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Total Diet Replacement, Medicine, Exercise, and Sustained Habits Provide Lasting Weight Loss
Weight loss

Total Diet Replacement, Medicine, Exercise, and Sustained Habits Provide Lasting Weight Loss

A new Danish study analyzed 109 individuals with severe obesity, whose BMI ranged from 32 to 43. All participants completed all phases of the study, providing a solid and consistent participant group from which conclusions could be drawn.

Initially, everyone was placed on a low-calorie diet (800 Kcal, specifically Total Diet Replacement/VLCD) for 8 weeks, where they lost an average of 13.1 kg.

Subsequently, the participants were randomly divided into four groups, each with their own strategy for maintaining weight loss over a year.

The results from this study highlight the importance of an effective and economically advantageous approach to weight loss, especially in the initial phase (0-8 weeks). By implementing a low-calorie diet of 800 Kcal, participants achieved significant weight loss results, serving as a strong motivational factor to continue a healthier lifestyle and weight loss journey. The study emphasizes the importance of a combination of healthy diet, exercise, and sustained healthy habits for achieving and maintaining lasting weight loss.

Investigation of Weight Loss Strategies: The Effect of Different Intervention Methods on Weight Loss Maintenance

During the intervention phase, participants were randomly assigned to either exercise, medicine - liraglutide 3 mg/Saxenda, a combination of both, or placebo. Participants were closely monitored to record their weight loss and health parameters.

After the intervention phase, a follow-up period of one year was conducted without any further treatment. This allowed researchers to evaluate how participants maintained their weight loss and any changes in health parameters without treatment.

Post-Treatment Analysis: Participants who lost at least 5% of their initial weight loss were then randomly selected. After a year, they were invited back to the University of Copenhagen for follow-up, of which 2/3 of the participants (109 people) agreed to participate. The subsequent post-treatment analysis compared the results from the different intervention groups to determine which method was most effective at maintaining healthy weight loss over time.

What do the Results Reveal? Analysis and Effect of Weight Loss Methods

Participants were randomly divided into four groups, each assigned a specific strategy to maintain their achieved weight loss over the following year:

  • One group continued with their usual level of physical activity.
  • Another group received active medication - liraglutide 3 mg/Saxenda.
  • A third group followed a supervised exercise program, which included twice-weekly high-intensity training and two additional weekly training sessions on their own, monitored using a heart rate monitor.
  • The fourth group combined both active medication and the supervised exercise program.

The analysis showed that participants who received a combination of exercise and weight loss medication achieved the most sustained weight reduction and health improvements compared to other treatment groups.

Participants who combined training and medication had an average weight gain of 3 kg a year after completing treatment. A possible reason for the smaller weight gain in this group could be their ability to better moderate their food intake.

On the other hand, participants who only received medication experienced a rapid weight gain of 10.5 kg once treatment stopped. These participants regained up to 70% of the lost weight in pure fat mass, meaning they returned to or even exceeded their initial condition.

It's worth noting that the effect of the first phase with 8 weeks of intervention showed the greatest weight loss, with all participants losing an average of 13.1 kg. This was achieved through a low-calorie diet, such as Total Diet Replacement/VLCD, indicating that this approach can also be a more effective and economically viable solution.

The importance lies in changing diet and exercise habits when starting medical treatment for severe obesity. If no further changes are made beyond the medication, it can result in a return to previous weight conditions or even a deterioration.


Sources: (2024) Healthy weight loss maintenance with exercise, GLP-1 receptor agonist, or both combined followed by one year without treatment: a post-treatment analysis of a randomized placebo-controlled trial.

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