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Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success

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Old 05-15-2010, 07:53 AM   #1
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Default Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success

FRIDAY, May 14 (HealthDay News) --When it comes to weight-loss patterns, the old adage proclaims that "slow and steady" wins the race, but recent research suggests otherwise.

A new study found that obese women who started out losing 1.5 pounds a week or more on average and kept it up lost more weight over time than women who lost more slowly. They also maintained the loss longer and were no more likely to put it back on than the slowest losers, the researchers added.

The results shouldn't be interpreted to mean that crash diets work, said study author Lisa Nackers, a doctoral student in clinical psychology at the University of Florida, Gainesville. ....."



Note they defined quick weight loss as 1.5 lbs per week or more. I often see people describe that as slow or moderate. The "quick loss" participants lost the way I did - what we jokingly refer to as my "laser sharp focus" on my eating plan. I did not deviate from my eating plan for 7 months when I had one planned off plan birthday meal. That's what I needed after years of really disordered eating. I really needed to reorient my brain and change my relationship with food. I know that's not true for everyone.

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Old 05-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #2
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Cyndi, I was a relatively "fast" loser too and if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it exactly the same way.

If anyone's interested, there's a discussion about the study in this thread:

Rate Of Weight Loss Tied To Maintenance
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg View Post
Cyndi, I was a relatively "fast" loser too and if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it exactly the same way.

If anyone's interested, there's a discussion about the study in this thread:

Rate Of Weight Loss Tied To Maintenance
Exactly right. I am very glad my weight came off relatively quick. But mindful eating doesn't end. Strategizing doesn't end. Planning for success doesn't end.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:04 PM   #4
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I don't think I'm losing fast.. or losing slow. I guess I'm average? Hmm.
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Old 06-26-2010, 09:27 PM   #5
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This study doesn't really seperate people into groups that are intentionally trying to lose weight quickly and those trying to lose weight slowly. Rather the study followed dieters and then looked at who lost more and had more long-term success. They just found that the people who lost it fastest were most successful - but they didn't look at why.

I think the why is very important. One of the main reasons I see slow weight loss being less successful, is the cultural bias against it. Often slow weight loss is seen as little better than no weight loss, at all, so people give up thinking they're failing. They don't see slow weight loss as success at all, so they give up (sadly, the way this study is being reported, could encourage that view even more. People who can't lose quickly, may be even more discouraged, thinking that lasting weight loss is impossible if you can't lose it quickly).

How fast you lose may not be a choice, does that mean you give up if you can't lose fast? Isn't it more likely that your satisfaction with your speed of weight loss is a greater predictor than how fast you actually lose. Your perception may be more important than the reality.

I believe most people (certainly I in the past) abandon weight loss attempts, not because they're not succeeding, but because their expectations of success aren't being met. When I was younger, anything less than 5 lbs a week felt like failure. I've heard many people talking here and in weight loss groups I've been in for decades say "I only lost 3 lbs this week." With that attitude being common (even more so, it seems, since Biggest Loser), it's no wonder that people who lose slowly (often not by their own choice) are more likely to give up, thinking "what's the use."

I'm losing better now than I ever have before, not because I'm losing slowly (though I am losing slowly - very, very, very slowly), but because I no longer see slow loss as failure.

I suspect that a person's satisfaction/acceptance of their speed of weight loss has more to do with long term success than the actual speed of weight loss.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:59 PM   #6
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I feel like for me slow weight loss couldn't succeed very well because I really don't do moderation and pattern well. If I have a diet it has to let me eat weird stuff at weird times, and more importantly, get results before I get distractible. If I'm capable of losing a lot of weight before settling down to a moderate amount to eat, I'd rather do that than having to slightly restrict for a long time. I'd feel hopeless and trapped, and I know from experience that under those circumstances I tend to just give up and binge it up, which I won't do if I don't feel that way.
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Old 06-27-2010, 12:18 AM   #7
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I think this is actually a major problem with weight loss, the way it's "done" in our culture. Almost no one does moderation very well, or tolerates frustration or distraction. The traditional or "normal" method of weight loss follows such a stereotypical pattern, it can almost be considered a social ritual. So ingrained that the pattern is often followed without consciously recognizing the pattern - and even when recognizing the pattern, often finding it difficult to break.



feel fat
feel guilty about being fat
decide to diet
drastically change eating habits (because moderation isn't tolerable)
lose rapidly
get discouraged (either because the weight loss has slowed, or the diet is getting boring, or you're making more mistakes than you think a successful person should).
feel guilty
feel worthless
become tired and angry about feeling guilty and worthless
give up (this isn't fun anymore, and what's the use anyway. Losing this slow isn't any better than losing nothing. At least losing nothing I can eat what I want).
binge
feel guilty
binge some more (to feel better)
gain weight back (and usually some extra to spare)
get even more discouraged
binge some more
feel guilty
feel fat (and repeat sequence).



To successfully lose and maintain weight loss, we've got to break the tradition and refuse to complete the ritual.


There are a lot of ways to break the pattern. For me, it took four decades to change the pattern, and I decided to change the pattern by taking weight out of the equation. I measured my success or failure by how fast I was losing weight. This time, I started with weight loss not even a goal at all. My goal was to add healthy habits that I was willing to commit to forever, even if they resulted in no weight loss whatsoever. And for almost a year, they resulted in virtually no weight loss at all, but I was experiencing other benefits (such as being able to lift my arms above my head without pain, and not having to use a shower chair to bathe or an electric scooter to shop the Walmart).

Usually I gave up because the success didn't seem big enough - but the truth is no loss would have been big enough. Losing 5 lbs a week, still felt like darned little for the amount of deprivation I was going through to get there.

Making changes I KNEW I could make for a lifetime worked better than anything I've ever tried before. And at first, I couldn't make huge changes. I couldn't start with 1500 calories and a mile walk every day, heck I still can't do that yet. It's entirely possible however, that those 1500 calories and that mile daily walk will be what it takes for me to maintain my goal weight.

If I started with that though, I would have injured myself and felt miserable and deprived. I had to start with what I could do, and build on success.

I think people do have different needs, and will need to break the ritual at different steps, but I don't think anyone can succeed permanently without breaking the ritual (unless possibly, they're repeating the ritual within a healthy weight range. Though I don't think the ritual is very healthy mentally, regardless of weight).


For me, what worked is dieting "backwards" instead of my goal being weight loss, my goals were diet and exercise changes for their health benefits (weight loss was just the side benefit and the reward, not the goal itself). Taking the pressure off, and taking the "failure" out of weight fluctuations (even TOM weight gain, seemed like my body betrayikng me) has made the difference for me.
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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For me, it did take quick weight loss results to make me stick to my diet. Everything else I had tried in the past eventually failed me (or rather, I failed). I've lost 50 pounds since June, which could be considered pretty quick, but I've also been able to maintain that loss, not something I could do in the past. Of course, I have a lot to loose, so it's easier for me to lose weight faster at the moment. And I'll take the momentum while it lasts, because I've gained the confidence to finally believe in my will power, which I used to think I didn't have.
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaplods View Post
So ingrained that the pattern is often followed without consciously recognizing the pattern - and even when recognizing the pattern, often finding it difficult to break.



feel fat
feel guilty about being fat
decide to diet
drastically change eating habits (because moderation isn't tolerable)
lose rapidly
get discouraged (either because the weight loss has slowed, or the diet is getting boring, or you're making more mistakes than you think a successful person should).
feel guilty
feel worthless
become tired and angry about feeling guilty and worthless
give up (this isn't fun anymore, and what's the use anyway. Losing this slow isn't any better than losing nothing. At least losing nothing I can eat what I want).
binge
feel guilty
binge some more (to feel better)
gain weight back (and usually some extra to spare)
get even more discouraged
binge some more
feel guilty
feel fat (and repeat sequence).
I LOVE THIS^^! GREAT POINT! We've got to STOP THE MADNESS!

But then again...how would all the "diet" companies make any money if it were not for this viscious cycle?
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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I can see it both ways. If I were on a super restrictive plan, I would want to quickly lose the weight just to get out of "Phase 1" or whatever and get into a more livable maintenance plan.

However, whenever I would plateau in such a diet, I would start the question the validity of the plan and be much more likely to throw in the towel. But if faster weight loss means fewer or less lengthy plateaus, then I could see how the success rate might be higher.

Personally, slow and steady wins the race for me. I was never good at maintaining with most programs, and now I have found one where weight loss and maintenance are exactly the same method. It's not restrictive and is easier for me to maintain, but it takes a lot longer.
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Old 11-29-2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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I agree. The purpose of the losing phase is also to learn how to LIVE the lifestyle. Otherwise, maintenance would be just losing and regaining the last 10 lbs for the rest of my life.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:54 PM   #12
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i can see how that's possible. i know for me if i lose 2 or 3 pounds in a week i feel motivated to stick to healthy eating. but if i only lose a pound or nothing in a week i get upset and frustrated because of the slow results.
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:48 PM   #13
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I agree. The purpose of the losing phase is also to learn how to LIVE the lifestyle. Otherwise, maintenance would be just losing and regaining the last 10 lbs for the rest of my life.
Agreed.
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:53 PM   #14
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Well said, kaplods.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:34 AM   #15
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For me it's not about losing weight, it's about changing my lifestyle. I want to learn a lifestyle that is compatible with eventually going into maintenace, which is where I believe is where the truly hard work lies.
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