The belief that short-term weight loss isn’t possible has persisted since the 1960’s. You’ll find the notion repeated by recommendations from health authorities, magazines, and offered as a rule by dietitians. This ‘rule’ probably emerged because of the adverse effects of nutritionally insufficient, very low calorie diets. As a result, many overweight people opt for a slower, more conventional diet, assuming that slow and steady is still the best method to losing – and keeping – the weight off.

The truth about Quick Weight Loss 
In fact, this idea that quick weight loss isn’t possible is a total myth. Recent weight loss trials (such as Early Treatment Response as a Predictor of Ongoing Weight Loss In Obesity Treatment 2013), found that more rapid and greater initial weight loss has been associated with lower body weight in the long term. While slow weight loss actually resulted in poorer long term outcome. It’s worrying that this original myth is likely to interfere with the ultimate success of weight loss efforts.

Motivation’s experience of quick weight loss
When the media, diet books and TV nutritionist all say that quick weight loss is a myth, it’s hard for people to believe the truth.
However, here at Motivation we find the main reason that people abandon diets early on is that the results weren’t evident quick enough, so their initial enthusiasm diminished in a short time, usually at around week 6. Dr Larocque conducted an extensive study on 40,000 clients throughout Canada, France and Ireland on this topic. The results were published in the British Journal of Health Psychology 2004, and identified three factors that predicted successful weight loss over nine months.

The factors that predict successful weight loss – Here is a summary of Dr Larocque’s results at the end of 270 days:

A Medical Protein Diet consisted of these key elements:

• Quick Weight Loss

• Quick change of habits

• Regular Follow-ups (most important factor)

The result was BMI reduced by 8, on average.
Compare this to the key elements of a conventional diet:

• Slow weight loss

• Slow habit Change

• No follow-up

Result was the BMI increased by 2.

Low calorie diet in quick weight loss
A low-calorie diet (between 800 and 1500 calories) along with high quality protein supplements effectively controls the appetite. This is dependant on having a source of protein every four hours, or earlier if hunger sets in.

This type of diet accelerates fat loss while lean muscle mass is retained. It is medically safe and highly motivating as it usually results in higher energy levels and well-being.

It makes sense that as one sees physical results fast and feels clothes getting looser fast that they would feel optimistic and inspired to keep going!

This goes along with changing habits quickly which is made more simple by Dr Larocque’s Mental Weight Questionnaire (MWQ). This valuable tool measures the habits, behaviours and attitudes of the individual to date and guides on where improvements could be made. It is important to start with the easiest, most simple habits first so that quickly these become the new norm and give the patient another boost of confidence in their ability to succeed. Why do this slowly and lose interest in the process?!!

Changing habits quickly
The low calorie, high-protein eating plan goes hand-in-hand with changing habits quickly.This is made more simple by Dr Larocque’s Mental Weight Questionnaire (MWQ), which measures the habits, behaviours and attitudes of the individual to date and guides on where improvements could be made. We start with the easiest, most simple habits first so that quickly these become the new norm. This gives the patient another boost of confidence in themselves and their ability to succeed.

All our patients receive written advice, and a maintenance motivational pack to keep them on track. The motivational pack focuses on the importance of long term behavioural change and self-monitoring, and some encouraging ideas to keep up momentum and positive affirmations.

Why regular follow ups are vital
The final and most important predictor in healthy weight loss is regular follow up. The results of the study (Strategies for Long Term Weight Maintenance) shows a maintenance rate of around 80% of weight lost after four years when a patient is followed using the MWQ once a month. When there is no follow-up, the weight is gradually regained, to the point where, after four years, a maximum of only 6% of the weight lost has been kept off. Other strategies proven to prevent or limit weight regain after a special protein diet include regular exercise and high quality protein supplements.

Why others still say quick weight loss isn’t possible
There is still resistance to the findings about quick weight loss in medical studies, and it’s easy to understand why. Weight regain is a hard thing to go through, and those who have experienced it often intuitively accept that the dieting plan was flawed because the weight didn’t stay off. The good news is that quick weight loss is possible, with the right eating plan, habit changes and follow-ups.

If you have any queries about the Motivation Weight Management programme please contact your local clinic.

Blog Post by Claire Jackson