Behavioral strategies of individuals who have maintained long-term weight losses

Academic Article


  • Objective: The purpose of the present study was to compare the behaviors of individuals who have achieved long-term weight loss maintenance with those of regainers and weight-stable controls. Research Methods and Procedures: Subjects for the present study were participants in a random-digit dial telephone survey that used a representative sample of the U.S. adult population. Eating, exercise, self-weighing, and dietary restraint characteristics were compared among weight-loss maintainers: individuals who had intentionally lost ≥10% of their weight and maintained it for ≥1 year (n = 69), weight-loss regainers: individuals who intentionally lost ≥10% of their weight but had not maintained it (n = 56), and weight-stable controls: individuals who had never lost ≥10% of their maximum weight and had maintained their current weight (±10 pounds) within the past 5 years (n= 113). Results: Weight-loss maintainers had lost an average of 37 pounds and maintained it for over 7 years. These individuals reported that they currently used more behavioral strategies to control dietary fat intake, have higher levels of physical activity (especially strenuous activity), and greater frequency of self-weighing than either the weight-loss regainers or weight-stable controls. Maintainers and regainers did not differ in reported levels of dietary restraint, but both had higher levels of restraint than the weight-stable controls. Discussion: These results suggest that weight-loss maintainers use more behavioral strategies to control their weight than either regainers or weight-stable controls. It would thus appear that long-term weight maintenance requires ongoing adherence to a low-fat diet and an exercise regimen in addition to continued attention to body weight. Copyright © 1999 NAASO.
  • Authors

    Author List

  • McGnire MT; Wing RR; Klein ML; Hill JO
  • Start Page

  • 334
  • End Page

  • 341
  • Volume

  • 7
  • Issue

  • 4