Losing weight quickly at the start may help you lose more overall. In a University of Florida study of 262 women on a diet-and-fitness program – participants were encouraged to stick to 1200 calories and to walk an extra 3000 steps per day – those who dropped the most pounds in the first month went on to lose the most weight by the end of the 18-month study (30 pounds, versus 11 for the others). The fast-starters also kept the weight off most successfully. Seeing larger changes early on may give you the “I-can-do-it” confidence you need to stick to your plan, says lead study author Lisa Nackers, who suggests aiming to drop a pound and a half to two pounds per week for the first month to get the lift.
Source: Good Housekeeping, September 2010, p.55
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