How to prevent weight regain after weight loss

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Weight regain following weight loss is a frequent problem that people with obesity face.

This problem is often caused by the lack of compliance with appropriate food habits and exercise.

In a study from California Polytechnic State University, scientists found that although weight regaining over time is common, there are effective strategies to recover from weight regain.

They surveyed thousands of participants in the WW (WeightWatchers) program.

About 2,500 WW members who lost an average of 57.9 pounds and kept it off for more than 3.5 years were examined.

These people had lost 20 or more pounds and kept it off for at least a year.

Long-term weight-loss maintainers who responded to the survey were designated into three groups: 48% who maintained weight loss (described as “Stable”); 29% reported gains and losses (“Gain-Lose”); and 23% reported gradual regain (“Gain”).

The majority of participants (94.9%) were female with an average age of 60 years. Participants ranged from 49 to 71 years old.

The team found people who successfully maintained weight loss: resumed weight loss efforts responsively after showing limited gains; frequently self-monitored, and used coping and problem-solving skills to get back on track.

In comparison to those in the Gain group, the Gain-Lose participants engaged in the following behaviors:

Resumed weight-loss efforts after a smaller amount of regain (less than 8 pounds);

Sustained weight-loss efforts longer (16 weeks in Gain-Lose versus 10 weeks among the Gain group);

Engaged in more frequent self-weighing, self-monitoring, and healthy dietary choices;

Used more psychological coping mechanisms, such as self-reinforcement, problem-solving, and restructuring of negative thoughts.

The team found setbacks are inevitable along the journey but implementing helpful thinking styles can help people get back on track.

They say weight regains is inevitable along the journey, and the path to long-term success is not a straight line.

Results from this study showed that those who resumed their weight loss began efforts after smaller weight regains.

Findings also reinforced that building helpful thinking styles and healthy habits along the way can help fuel the journey.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies that overweight, not high blood sugar, is linked to a higher risk of COVID-19, and a keto diet for weight loss can cause flu-like symptoms.

For more information about weight loss, please see recent studies about exercises that could prevent weight gain despite ‘obesity genes’, and results showing 5 things to avoid if you want to lose weight successfully.

The study was conducted by Jacqueline F. Hayes et al and published in Obesity.

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