Steph Barnes
Updated Aug 29, 2017 @ 10:32 am
Drew Barrymore working out
Credit: Fox 2000 Pictures

For so many of us, having a healthy relationship with food and fitness is a struggle. With so many different extreme fad diets popping up all the time, it’s hard to know which will benefit us instead of causing long-term damage to our bodies. But a new weight loss study has confirmed something we’ve sort of always known: When it comes to losing weight (in a healthy way), gradual is key…and way more effective for long-term maintenance.

A new study published in the journal Obesity suggests that slowly and steadily shedding pounds is more beneficial for long-term weight loss than dropping a lot of weight over a short period of time. This type of extreme dieting is known as “yo-yo” dieting, and it generally result in little to no long-term weight loss.

The study was conducted at Drexel University where Emily H. Feig, PhD and Michael R. Lowe, PhD, recorded data from 183 people who went through a year-long behavioral weight loss program.

The study measured how much the participants’ weight changed over time and how it corresponded to their overall weight loss. They found that those who had greater weight loss between 6 and 12 weeks of the program lost less weight overall by the end of the year.

If your end goal is to shed some weight, Doctor Feig suggests keeping your eating patterns pretty similar every day. She said, “Things like planning ahead, prepping food for the week and reducing frequency of eating at restaurants can help with this.”

It’s always good to have expert advice when it comes to our health and overall wellness. So remember, slow and steady is the the way to go.