One-year behavioral treatment of obesity: comparison of moderate and severe caloric restriction and the effects of weight maintenance therapy

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1994 Feb;62(1):165-71. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.62.1.165.


This study compared the weight losses of 49 obese women randomly assigned to a 52-week behavioral program combined with either moderate or severe caloric restriction. Subjects in the balanced deficit diet (BDD) condition were prescribed a 1,200-kcal/day diet throughout treatment, and those in the very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) condition were given a 420-kcal/day liquid diet for 16 weeks and a 1,200-kcal/day diet thereafter. The VLCD subjects lost significantly more weight than the BDD subjects at all periods through Week 26, at which time mean losses were 21.45 and 11.86 kg, respectively. VLCD subjects, however, regained weight during the next 26 weeks of weekly therapy and during a 26-week weight maintenance program that provided biweekly meetings. Mean weight losses at the end of the maintenance program were 10.94 and 12.18 kg, respectively. Reports of binge eating declined in both groups, and no relationship was observed between binge eating and weight loss or attrition.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behavior Therapy*
  • Body Weight*
  • Diet Therapy
  • Energy Intake*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / therapy*
  • Weight Loss