Is it better to lose weight slowly or quickly? Here’s what researchers say
Regardless of how you lose the weight, it is very difficult to maintain losses.
When people decide it’s time to lose weight, they’re usually keen to see quick results. Maybe they have an event coming up or want relief from health problems and discomfort.
But expert guidelines typically recommend slower weight loss for the treatment of obesity. This tallies with a a widely held opinion that fast weight loss is more quickly regained. Slow weight loss is generally perceived as better for your health and more sustainable. Many programmes offering “the fastest way to lose weight” are considered fad diets that severely restrict calories or eliminate some foods.
But does slow and steady really win the weight-loss race? Or is fast weight loss just as effective and safe?
Fast vs slow weight loss
Governing bodies typically recommend a weight loss of 0.5 to 1 kilogram each week, which would be defined as slow weight loss.
So fast weight loss – also termed “rapid weight loss” – is losing more than 1 kilo a week over several weeks.
What does the research say?
There are several well-conducted studies examining differing approaches.
One study of 200 people randomly assigned them to fast or slow weight loss – 12 weeks versus 36 weeks – aimed at a 15% reduction in weight.
The fast weight loss group was put on a very low energy diet...