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3 Weight Loss Essentials According To Research.

A new study conducted by California Polytechnic State University tried to uncover the strategies of people who maintain their drastic weight loss efficiently post their initial success. The paper was published last week in the journal Obesity. 

Researchers surveyed 4,786 former participants of the Weight Watchers program based in New York, who had lost more than 9.1 kg and managed to successfully maintain it for at least 3.3 years. These results were then compared to a control group of 528 obese with stable- weight participants, whose weight did not fluctuate more than 2.3 kg over the last five years. 

A questionnaire to assess 54 behaviors of weight management was given to both groups. The former members of Weight Watchers had scored higher in terms of the goals they set for food intake, daily targets, recording and measuring food while maintaining a positive frame of mind by recalling past successes and being more forgiving of themselves. These behaviors become more intrinsic and easier to implement over time. 

"People who maintained their successful weight loss the longest reported greater frequency and repetition in healthy eating choices," Suzanne Phelan, a kinesiology and public health professor who led the study, said, as quoted in ( the news release.

"Healthier choices also became more automatic the longer people continued to make those choices. These findings are encouraging for those working at weight loss maintenance. Over time, weight loss maintenance may become easier, requiring less intentional effort."

What differentiates a weight-stable obese individual from a person who maintains long-term weight loss goals? The ( three essentials are as follows, as per the findings of the study:

Building a healthy dietary plan

Adopting effective self-monitoring strategy

Developing psychological tenacity

Previous studies analyzing the weight controlling habits of people reported that dietary restraint, low-calorie food, being vigilant about it and strenuous physical activity were the strategies employed. "The current study's results complement these findings, providing specific eating, monitoring, and psychological coping strategies that may be integrated into future treatments to support longaterm maintenance," the ( researchers stated in the study. 

"The key behaviors (among the 54 items assessed in our measure) that emerged as greater among WLMs than controls included keeping lowacalorie foods accessible, setting daily calorie goals, daily recording of calories, and measuring foods," the researchers said. 

"Specific psychological coping strategies included 'thinking about past successes' and 'remaining positive in the face of weight regain.' These strategies may be emphasized in future intervention trial research," the researchers added. 

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Author:Seema Prasad
Publication:Medical Daily
Date:Jan 28, 2020
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