Is fast or quick weight loss even possible or healthy?
A typical weight loss program aims for fat loss in the region of 1-2 pounds per week (½ to 1 kg). The reason for this is to prevent subsequent weight gain due to the body suffering a rapid lowering in metabolism and to prevent loss of muscle.
However, there is a place for faster weight loss in certain circumstances. Fast weight loss is only really appropriate for those who are very overweight.
There are a number of quick weight loss programs that attempt to provide a nutritional balance supplied by a limited number of calories. These diets typically fall into the category of VLCD (Very Low Calorie Diet). Average intake is between 400 and 800 calories per day.
Research shows these diets do offer a substantial weight loss for the very overweight. With active follow-up treatment long-term success is possible. Research shows losses of between 3 to 5.5lbs per week on these programs.
A University of Florida study showed that women who lost weight faster kept it off longer. This mainly was due to increased motivation, however, it only dealt with women who lost 1-1.5 pounds a week maximum.
One of the most researched programs is Medifast. This combines 4-5 high-protein meal replacements, along with one home-cooked protein and vegetable meal.
The approach seems to work well with over 4 studies confirming superior weight loss over regular diets.
There are other very low calorie diets (such as the HCG Diet, Cambridge Diet, or OptiFast) must be medically supervised due to the possible side effects.
Weight loss programs that offer rapid weight loss are generally only suitable for people who are obese (a BMI of 30 and above). A person who is only mildly overweight will only really cause themselves problems in the long run.
Some VLCD’s need a doctors authorization, but other fast weight loss diets can be done without this.
Many claims of weight loss on popular diets are exaggerated. The claims are made due to a short and sharp induction phase, where for a period of a few days to a week, a stricter regimen is followed.
If you are seeking rapid weight loss, please remember that without thinking it through, you may be set-up to regain the weight.
As of writing, the only true rapid weight loss program available to consumers is Medifast.