Rapid Weight Loss vs. Slow Continuous Weight Loss
A successful weight loss diet produces a loss of 10% or more of initial body weight maintained for at least 1 year. Many individuals who have struggled with their weight have had success losing weight, but then quickly regain it – commonly known as “yo-yo dieting”.
Slow continuous weight loss has been shown to result in continued weight loss and long-term maintenance however, this only occurs if the subject is able to maintain the changes to diet and physical activity in the long term.
On the other hand, rapid weight loss (RWL) diets show greater initial weight loss, often motivating individuals, as well as larger total weight loss long-term. Initial RWL is related to more positive quality of life changes, which can serve as motivators and reinforces of healthy habits and behaviours.
What is a Rapid Weight Loss diet?
Rapid Weight Loss is usually achieved using a Very Low Calorie or Energy Diet (VLCD or VLED). These diets are usually ketogenic as they contain very low levels (20-50g) of carbohydrates. This leads to the production of ketones as the body switches to primarily burning fat as its fuel source rather than glycogen. This metabolic condition is called “nutritional” ketosis. The Be Fit Food Rapid Weight Loss Program is designed to shift the individual’s metabolism into a state of ketosis to lose weight quickly.
Ketones are a by-product of this process and assist in the weight loss process by its effect on appetite control hormones leading to appetite suppression.
Ketogenic diets also result in a decrease in total body fat, due to the fact that fat is being used as the primary fuel for energy. Adequate protein intake is important when following these diets to prevent loss of fat-free or muscle mass. A greater percentage of muscle mass loss during weight loss have been associated with weight regain.
A recent study that looked at subjects following VLED ketogenic and non-ketogenic protocols for 6-months followed by a Mediterranean diet for 6 months saw no weight regained in the 6 months period. The evidence is now showing that VLEDs result in greater initial weight loss and along with an active weight-maintenance program including nutrition, behavioural therapy and exercise results in greater total weight loss and improves long-term weight maintenance.
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