow and steady safe method that has been seen as the gold standard for so long after all.
It was suggested by Ms Purcell that one explanation for this could be psychological. Participants that achieved larger weekly results remained more motivated and did not stray from their path to weight loss as they were seeing measurable success. This is certainly a factor for many of the clients I have worked with closely in the past. Encouraging a focus on performance, health and fitness improvements will on fly for so long. People wanna see the numbers!
If your initial reason for starting on a life changing journey was weight loss you want to see some kilos off! It’s very likely you won’t care too much for your healthier blood pressure, or increased blood cell count. Not if these weren’t the motivator to get your butt into gear. At the very least you want to see your pants starting to slip around your waist to stay stead fast in your journey.
The results of this study however are initial. Unless new habits and behaviors that are sustainable have been established through out the journey my fear would be that once a goal weight is reach and the constant weight loss focus has diminished the kilos may begin to pile back on. The plan of the study is to follow up over the next three years, so I would be very interested to see the long term results of the study.
We all know stories of those who have achieved great things and changed their bodies only to be back to their starting weight (and then some!) after a rapid weight loss experience. This is the last thing we want to see. Rapid gains and losses of body weight place a lot of strain on over all health.
Whether the method you choose for weight loss is working with a nutritionist, a dietitian, a personal trainer, heading to the gym or a fitness center make sure it’s something you can stick with.
My advice. If your wanting a healthy body weight for the long term, don’t worry about the weight! Put everything in place to that will help you achieve the end result. Don’t stress about the time frame. And If you have put the appropriate steps in place required to changed your life to something that is sustainable for the long term the resultant weight loss from your change in lifestyle will be the most maintainable you can achieve.