Research by Garthe and colleagues looked at this exact question.
The goal of the research was to answer what speed of weight loss was better for fat loss and holding onto muscle.
The results were game changing. Those that did a more aggressive diet lost more muscle mass and even lost less fat than the dieters that went slow.
The slow dieters even gained 1 kg of muscle (2.2 lbs).
The speed of the weight loss was only a difference of 10% calories. The slow group reduced 20% and the fast group 30% of their calories.
Before we jump to conclusions here are some things to consider:
– Dieting quicker means you can reach your goal faster. And because of that, you’re able to switch to a muscle gaining phase sooner.
– The slow group also had a higher protein intake, which could conserve more muscle mass.
Losing weight fast is not easy. You are likely to lose more muscle mass and you’re unlikely to lose more fat than if you were to diet slower.
Losing weight slowly might be easier and more manageable.
However, a smaller deficit does require more attention to details (Strong healthy habits).
With a calorie deficit of 250 kcal to 500 kcal a day, spilling over with a tiny amount of extra food could result in not losing any weight at all.
At the end of the day, consistency and sticking to the plan is the key to success whether you go fast or slow.
Do you have any experience with weight loss?
Share below your pro’s and con’s.