Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that "this study highlights the importance of not just losing weight, but the need to develop effective and enduring strategies so that this weight loss can be successfully maintained long term."
Another expert advises taking a lifestyle approach to dieting.
"This small study is a great example of why we need to avoid fad diets and diet programs, potions and pills that promise quick weight loss," said Samantha Heller, an exercise physiologist and clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Conn.
Most people regain the weight within five years, she said. "This study indicates that regaining as little as five pounds can spell cardiometabolic trouble, especially for postmenopausal women," Heller said.
People should be focusing on being healthy, not skinny, she said, and they should create strategies for reaching and maintaining a healthy weight throughout their lifetime.
"The roller coaster of weight loss and regain is deleterious both physically and psychologically," Heller said.
"While it can be frustrating to take the slower, healthier route to weight loss, the long-term results are ultimately more satisfying and healthier," she said. "Start with simple changes such as swapping seltzer for soda, keeping a daily food record, adding a salad to lunch and substituting a second vegetable for half the starch at dinner."
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