Research has shown that short-term weight loss utilizing a variety of approaches can be successful, yet more than 80% of successful individuals experience weight regain after 1 year and 85% after 2 years and over 95% after 3 years .
Majority of weight re-gainers gain more weight following successful short-term weight loss than they lost while dieting. Conversely, successful weight loss maintainers who have managed to maintain their weight loss for over 2 years are also more likely to maintain their weight loss over the subsequent 5 to 10 years.
The first part of any diet or weight loss plan many people will find is the easy part, this is when the weight comes off and motivation is higher. Then it gets progressively harder- results slow down, hunger may kick in, effort goes up which leads many people to go back to old habits and give up. We see a lot of before and after pics in the media and social media of say 6/10/12 week weight loss stories giving the impression weight loss is easy- but rarely see a year or so down the line. We can remember they early successes of our own weight loss and these before and after pics giving the impression weight loss is easy but wondering why they cannot sustain it.
What strategies are used by individuals who have achieved sustained weight loss?
Spreckley et al systematically evaluated qualitative studies focusing on the accounts of individuals who have achieved sustained weight loss to create a comprehensive picture of the experience of sustainable weight loss. They analysed the experiences, challenges and strategies utilized by successful weight loss maintainers with the objective to gain comprehensive insights based on personal accounts.
Themes that emerged frequently centred around the importance of continuous monitoring and personalized, continuously evolving goal setting. This was driven by sustained motivation, often fuelled by encouraging experiences, while resisting challenges and enduring potentially discouraging experiences.
IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE
Having the chance to experience a reinvention of themselves within previously inaccessible communities and creating a new identity was seen as profoundly motivating.
Participants spoke of having a second chance in life and were fearful of losing this opportunity. Thus, the fear of regain was ever present for a significant number of participants.
Jamie Miller- Personal Trainer
UK Fitness Personal Training
FITNESS, NUTRITION & PERSONAL TRAINING