Do you find yourself caught seesawing between successful diets and regaining the lost pounds once you’ve achieved your goal? Ever wonder why after putting all the effort into losing weight, it seems inevitable that you will pack it right back on?
Turns out the reason could be that your tactics for losing weight need to change when you move on to maintaining your new weight.
A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine by researchers from Penn State University, and elsewhere, examined 36 common weight-control practices and found that only eight were associated with both weight-loss and weight-loss maintenance.
So if you – like me, and millions of others – find yourself back on the lose-it, regain-it seesaw, it could be because you’re not adjusting your approach once you’ve reached your goal.
The researchers found that while eating healthy snacks was a significant factor in weight loss it was not important in maintenance. In addition, eating lots of low-fat sources of protein was not associated with losing weight, but it was a good way to keep off the pounds lost. And while doing lots of different exercises helps people lose weight, following a consistent exercise routine was the way to maintain weight loss.
The researchers based their analysis on a nationwide survey of 1,165 randomly selected American adults.
“It was observed that those who used four practices (eat plenty of low-fat sources of protein, follow a constant exercise routine, reward yourself for sticking to your diet or exercise plan, and remind yourself why you need to control your weight) more often were more likely to be successful in weight-loss maintenance, but not initial weight loss,” the researchers concluded.
As an experienced loser-regainer, I have been trying to keep last year’s weight-loss off and am running into trouble. This study suggests I need to move on from some of the tactics I used to lose the weight in the first place, and focus on practices that are better for maintenance.
Two out of three Americans are overweight or obese, so we clearly need to pay attention to both how we lose weight and how we maintain a healthy weight. If you are looking for a program to help do that, Jefferson’s Comprehensive Weight Management Program is one of the nation’s most successful long-term maintenance programs, with a highly trained medical staff that will work with you to devise a customized plan for a healthier and more active lifestyle.