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Day 13: 7 evidence based factors that increase the likelihood of sustained weight loss

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

5% of people who lose weight put it back on within 2 years.

This is a depressing fact. So much hard work for results to just disappear.

Here are 7 research-based factors that are associated with sustained weight loss that may help you:

Factor #1 Exercise

High levels of physical activity — at least 150min/week (preferably 200–300 min/week) moderate intensity exercise that is enjoyable, engaging and split between cardio and resistance/strength training. Note: Frequent very intense exercise can cause adverse effects on mood and immune function so limit to 1–2 times per week.

Factor #2 Nutrition

Low calorie diets, low fat diets, regular breakfast, consistent eating pattern

Factor #3 Behaviours

Frequent weight monitoring, ability to control impulses

Factor #4 Thoughts/attitudes/self-regulation

Satisfaction with results, more positive body image, primary motivation for weight loss is improved health, ability to self regulate unpleasant emotions, little novelty seeking, , perceived control over environment

Factor #5 Health information

Being told early in a program that obesity and overweight is a complex lifelong condition needing long term treatment

Factor #6 External influences

Not feeling pressured or discriminated against due to weight

Factor #7 Support

Long term help from a support group — sharing experiences and challenges online or face to face

I was surprised by the low fat diet but I think this is related to lower calorie and less convenience food intake. I still recommend patients to continue nutritious fat intake, omega 3 from oily fish 2x/week and other polyunsaturated fats from avocados, nuts and seeds for example.

What surprised you?

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