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Yo-yo dieting not so bad for future weight loss after all?

We are posting a variety of articles that discuss the pros and cons of  yo-yo dieting. The other articles can be found here. Most of these articles discourage yo-yo dieting, because of the health and mental implications of constantly gaining and losing weight.  At first glance, this article may appear to encourage yo-yo dieting, but when you dig a little deeper, its message is similar to the rest – consistent and steady weight loss is best.
We’re posting this article, because of it’s message of hope – even if you’ve failed with dieting before, don’t give up! After all, some weight loss, even if it is regained, is better than no weight loss at all.
By Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY
Good news for yo-yo dieters:

You can lose as much weight as people who don’t have a history of losing and regaining, according to a new study.

This offers encouragement for yo-yo dieters who often fear they’ve hurt their metabolism and won’t be successful.

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle recruited 438 overweight or obese post-menopausal women.

They were divided them into two groups: non-yo-yo dieters, and yo-yo dieters with a history of losing and regaining 10 or more pounds three or more times.

The women were placed in one of four plans, shown below. Their average weight loss after 12 months is listed at right.

The plans and the weight loss
Reduced-calorie diet 15-17 lbs.
225 minutes a week of aerobic activity 5 lbs.
Both reduced-calorie diet and 225 minutes a week of aerobic activity 19-21 lbs.
No formal diet or exercise program No change

Most of the weight was lost in the first six months; yo-yo dieters lost about the same amount as non-yo-yo dieters.

The take-home message is don’t give up trying, says Fred Hutchinson Center researcher Caitlin Mason, who presented the study at the annual meeting of the Obesity Society in San Diego. “For long-term success, aim for a slow-and-steady weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week,” she says.

Anne McTiernan, the study’s senior author and director of the Prevention Center at the Hutchinson Center, says researchers aren’t sure whether these results would also apply to men. She says this study confirms her previous research showing that people who do both the diet and exercise lose the most weight.

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