Simple advice can reduce the risk of weight regain after a
    very-low-energy diet: the secret to keeping the weight off is to switch
    back to normal food gradually, reveals a dissertation from the
    Sahlgrenska Academy, at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, which
    also contains new research results for patients who have undergone obesity surgery.

    For 12 weeks a group of just over 260 patients swapped their normal
    food for a very-low-energy diet in the form of soups and milkshakes. 169 of the patients lost a lot of weight, averaging 16% of
    their body weight.
    They were then divided into two groups so that they could switch back
    at different rates from the very-low-energy diet to energy reduced
    portions of normal food. One group completed the refeeding in a week,
    while the other took six weeks.

    "After ten months the patients with the six-week refeeding period had
    gained four percent in weight from their minimum weight, while the
    patients with the one-week refeeding period had gained eight percent,"
    says Lena Gripeteg, researcher at the Sahlgrenska Academy.

    Very-low-energy diets have been used for many years in the health
    service to achieve rapid and safe weight loss in obese patients. While
    this treatment method is well-studied, there is a risk that patients
    will gain weight when they start to eat normal food again.



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