Long-term Weight Loss Maintenance

Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Jul;82(1 Suppl):222S-225S. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/82.1.222S.

Abstract

There is a general perception that almost no one succeeds in long-term maintenance of weight loss. However, research has shown that approximately 20% of overweight individuals are successful at long-term weight loss when defined as losing at least 10% of initial body weight and maintaining the loss for at least 1 y. The National Weight Control Registry provides information about the strategies used by successful weight loss maintainers to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. National Weight Control Registry members have lost an average of 33 kg and maintained the loss for more than 5 y. To maintain their weight loss, members report engaging in high levels of physical activity ( approximately 1 h/d), eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet, eating breakfast regularly, self-monitoring weight, and maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends. Moreover, weight loss maintenance may get easier over time; after individuals have successfully maintained their weight loss for 2-5 y, the chance of longer-term success greatly increases. Continued adherence to diet and exercise strategies, low levels of depression and disinhibition, and medical triggers for weight loss are also associated with long-term success. National Weight Control Registry members provide evidence that long-term weight loss maintenance is possible and help identify the specific approaches associated with long-term success.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Body Mass Index
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet, Reducing
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / diet therapy*
  • Obesity / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Time Factors
  • Weight Gain*
  • Weight Loss*