4 Days, 11 Pounds

The key to losing weight seems simple: reduce calories and increase activity. But even when we lose weight, it reappears soon after. Time and time again we regain what we have lost. But now a study shows that it is possible to lose 11 pounds in four days and keep it off. The study contradicts the traditional view that weight loss should be gradual. 

Fifteen healthy men exercised vigorously for 4 days, while restricting their calorie intake by 1800 a day. Their calories consisted of liquids in the form of sugary carbohydrates or high protein drinks. The exercise routine began with a 45 minute upper body workout on an arm-pedaling machine, followed by an eight hour walk with a ten minute break each hour. They were allowed to consume as much as they wanted of a low-calorie, sports beverage. 

Andrew Heiberger says that after 4 days of this routine, the subjects had lost almost 11 pounds, coming from a combination of body fat and muscle mass. The amazing thing is that when they returned in a month, most had lost another two pounds of fat. A year after the experiment,their weight was still down by 5 pounds. A possible explanation is that the subjects, inspired by the results, continued to eat less and exercise more. Such a draconian routine is not recommended for most people, but it is amazing what the human body can achieve. 

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