Why do many dieters reach their weight goal, just to eventually regain it all and more?
"The problem is that with most traditional diets, the behaviors that help people lose weight aren't the same as those that help them maintain their new body," say Dian Griesel, Ph.D. and Tom Griesel, co-authors of the book "TurboCharged: Accelerate Your Fat Burning Metabolism, Get Lean Fast and Leave Diet and Exercise Rules in the Dust."
This idea is supported by research from Dr. Christopher Sciamanna of Penn State University. His team analyzed whether two distinct sets of thought patterns and behaviors are associated with initial weight-loss, defined as losing 10 percent of your body weight in one year, compared with long-term weight management, which is maintaining the loss for at least one year.
The Penn State researchers conducted a random phone survey of 1,165 adults, and they found little similarity between how people lose weight and how they maintain a weight loss.
People who followed a consistent exercise routine and/or ate plenty of low-fat sources of protein were more likely to be successful in weight maintenance but not weight loss. Those who did different kinds of exercises or meal planning were more likely to lose weight but not maintain the loss.
They observed that the strategies associated only with weight-loss included participating in a diet program, looking for information about weight-loss, nutrition or exercise, limiting sugar intake, planning meals beforehand, avoiding skipped meals and thinking about how much better you feel when you are thinner.
However, the strategies associated only with weight-loss maintenance included eating plenty of low-fat protein, following a consistent exercise routine, rewarding yourself for sticking to your eating plan and reminding yourself why you need to control your weight.
So what is the answer? According to the Griesels, "Focusing on optimal health and losing excess body fat along with improving your body composition, not simply 'weight loss' must be the first objective of any diet. Whenever the short-term and long-term method and goal are not the same, failure and frustration are right around the corner."
The Penn State study findings were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
--From the Editors at Netscape