Help! It’s confusing!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.
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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:
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 Are all these dietitians and health professionals recommending slow weight loss out of date, giving wrong old-fashioned advice?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.