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Diabetes Obes Metab. 2007 May;9(3):379-85.

Weight cycling in a very low-calorie diet programme has no effect on weight loss velocity, blood pressure and serum lipid profile.

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David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA Center for Human Nutrition, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.



Many dieters lose and regain weight many times. It is unclear whether weight cycling is associated with adverse metabolic alterations or becomes more difficult with each attempt.


From 1988 to 2000, 2474 obese patients enrolled in our outpatient weight loss programme using a very low-calorie diet. Caloric intake consisted of meal replacement supplying 700-800 cal/day.


Our search distinguished 480 patients who had restarted the weight reduction programme at least once and up to four times (restarts). All subjects remained on the programme for 2 weeks or more each time. Mean initial weight loss was 21.3 kg for women and 28.8 kg for men. Rate of weight loss on first restart was not different from initial weight loss for women [1.6 vs. 1.4 kg/week; not significant (NS)] or for men (2.2 vs. 2.1 kg/week; NS). Of the 480 patients, 85 women and 51 men entered the programme three times. Rate of weight loss was similar for all three entries (1.4, 1.6 and 2.1 kg/week for first, second and third entry in women, NS; 2.1, 2.1 and 2 kg/week for men, NS). Only 20 women and 18 men entered the programme four times. The rate of weight loss was again similar for both men (NS) and women (NS) during each re-entry. Cardiovascular risk factors including lipid profile and blood pressure were not adversely affected by weight cycling. In fact, lipid levels were lower at each restart.


The present study refutes the hypothesis that repeated dieting makes further dieting efforts more difficult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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