Predicting Long-term Weight Loss success and what research Tells us

By Ange

The definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over and expecting a different results... unfortunately we tend to do this when we are trying to lose weight. 

As this is the last week of our 8 week reboot challenge, where weight loss has been a main goal, I thought it might be worthwhile going over the hard stats when it comes to long-term weight loss success. 

Here is the reality up to 35% of weight lost in an intervention will be regained after 1-year, and by 5-years practically all – or a majority – of weight lost will have been regained… EKKKKK!

You are probably wondering… what hope exists for you then? How do you avoid becoming a statistic?

Glad you asked…

There are a couple of ‘predictors’ for someone’s ability to have long-term success (over a year) in being able to keep weight off. 

1. The duration of time spent in maintenance. 

The longer you are able to maintain your new, lighter body weight, the less likely you are to regain it. In studies the significant time frame indicated is 2-5 years. 2-5 years is a LONG time, remember this when you are changing habits during your diet. If you want to keep off the weight, you are looking for lifestyle change!

2. The rate of weight loss seems irrelevant in long-term success. 

The stats indicate that ‘35% of weight will be regained after 1-year”. If you had rapid and higher weight loss, this may end up being equivillient to 35% of someone who had less to loose to start with. I.e if you lost 10 kg, you may regain 3.5kg in comparison to someone who lost 4 kg who regains 1.4.

3. Post diet follow up and behavioural therapy reduces weight gain. 

Studies indicate that trials that include ongoing support and education are more likely to be beneficial in helping subject re-gain less weight.

4. An intervention strategy that takes into account the multifactorial behaviours that cause weight gain, maintenance and loss. 

Studies indicate someone is more likely to have long-term success if the strategy they use in the first place focuses on BEHAVIOUR change. 

When we think about behaviours we can broadly place them into two categories, adverse (likely to cause weight regain) or positive (likely to promote maintenance). 

Some adverse behaviour with strong predictive correlation to weight re-gain:

  • Disinhibited eating
  • Restrained eating
  • Depression
  • Binge eating
  • Frequency of number of previous attempts at intentional weight loss

Some positively associated behaviours to weight loss maintenance:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Less screen time
  • Fewer intentional weight loss episodes
  • Greater time spent in maintenance
  • Less dietary restraint
  • Frequency of self-weighing in association with higher self-motivation

I hope that this information has given you something to consider, especially if you are about to wrap up an 8 week challenge and want to hold on to your well earned gains. Remember habit formation is KEY! All the habits that helped you achieve success are the same habits you need to stick to in the long run. 

Don’t forget that we offer Inbody scans to our members throughout the year. The cost in $40 per scan which is included in our W Squad unlimited membership. 

Have you been following Ange's 8-week Journey?

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Our founder

Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.

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