Long-term weight status in regainers after weight loss by lifestyle intervention: status and challenges

Proc Nutr Soc. 2014 Nov;73(4):509-18. doi: 10.1017/S0029665114000718. Epub 2014 Sep 5.


After having participated in a weight loss trial, most participants do not stabilise the obtained weight loss but return to their initial weight. The aim of this review is to describe the main determinants of continued low weight status after weight loss, and the effectiveness of physical activity (PA), energy restriction and macronutrient composition of the diet for low long-term weight regain. Studies with intervention periods of at least 3 months duration of weight reduction measures and a follow-up at least 2 years after the intervention period were considered as eligible for the review. Owing to limited data, the studies describing the role of PA in weight management were eligible with a follow-up of 1 year only. It appears that a diet with self-regulation of dietary intake seems to be given a prominent role in the strategy of successful long-term weight loss among the obese. This measure could be combined with behaviour therapy and PA and tailored to the individual situation. However, considering available evidence it is difficult to conclude regarding unambiguous measures and to recommend a specific dietary intervention. Nevertheless, interventions should be effective in promoting intrinsic motivation and self-efficacy. The harmonisation and standardisation of data collection in the follow-up period of long-term weight loss studies is a major challenge.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Body Weight*
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Energy Intake
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Motor Activity
  • Obesity / therapy
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Weight Gain*
  • Weight Loss*