What Happens When You Lose 100 Pounds?
Study: 5 Years After Losing 100+ Pounds Participants Reduced Heart Disease Risk by 50%
Aug. 8, 2007 - Five years after losing 100 pounds on a low-calorie diet,
extremely obese people halved their heart risk and were still 66 pounds
These 63 men and 55 women were among 656 morbidly obese people who enrolled
in a University of Kentucky weight loss program over a nine-year period. When
they started, the men averaged 383 pounds and the women averaged 317
The diet plan called for intensive coaching, meal replacement with shakes
and prepared entrées, low-calorie diets, weekly classes, keeping careful
records of all foods eaten, and moderate exercise. To keep weight off, the
dieters avoided fats, continued using meal-replacement shakes, continued to
attend coaching sessions, and ate at least five daily servings of fruits and
Men's average maximum weight loss was 146 pounds -- 38% of their initial
weight -- over 43 weeks. Women's average maximum weight loss was 122 pounds --
a little more than 38% of their initial weight -- over 46 weeks.
What happened next? As is usual, people tend to gain back weight over time.
But five years after reaching their maximum weight loss, both men and women
kept about half the weight off.
- 20% lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol
- 36% lower blood-fat levels
- 17% lower blood-sugar levels
- Significantly lower blood pressure
Maintaining these risk reductions probably reduced the dieters' risk of
heart disease by 50%, estimate James W. Anderson, MD, director of the
University of Kentucky's Metabolic Research Group, and colleagues.
Losing weight is great. But what really helps is keeping weight off,
Anderson and colleagues suggest.
"Procedures that enhance maintenance of weight loss are regular physical
activity, low fat intake, generous consumption of vegetables and fruit, regular
use of meal replacements, self-monitoring, and ongoing treatment or
coaching," Anderson and colleagues note.
The researchers report their findings in the Aug. 1 issue of the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.