Diet Myth 3

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Diet Myth 3

Rapid weight loss is unsustainable.

Any measure that results in quick, drastic weight loss is almost always referred to as a “yoyo diet.” The general consensus among weight-loss experts is that if your weight plunges suddenly, it’s going to come back up with a vengeance.

We all know this to be true. Except it’s not, said Dr. Arne Astrup, co-author of a New England Journal of Medicine article published in January that analysed a number of commonly held dieting beliefs and found many of them scientifically lacking.

“This belief implies gradual changes in diet and lifestyle should be permanent, and are better maintained long term when introduced gradually,” said Astrup, who also heads up the Department of Human Nutrition at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. “A number of observational studies and randomised clinical trials show the opposite is true.”

Astrup and his colleagues were criticised by some in the nutrition field who found the study’s commendation of bariatric surgery and diet pills unsettling. Even so, many were intrigued by the authors’ examination of clinical trials and scientific studies that found that greater initial weight loss is associated with greater long-term success.

“To warn people against rapid weight loss will take away the success of many people, and is therefore counterproductive for public health,” he said.

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