Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size
A
A
A

What Happens When You Lose 100 Pounds?

Study: 5 Years After Losing 100+ Pounds Participants Reduced Heart Disease Risk by 50%
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

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 thinner.

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 pounds.

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 vegetables.

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.

The payoff:

  • 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.

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
feet on scale
Blog
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
pantry
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Build a Fitter Family Challenge – Get your crew motivated to move.
Feed Your Family Better Challenge - Tips and tricks to healthy up your diet.
Sleep Better Challenge - Snooze clues for the whole family.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens