According to a press release published earlier this week, the largest United States weight-loss study demonstrates significant long-term weight loss through Intensive Lifestyle Intervention for weight management. The Look AHEAD Study, which produced these results, is published in the January issue of Obesity, the official journal of The Obesity Society.
Here are some interesting findings and remarks from the press release and an editorial in Obesity:
Weight regain for people treated for obesity/overweight is one of the biggest problems facing efforts to combat the epidemic, and prior research has shown that individuals regain the majority of weight lost within three to five years. Although some weight regain occurred in this study, Look AHEAD’s 8-year trial results stand in contrast to this prior research, with study participants maintaining more than half of their weight loss after 8 years. Further, nearly 40% of participants who lost >-10% of initial weight at year 1 maintained this loss at year 8.
The problem of poor maintenance of lost weight has been one of the greatest challenges associated with lifestyle interventions. The Look AHEAD findings demonstrate that a substantial degree of long-term weight loss is possible. However, the achievement of that outcome appears to require intensive, ongoing care, based on sound behavioral principles.
This success is “likely due to the intensive and comprehensive nature of the lifestyle intervention, and confidence in the study’s findings is underscored by the trial’s excellent rate of retention.”
In addition, weight losses were similar among men and women, and across racial-ethnic subgroups, indicating that all individuals can benefit from an intensive diet and exercise intervention.
“Intensive lifestyle interventions, like Look AHEAD, can be successful for people affected by obesity and overweight across the board, regardless of racial-ethnic background, and can lead to improvements in quality of life, mood, mobility, fitness and reduced need for medication,” continued Dr. Tsai. “The next step is to replicate interventions like Look AHEAD, but at a lower cost and for more people, and to determine which individuals can benefit most.”
Thomas Wadden, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania and author of the new study, is quoted to say that “those who participated in the study ate a well-balanced diet of 1,200 to 1,800 calories per day and increased their physical activity level as part of the ILI” and that “while some people may be able to lose weight and build healthy habits on their own, others benefit from lifestyle counseling by a registered dietitian or other health professional. With long-term data showing that ILI works, weight loss programs in 2014 and beyond will likely center on this type of counseling and group interaction.”
Obviously, metabolic balance, with its emphasis on an individualized well-balanced diet along with intensive support provided through its certified metabolic balance coaches has already demonstrated to deliver results comparable to the Look AHEAD Trial.
Don’t wait for other weight management programs to catch-up with metabolic balance! As a Certified Metabolic Balance Coach don’t hesitate to call me 760-450-4447 to discuss how this individualized nutrition program can help you achieve your ideal weight the natural way.