"An Australian study throws doubt on the notion that a more gradual approach to weight loss is always the most effective route to take. The study also found that whether you opt for a "crash" diet or something a bit slower, the rate at which you shed excess pounds has no bearing on whether or not those pounds will come back. 

The findings are published Oct. 15 in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology. "Across the world, guidelines recommend gradual weight loss for the treatment of obesity, reflecting the widely held belief that fast weight loss is more quickly regained," study lead author Katrina Purcell, a dietitian at the University of Melbourne in Australia, said in a journal news release. 

However, the new study shows that "achieving a weight loss target of 12.5 percent is more likely, and drop-out is lower, if losing weight is done quickly," 

Purcell said. Current guidelines recommend slow and steady weight loss in the belief that it is more likely than rapid weight loss to help people keep their weight under control." 

Weight gain after dieting is most likely a result of returning to poor eating habits after the weight is lost.

"Ultimately, the answer lies not in a particular type of diet, but in making lifelong healthy adjustments to eating habits," professor Ochner said.

Editor's Note: This study does not deal with the concept of your body slowing your metabolism by going into 'starvation mode' to reduce calorie burn during a restricted caloric intake.  The concept is that no matter how your diet is changed, when your caloric intake begins to rise after the diet, your body works to preserve its energy stores by replenishing fat stores and keeping your metabolism in slow mode.

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