Research: Self-monitoring and group support help with weight loss

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Wisely chosen interventions can lead to long-term weight loss.  


We are always looking for the right weight loss intervention.  There are many to choose from but many of them show very little lifelong changes in weight.  Most of them lead to fleeting change that might lead to short rm weight loss but in the long run, most dieters gain all, more or most of the weight back.  The bad news is that lifestyle interventions promote increased physical activity and weight loss often end in relapse to sedentary behavior and weight regain is common.

A new study looked for possible solutions that may increase yoru odds of success.  The researchers analyzed baseline and 24-month data from participants in the Slow the Adverse Vascular Effects study. This study included an 18-month behavioral intervention.  At 24 months, participants completed a survey about lifestyle strategies used in the past 6 months. Physical activity levels were assessed with a questionnaire.  The researchers compared the change in weight, BMI, and physical activity from baseline to 24 months by use of strategies versus no use.  Of the participants, 61% completed the 24 months and 65% used self-monitoring and 67% used group support.  These two inventions resulted in a higher level of physical activity and less weight regain.  Participants who used other behavioral strategies had a significantly greater percent decrease in weight than those who did not.  

The bottom line:  Of the lifestyle strategies used in this study, self-monitoring and group/commercial support may be particularly important in maintaining longer-term weight loss and physical activity levels.  I would recommend all patient consider these types of resources and maintain them.  More research is needed but this is promising.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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