Have you lost weight and want to avoid regaining it?

Have you lost weight and want to keep it off? Avoiding regaining weight is not easy, and it turns out that people need strategies to control their own behaviour when it comes to food intake and dealing with impulses and cues.

2018.08.06 | Merete Elmann

Maintaining weight loss over time is difficult. Different activities related to food intake can challenge weight loss maintenance, such as planning, shopping, storing and cooking food, and dealing with impulses, cues, and social norms in relation to eating. By studying how people, who successfully has maintained weight loss for a shorter or a longer period, manage their food intake, we can learn more about the challenges people face in weight loss maintenance.

According to this study, short- and long-term weight loss maintainers had different strategies to regulate their food intake while maintaining their weight loss. Those who had maintained their weight loss for a shorter time (less than a year) often displayed a ‘weight loss mind-set’, had less flexibility, planned more and focused on avoiding certain behaviours and situations that could jeopardize their weight loss maintenance such as attending a buffet or social gathering involving eating.

On the other hand, those who had maintained their weight loss for a longer period (more than 12 months) had formed routines that allowed them to be more flexible, but also provided them with stronger self-control when buying and storing food and eating at social gatherings.

Given these results, people who have lost weight need support to keep the weight off. Support should include ways to self-regulate activities related to food intake and dealing with impulses and cues. Helping people to understand that food intake is more than merely eating, people might be better able to find strategies or combinations of strategies that help them as individuals to maintain their weight loss.

For more infomation on this study please contact Assistant Professor Susanne Pedersen

Receive a free copy of this article

Research news