This is one of many examples where a study is broken down into pieces, just like Legos, a catchy title gets stapled on top, and people get a message that is far or deviated from the truth. No wonder we are a confused nation when it comes to nutrition.
MSNBC reports: “Lose weight fast for lasting results, study says”
Reuters reports: “Lose weight fast to get lasting results: Study”
MedicineNet.com reports: “Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success” and the article says:
When it comes to weight-loss patterns, the old adage proclaims that “slow and steady” wins the race, but recent research suggests otherwise.
So, is fast weight loss really better? Are all these dietitians and health professionals recommending slow weight loss out of date, giving wrong old-fashioned advice?
This is why some days, I feel like I fight a current. Busting, explaining, debunking, or fixing misinformed science. I’m sure many Nutritionist feel the same way too. Here’s why I think all these reports are misleading.
In the study, the researchers defined “fast” weight loss as 1.5 pounds or more a week, “slow” as 0.5 pounds or less a week, and “moderate” was the range in between. Ok, is 1.5 pounds a week considered fast? No. What do dietitians recommend? 1 to 2 pounds a week.
The definitions make the difference. When dietitians recommend “slow” weight loss, they recommend 1 to 2 pounds, as apposed to 4, 5, or even 18 pounds in 4 days like being advertised here!
So when you hear another study being reported with titles like this one, take a moment to understand what the study is about. Read the details before you spread it out or act on it. The same goes for low-calorie, low-carb, low-fat, low-protein (or high) diets. How low is low? How high is high? How fast is fast? How slow is slow?
Let me point out though, for someone who started at a weight much higher than the ideal or at a very high BMI, it’s possible to healthfully lose more than 1 to 2 pounds a week. As a simple rule, the more you weigh, the more pounds you can shed fast. But for most people, more is not better. Just watch the terminology used.