Wow! Australian dietitian Katrina Purcell has created quite a flurry of excitement in the news with release of her research that says that rapid weight loss, such as 1.5kg per week may be more effective then the standard “slow and steady” approach of 0.5kg or a pound a week in imperial.
When she says “effective” what “effective” actually means is the ability for patients to reach their ideal target weight. Please note that “effective” does not necessarily mean safe or even sustainable.
Heck if you want to have a rapid sustainable weight loss of say 20kg you can do that in an afternoon, just chop off a leg.
Ok I am saying that in jest but research like this always concerns me.
Evidence shows that with rapid weight loss is normally done so at the expense of water and muscle. You know that same muscle thas is the vital key to helping increase metabolism that burns fat!
Of course the other issues are that when such dramatic change is done to the diet it would need to be very carefully supervised, ideally in a hospital setting. This is sometimes done for people who need urgent surgery but their size is too big to risk an anesthetic.
Perhaps my biggest concern is that obesity really is a result of lifestyle. Therefor to be able to reduce weight safely it is really about looking at a lifestyle solution, not a quick fix.
By changing the lifestyle, in a gradual way that is not going to freak out the brain, an environment is created where weight loss is not only inevitable but also safe, sane and sustainable.
So yes, Katrina Purcell ‘s research may be useful and help shape weight loss for the future, but for the moment I will be keen to see just how much the participants of her study weigh in 6 months after it finishes.
Have a great weekend.