The present study was designed to evaluate the 3 year effects of a lifestyle intervention on weight loss and maintenance, dietary, and physical activity habits and eating behavior of patients following vertical banded gastroplasty (VBG). Thirty severely obese female volunteers were included in the study and they were randomly assigned to one of two intervention groups: usual care (UC) or lifestyle intervention (LS) group. Patients were followed for 3 years postoperatively. Outcome measures included weight loss, dietary habits, physical activity level (PAL), and eating behavior changes. Weight was significantly lower in the LS group after 12 months (84.4 +/- 3.9 kg vs. 98.4 +/- 4.4 kg, P < 0.05), 24 months (83.0 +/- 3.3 vs. 101.9 +/- 5.3 kg, P < 0.05), and 36 months following surgery (84.2 +/- 3.3 vs. 102.5 +/- 3.5 kg, P < 0.05). Repeated measures ANOVA revealed significant differences between the two groups overall and at specific time points for the PAL and TV viewing. With regard to eating behavior, the LS group scored significantly better in total Dutch Eating Behavior Questionnaire (DEBQ), Restraint Eating and External Eating scales at all postoperative time points. Similarly, significant differences were found between the two groups in dietary intake. These findings outline the importance of lifestyle intervention on weight loss and maintenance following bariatric surgery. The favorable effects of lifestyle intervention may be through adoption of healthier eating behaviors and increased physical activity.