It sounds like another falsely promising come-on for weight loss, but it’s reported by one of the most reliable health and fitness writers around: the New York Times‘ Gretchen Reynolds. Reynolds tells us about a new study, published in March in The Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, showing that just four days of intense exercise and minimal calorie intake can take off pounds in a way that keeps them off for months. Here, read this: “Researchers in Spain and Sweden had 15 healthy but overweight Swedish men restrict their calories to about 360 a day, a reduction of approximately 1,800 calories. What calories they did ingest came in liquid form: Some men drank mostly sugary carbohydrates, others a high-protein drink. The men also exercised — a lot. Their days began with 45 minutes of cranking an arm-pedaling machine for an upper-body workout. Then, as a group, the men strolled for eight hours across the Swedish countryside, with only a 10-minute break every hour. They were allowed as much of a low-calorie, sports-type beverage as they wanted during their walks.” After four days, Reynolds reports, the men had each lost almost 11 pounds. Wait, there’s more. A month later, most had lost another two pounds, and a full year later the men still weighed five pounds less than they did before the grueling experiment. Read more in the New York Times.