Just as we have always been told that a balanced diet is the way to stay healthy, to now witness the current trend of cutting carbs (a major food group) completely from your diet - so comes the jolting news from a study conducted in Australia that crash dieting is more effective than gradual weight loss.
We have always been led to believe, through dietary guidelines, that although you lose weight quickly on a crash diet, you would then put it back just as easily in a short space of time. This has now been refuted in a study published in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology.
According to The Independent Online this morning:
'In a comparison of two groups, one of which dramatically cut their daily calorie intake for 12 weeks, and another which cut back slightly over 36 weeks, the rapid weight loss group was more likely to hit their targets and just as likely to maintain their weight loss three years on'
The study was conducted with 400 obese people in Australia.
'In the rapid weight loss group, 81 per cent of people hit their target of losing 12.5 per cent of their body weight, compared to only 50 per cent in the gradual weight loss group.
The rapid weight loss programme used in the study involved eating just 450-800 calories per day for 12 weeks. The gradual weight loss programme was in line with most national guidelines, recommended that around 500 calories was cut per day, over 36 weeks.
People in both groups who achieved their targets were followed up for another three years at which time both groups had regained about 71 per cent of their weight'.
The findings were published in The Lancet: Diabetes and Endocrinology.
To read more about the findings and the reactions of the scientific community click here.
What makes the most sense to us is that individuals react differently to certain food groups and loses weight at varying rates. The popular LCHF 'Banting' diet which cuts carbohydrates completely from the diet and promotes the eating of saturated animal fats is a diet ideal for people who are carb resistant - or insulin resistant, according to Professor Tim Noakes.
A study at the University of Stellenbosch has shown that Banting is no more effective in weight loss than a balanced weight loss (calorie-controlled) diet. According to the the evidence published it showed that the Banting lifestyle, (that restricts carbohydrate intake in favour of fats), "resulted in weight loss by restricting caloric intake – not by lowering the amount of carbohydrates consumed."
The Banting way of eating remains an unbelievably popular diet or 'lifestyle' with people testifying to amazing results. Yesterday saw the launch of a new mobile app, called 'GoBanting' just for those on the diet. You can find all our Banting-friendly recipes here.
Whether you diet quickly or over an extended period - the challenge is to keep the weight off. Perhaps this is part of why the Banting lifestyle is so popular.
If you believe in eating a balanced diet high in vitamins and minerals, try these top 15 antioxidant rich recipes and if you are a vegetarian or vegan, check out our meat-free recipes. For everything Low GI - read our article on how to lead a Low GI lifestyle.
Always consult your doctor before embarking on any extreme dietary or lifestyle changes.