What is the best way to lose weight in the long term: exercise, diet, or pills?  This new study has the answers.

What is the best way to lose weight in the long term: exercise, diet, or pills? This new study has the answers.

Thin individuals, who try to lose weight through exercise, diet, commercial programs and pills, end up gaining weight in the long term, with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes by 24 years as well. In contrast, intentional weight loss in obese people has been found to be generally beneficial, according to a recent study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Obesity is one of the biggest risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that exercise was the most effective strategy for weight loss during the four-year follow-up — with an average weight loss of 4.2 percent in obese individuals, 2.5 percent in overweight individuals and 0.4 percent less. in lean individuals compared to their counterparts who did not attempt to lose weight. Among those who tried commercial programs or diet pills, obese individuals weighed 0.3 percent less, overweight individuals weighed 2 percent more, and lean individuals 3.7 percent more than their counterparts.

What is the effect of weight loss on diabetes?

The researchers looked at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes after 24 years and found that it decreased in obese individuals regardless of the weight loss method that was tried. The risk of developing diabetes was reduced by 21 percent in obese individuals who exercised and 13 percent in those who took diet pills.

For overweight people, the risk of developing diabetes decreased by 9 percent with exercise, but increased by 42 percent in those who took the pills.

In lean people, all weight loss strategies increased the risk of type 2 diabetes. The risk was increased by nine percent in those who lost weight through exercise and 54 percent in those who took birth control pills, according to the study.

“We were somewhat surprised when we first saw the positive associations of attempts at weight loss with faster weight gain and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes among thin individuals. However, we now know that such observations are supported by biology that unfortunately yields results The good news is that obese individuals will clearly benefit from losing a few pounds, and the health benefits will continue even when the loss of weight temporarily.

What does this study mean for India?

With around 77 million people in India living with diabetes – with numbers expected to increase several times in the coming years – should thin individuals stop exercising? “No,” said Dr. Ambrish Mithal, chairman and chief of diabetes and endocrinology at Max Healthcare.

“Everyone, including those with a lower BMI, should continue to exercise regularly to maintain a healthy weight – we tend to gain weight as we age – and be physically fit. What they are not supposed to do is try Losing more weight.

“With more than 80 percent of type 2 diabetes in overweight and obese people, when we talk about diabetes remission now, losing weight is a very important strategy. But we have always emphasized that it cannot be the only strategy for everyone When it comes to diabetes in thin people, it may be due to decreased insulin production rather than cell resistance to it, and then weight loss will not be helpful.”

Sometimes hyper-conscious people, “someone who is thin and has been maintaining HbA1c for years but now wants to get off all the medication,” he said, try to lose weight. “Reversal is not possible for everyone,” he said.

But who should be considered overweight in India? Dr. Mithal and Dr. Anoop Misra, Chair of the Fortis CDOC Diabetes Center agree that a maximum BMI of 25 due to being overweight does not work in India.

“Even leaner Indians have a lot of fat around their belly, so the international limit of BMI of 25 does not work here. I say, people should try to raise their BMI to around 21.5 in order to lose fat stored in the liver,” Dr. Misra said .

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