The secrets to weight loss revealed in a study of people who stuck it out for years


Losing weight is one thing, but keeping it off is an even bigger challenge, which is why a new study has examined those who were able to repel it.[itoff[itoff

US researchers analyzed how people managed to maintain their weight over the long term, given that only one in five Americans is able to maintain their weight.

The large-scale study included 6,319 people who lost an average of 50 pounds (3.57 stones, or nearly 23 kg) and maintained the weight loss for an average of nearly 3.5 years.

Findings from the peer-reviewed study showed how people managed to maintain their weight loss.

Respondents shared how they weather setbacks, actually reframing “failures” at weight loss as temporary breaks.

The California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) study was published Feb. 9 in the medical journal entitled obesity.

How did you maintain the weight loss?

Back of woman running, sunrise, sun flare, rural landscape, foggy.

Respondents were all WW members, formerly known as Weight Watchers, and were openly asked about their motivations, strategies and lifestyle changes.

Perseverance, comparisons to their life before the weight loss, and a continued focus on health were three common themes.

Their motivation for maintaining the weight was broken down into five main reasons:

  • Health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease
  • mobility
  • The appearance
  • Social reasons, including comments from friends and family
  • Changes required, such as B. Feeling tired before weight loss

Her advice for long-term weight loss emphasized persistence and monitoring the food you eat as “an essential skill within a healthy lifestyle.”

Respondents encouraged others to “take it day by day,” use meetings to refocus after tough weeks, and set long-term goals.

“One of the most impressive findings was how people who lose weight describe perseverance in the face of setbacks,” noted Cal Poly professor Suzanne Phelan, who led the study.

“Weight loss coaches saw setbacks as part of their successful journey. Setbacks were not labeled as failures.

“They were seen as a temporary interruption in their path.

She added, “Many people who want to lose weight describe getting back on track the next meal or the next day and measuring overall success against long-term goals.”

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What were the motivations, changes and consequences of long-term weight loss?

The study also showed that people who lose weight do the following:

  • Stay motivated primarily by health and looks, and reflect on past experiences
  • Believe that the most important changes include less pain, medical condition, self-confidence, feeling more relaxed and comfortable mentally and physically, fitness and body image
  • Describe the consequences of successful weight loss in terms of challenges related to: the cost of buying new clothes, unexpected criticism from others, sagging skin, and the effort required to maintain a healthy lifestyle

Prof Phelan said the findings could change the way professionals help people maintain their weight loss.

“As a lifestyle interventionist and researcher, I look forward to thinking about how to encourage endurance, encourage tracking of intake, and make health status changes more evident during weight loss,” she said.


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