Maintaining Weight Loss: A major challenge

Over the past 20 years, the percentage of overweight and obese Australians has risen, with an estimated 70 percent of men and 43 percent of women between the age of 35 to 44 considered overweight. Approximately 20 percent of Australian adults are able to lose and maintain at least 10 percent of their body weight for at least one year, but each weight loss attempt is relatively unsuccessful. Approximately one third of weight loss is regained in one year, and the remainder is typically regained within 3 to 5 years. Although much is known regarding how to lose weight, little is known on how to maintain it. For this reason, it should be considered that the practices that lead to weight loss are not necessarily the practices that support weight loss maintenance. Researchers have recently looked at the practices that are conducive to weight loss maintenance, suggesting that intake of quality protein, consistent exercise routines, use of ongoing rewards for sticking to a diet or exercise regime, and reminding yourself as to why you need to lose/control your weight is of great benefit to weight loss maintenance, but not initial weight loss. Although the science points to these four practices as effective strategies in weight loss maintenance, it has been my experience in speaking to clients wanting to lose weight that there are often deeper issues that need to be devulged and healed, before the weight can be released. Hence, it is not my recommendation to lose weight quickly, for me it is the slow progression of being able to introduce strategies over a period of time with increasing ease, which improves overall health and in the process shifts weight. Remember it is lifestyle change, not a 21 week plan.

Sciamanna, C., Kiernan, M., Rolls, B.J., Boan, J., Stuckey, H., Kephart, D., Miller, C., Jensen, G., Hartmann, T., Loken, E., Hwang, K.O., Williams, R.J., Clark, M.A., Schubart, J.R., Nezu, A.M., Lehman, E. & Dellasega, C. 2011. Practices associated with weight loss versus weight-loss maintenance: results of a national survey. 41, 2, 159-166.

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