The real work begins after the diet ends, but that’s not something you often hear discussed. Despite best efforts, a significant portion of those who have lost weight will regain it within the following seven years. Don’t give up just yet, though; a closer look reveals what you need to know to make that weight loss permanent.
Researchers at the University of Colorado studied groups of people who had maintained their weight loss and found common trends. The biggest factor in maintaining weight loss was based on how much activity the people received after the weight loss occurred. Those people who maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for one year relied mostly on the amount of physical activity they got rather than a continued restriction of calories.
Most of the people who successfully kept the weight off simply moved more, some of them reaching 12,000 steps per day. Even when compared to people who were a normal body weight but did not recently lose weight to get to that normal weight, those who were striving to maintain their weight loss got in more steps per day.
The technique used in this study is believed to be one of the most accurate ways of testing energy expenditures and did not rely on activity monitors which can be faulty. Instead, energy expenditure was calculated from analysis of urine samples from the participants who were given a type of water called “doubly labeled water” which enabled the most effective measurements of metabolic activity.
To keep weight lost off for good, physical activity is the way to go.
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. “Exercise is more critical than diet to maintain weight loss: Physical activity helps to prevent weight regain when previously overweight.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 March 2019. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190329130227