Researchers from the University of Kentucky in Lexington report that a very low-calorie diet that includes shakes, energy bars and low-calorie entrees may be the key to long-term weight loss.
The researchers reviewed data from 29 studies of overweight and obese people who participated in weight loss programs in the US.
Individuals followed a very low energy diet (VLED) of less than 800 calories or a low balanced diet (HBD) of 1,200 to 1,500 calories.
HBDs include foods that are normally eaten while VLED diets rely on shakes, low-calorie entrees and energy bars. Adults who followed a VLED lost significantly more weight and maintained greater losses over 5 years, compared with those who followed a HBD.
The researchers feel that meal replacements make it easier for persons to follow a restricted energy regimen.
Additionally, individuals who lost at least 20 kg (44 pounds) were more likely to maintain their weight loss over time than those who lost less than 10 kg (22 pounds).
When people lose 45 to 50 pounds and are no longer obese, they may have more incentive to keep the weight off than persons who lose 15 to 20 pounds and are still obese.
People who lose more weight have more time and energy invested in their weight success and may have learned more in the process than persons who lose smaller amounts of weight.
Individuals who exercised the most were more likely to keep weight off than those who did little exercise, according to six of the studies included in the current report.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.