Losing Weight Consistently May Lead to Long Term, Sustainable Weight Loss
When losing weight, the key may be consistency. A recent study suggests that consistently losing the same amount of weight every week leads to long-term weight loss, when compared to those whose weight loss fluctuated.
Participants in the study included 183 people who were overweight or obese and enrolled in a year-long weight loss program. The program included meal replacements and behavioral goals, including self-monitoring, calorie-monitoring, and increased physical activity. All of the participants took part in a weekly treatment group, during which they were weighed, and then came for a final weigh-in two years after the end of the program. Additionally, participants reported on food-related behaviors, including cravings, emotional eating, binge eating, and confidence in regulating intake.
After examining the data, the researchers found that the participants whose weight fluctuated most in the first six and 12 weeks of treatment were more likely to have issues with long-term weight control at 12 and 24 months. Losing the same amount of weight consistently over that time period was associated with better outcomes in the longer term.
The researchers also found that participants who had fewer issues with emotional eating, binge eating, and preoccupation with food at the onset of the study had higher weight variability and less weight loss overall.
Researchers from Drexel University conducted the study. It was published on August 28, 2017, in the journal Obesity.
Losing weight has been linked to a number of health benefits, including improving sleep quality, better mood, improved sex drive, decreased joint pain, and decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.