In a recent study published in Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers explore how behavioural interventions influence weight loss maintenance. The results indicate that individuals who participate in behavioural interventions that were specific to weight loss maintenance kept the weight off better than those who received traditional interventions.
Weight loss maintenance is a key component to weight loss that is often times overlooked. It has been predicted that individuals who adjust their behaviours in order to maintain their weight after weight loss may keep the weight off better than those who do not.
In a novel study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, researchers randomly assigned a cohort of 504 participants to either the maintenance or usual care conditions. In the maintenance condition, participants were taught skills that transitioned them from weight loss initiation skills to weight loss maintenance skills. This reduced the number of in-person support sessions, supplementing these sessions with phone calls. Participants in the usual care condition did not receive any further interventions once their weight loss program was complete. Participant weight was followed up at 52 weeks after weight loss program completion.
The results of the study showed that participants in the maintenance condition were better at maintaining their post-weight loss weight after 52 weeks than those who were in the usual care condition.
These results can have implications in the development of long-term weight loss maintenance programs. The researchers suggest the reducing in-person support sessions, and emphasizing behavioural changes from weight loss initiation to weight loss maintenance may be essential to devise feasible and effective methods in helping patients maintain their goal weight.
Written By: Nicole Pinto, HBSc