After weight loss, new approach needed for maintenance

Learning new tactics important for maintaining weight loss

When it comes to weight loss; then keeping the pounds off, two different approaches are needed. Researchers suggest few weight loss programs help dieters transition into the weight maintenance phase that has little in common with weight loss patterns of behavior.

Christopher Sciamanna, M.D. and research colleagues looked at what it takes to lose weight and then beyond to see if behaviors and thought patterns differ during dieting and when trying to maintain weight loss.

“No one announces to a dieter, ‘You’re moving into the weight-maintenance stage. You’ll have to do things differently”, says Sciamanna, but that’s exactly what the researchers found.

The study authors write, “Approximately one third of weight lost is regained within 1 year, and the remainder is typically regained within 3 to 5 years.” In the study, they found two distinct sets of skills among dieters who keep weight off and those who regain.

Sciamanna, a professor of medicine and public health sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine, suggests it’s important for weight loss programs to guide individuals through both phases, with explicit instructions.

For their study, which appears in the August issue of American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the research team conducted telephonic surveys of 1,165 adults, Weight loss success was defined as shedding 30 pounds and keeping it off for a year.

The participants were asked to identify 36 practices for successful weight loss and maintenance.

The research identified fourteen practices that were associated with weight loss and weight maintenance, but the two did not overlap.

Lawrence Cheskin, M.D., director of the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who did not participate in the study, said,

“We do often tell patients about the different skills that are needed and the different approaches to take to achieve weight loss and weight maintenance. This work adds substance to that general statement.”

He also explains some people eat only what’s on their diet while others aren’t at all careful.

“Maintenance requires something in between. This research could have implications for what we should emphasize when we are trying to help people lose versus maintain their weight.”

Practices linked to successful weight loss include: Joining a weight loss program, researching food labels for nutritional content, finding healthy snacks, limiting sugar in food and drinks, never skip a meal, map out meal plans, think thin, and perform consistent and enjoyable exercises.

The researchers explain to keep weight off: Eat low fat protein from multiple sources, exercise consistently, reward yourself for sticking-to-it, and remind yourself of the benefits of staying thinner.

Sciamanna explains in a phone interview with EmaxHealth that finding ways for self- motivation, such as stepping on the scale daily, looking at old pictures or anything that works on an individual basis can help dieters keep weight off.

He also emphasizes there is no one thing that can ensure weight loss maintenance and that it takes a combination of eating the right foods, exercising, planning and focus, in addition to self-motivation.

Sciamanna adds that recognizing two different approaches are needed for weight loss and then maintenance is an essential finding from the study, which should also be a focus of weight loss programs.

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Controlling Food Portions for Weight Loss

When I was a youngster my family owned a restaurant for a period of time.  That’s when I first learned about portion control. Portion control is important in the restaurant business to maintain product consistency and costs.

That’s as true today as it was back then. But today it seems that everyone feels that bigger is better. There’s a mega-biggy everything, especially at the fast food places.

And when did the all you can eat buffet start? They didn’t exist way back when. You just got to pig out at the buffet so you get your moneys worth.

The bombardment of advertisements has given a lot of us a warped sense of exactly what a serving should be. Instead of portion control we have portion “out” of control.

Just learning what a serving should be is a great first step for you if you’re beginning a weight management program.  Eating smaller portions of the same food you’ve always been eating may be the best “baby step” to take in order to lose weight.

What Counts as a Serving?

Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group
1 slice bread
1/2 hamburger roll, bagel or English muffin
6-inch tortilla or 4-inch pancake
1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, barley, bulgur
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal, grits
1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal
3-4 small crackers

Vegetable Group
1/2 cup chopped raw vegetables
1 cup leafy raw vegetables
1/2 cup cooked vegetables
1/2 cup cooked legumes (beans, peas, lentils)
3/4 cup vegetable juice

Fruit Group
1 medium fruit (apple, orange, banana)
1/2 grapefruit, mango, papaya
3/4 cup juice
1/2 cup berries or cut-up fruit
1/2 cup canned, frozen, or cooked fruit
1/4 cup dried fruit

Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group
1 cup milk
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup dry milk
1 1/2 ounces natural cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 ounces processed cheese

Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts Group
one serving = 2-3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (4 ounces raw = 3 ounces cooked) This is about the size of a deck of cards or an audio tape.

1 ounce meat = 1/2 cup cooked lentils, peas or dry beans;
1 egg; 2 tablespoons peanut butter; 1/3 cup nuts; or 4 ounces tofu

All of the above serving sizes are for reference. You might not actually eat only 3 ounces of meat at a meal. But if you eat six ounces you know you’ve had two servings.

If you would like to get started on your own portion control program it would be a good idea to actually measure or weigh foods initially. After a while you’ll be a good enough judge of servings that you can just “eyeball”.

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Double Weight Loss By Writing Food Diary

Earlier this month eMaxHealth conducted a weight loss poll asking Do You Think Keeping A Food Diary Could Improve Weight Loss? Out of 553 responders 74 percent believed that yes, writing a food diary can improve weight loss. Now a new study, released by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research shows that food diary not only improves weight loss, but doubles the amount that we can lose weight.

This study found that the best predictors of weight loss were how frequently food diaries were kept and how many support sessions the participants attended. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.

The Kaiser study is important because the findings are from one of the largest and longest running weight loss maintenance trials ever conducted. This is one of a few trials to recruit a large percentage of African Americans as study participants (44 percent), significant because African Americans have a higher risk of conditions aggravated by being overweight, including diabetes and heart disease. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.

The study was coordinated by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and involved participants and co-authors from Duke University Medical Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Johns Hopkins University.

While one commentator at eMaxHealth has written that he doubts that many people will be honest in writing their food diaries, another person writes “I totally agree that a food diary helps you to lose weight. Of course it is only as good as the person doing the journaling. It makes you conscience of what you are eating so maybe you won’t eat it if you think about it. I feel good when I look back to see how “good” I was all day. Then, I know if I can have that extra piece of cheese.”

Some say that keeping a food diary helps you to see how much junk food you eat and if it’s helping you to lose weight. Food diary enables you to improve your eating habits and thus, to lose more weight, up to the point of doubling your weight loss.

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Try Weight Loss, Workout With Walk Vest and Weight Vest

Exercising with Walk Vest, which is a weighted vest that you take on, helps to add resistance to your body and becomes a good way for weight loss. This weighted vest comes from Walk Vest and is created by Debbie Rocker who founded Walk Vest in 2003.

A weighted vest from Walk Vest allows the following benefits to burn excess calories and add muscle to lose fat.

A walk vest helps to condition core and strengthen abdominals and build bone density.

How Does WALKVEST Work?

WALKVEST� safely adds weight, from 2 to 16 pounds, to your normal body weight. Wear the vest while walking, the added resistance safely causes your body to work harder. Your bones are forced to grow denser and stronger and burn more calories so you lose weight faster. It is the number one way to build bone density too – we have doctors and research to prove it.

From Walk Vest Website Press Information

What is The WALKVEST?

The WALKVEST is a lightweight cotton vest with weight pockets strategically located around the mid section so that added weight is evenly distributed for safety and comfort while you walk. Professionally designed for postural benefits and back safety, doctors recommend exercising with WALKVEST� to strengthen bones and muscles while also increasing cardiovascular strength. Walking with The WALKVEST� also helps you burn more fat and calories than walking alone, to help you stay lean and fit.

Any activity that causes the body to work against gravity is a weight bearing activity. Research shows that weight bearing excercises best build and maintain bone mass and bone density. WALKING, jogging, stair climbing and dancing are all weight bearing activities.

RESEARCH HAS PROVEN THAT EXERCISE IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING ONE CAN DO TO PRESERVE AND INCREASE ONES BONE MASS.

“Oregon State University Study finds that elderly women can halt bone loss by exercising with a weighted vest.”

“In The New England Journal of Medicine researchers concluded that walking two miles a day reduces the chance of heart attack by more than 28%.”

Benefits of walking with The WALKVEST� include:

  • increasing cardiovascular strength
  • lowering blood pressure
  • reduces stress
  • lowering cholesterol
  • enhancing stamina and increasing energy
  • strengthening bones, muscles, and connective issues
  • muscle toning

With a passion for “changing people’s lives, not just their bodies,” Debbie Rocker created WALKVEST by Debbie Rocker in 2003, drawing from her experience as a former professional athlete, World Record holder in cycling, fitness expert, and personal trainer for thousands of individuals, including health and medical professionals, and some of Hollywood’s best-known celebrities. Also one of the original developers of Spinning, operating the company and establishing Spinning gyms in Los Angeles and New York, Rocker brings an attuned sensibility to the business of fitness. – Some parts of the story are taken from Walk Vest media kit.

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LAP-BAND Weight-Loss Liked To Over 70% Reduced Risk Of Death In People With Severe Obesity

LAP-BAND Weight-Loss

Severely obese people who received the LAP-BAND Adjustable Gastric Banding System to lose weight had a 72 percent reduction in their risk of dying compared to obese people who were not offered any specific weight-loss treatment, according to findings published in the December issue of the Annals of Surgery (1). The LAP-BAND System was approved in June 2001 by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for weight reduction in severely obese adults.

“This research is critical because it shows that people with severe obesity, who are known to be at a much higher risk than the general population for dying prematurely, may be able to significantly decrease their risk with laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding,” explains Dr. Paul O’Brien, FRACS a study author from the Monash University Centre for Obesity Research and Education (CORE) in Melbourne, Australia, head of the Centre for Bariatric Surgery in Melbourne and the National Medical Director for the American Institute of Gastric Banding in Dallas, Texas. “What is also particularly compelling is that this study shows it is possible to gain a significant survival benefit without the risks associated with more invasive bariatric surgical procedures, such as gastric bypass.”

The study involved two groups of people who were between 37 and 70 years of age with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 35 kg/m2 or greater: A LAP-BAND System group, which included 966 patients (average age 47, average BMI 45 kg/m2) and a previously established population-based cohort of 2119 people who were not offered any specific weight-loss treatment (average age 55, average BMI 38 kg/m2). There were four deaths (heart disease, cancer(2) and suicide) in the LAP-BAND System group after a median follow-up of four years, vs. 225 deaths after a median follow-up of 12 years in the non-treated group. After statistically controlling for the differences in follow up time, sex, age and BMI, the hazard for death was 72 percent lower for LAP-BAND System patients compared to the non-treated group (hazard ratio for death: 0.28, 95% confidence interval: 0.10-0.85). LAP-BAND System patients lost an average of approximately 63 pounds 2 years after installation.

The very low death rate seen in the LAP-BAND System group, while good news, limited the study, making it difficult to precisely determine the magnitude of the effect of the procedure on improved survival. Also, there may have been unknown differences between the two groups that may have affected results. The new findings are consistent with those from other studies showing a reduced risk of death ( 30% to 89%) associated with the weight loss following other forms of bariatric surgery (2,3,4,5,6).

About Obesity

In the United States, obesity is considered the second leading cause of preventable death (7). Further, research has shown that individuals with a BMI of 35 or more have a reduced life expectancy of nine to 13 years (8). A BMI of 35 or more translates to a weight of 200 pounds or more for a woman of average height (5′ 4″) when ideal weight at this height is considered to be 140 pounds, and to a weight of 250 pounds or more for man who is six feet tall when ideal weight for this height is considered to be 177 pounds.

About the LAP-BAND System

The LAP-BAND System was approved by the FDA in June 2001 for severely obese adults with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or more or for adults with a BMI of at least 35 plus at least one severe obesity-related health condition, such as Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and asthma. Used in more than 300,000 procedures worldwide, this simple reversible surgically implanted device has safely helped severely obese adults successfully achieve and maintain long- term weight loss.

The LAP-BAND System was developed to facilitate long-term weight loss and reduce the health risks associated with severe and morbid obesity. Unlike gastric bypass, it does not involve stomach cutting, stapling or intestinal re-routing (9,10). Using laparoscopic surgical techniques, the device is placed around the top portion of the patient’s stomach, creating a small pouch. By reducing stomach capacity, the LAP-BAND System can help achieve long-term weight loss by creating an earlier feeling of satiety. The LAP-BAND System is adjustable, which means that the inflatable band can be tightened or loosened to help the patient achieve a level of satiety while maintaining a healthy diet. It is also reversible and can be removed at any time.

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Double Weight Loss By Writing Food Diary

Earlier this month eMaxHealth conducted a weight loss poll asking Do You Think Keeping A Food Diary Could Improve Weight Loss? Out of 553 responders 74 percent believed that yes, writing a food diary can improve weight loss. Now a new study, released by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research shows that food diary not only improves weight loss, but doubles the amount that we can lose weight.

This study found that the best predictors of weight loss were how frequently food diaries were kept and how many support sessions the participants attended. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.

The Kaiser study is important because the findings are from one of the largest and longest running weight loss maintenance trials ever conducted. This is one of a few trials to recruit a large percentage of African Americans as study participants (44 percent), significant because African Americans have a higher risk of conditions aggravated by being overweight, including diabetes and heart disease. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.

The study was coordinated by the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research and involved participants and co-authors from Duke University Medical Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Johns Hopkins University.

While one commentator at eMaxHealth has written that he doubts that many people will be honest in writing their food diaries, another person writes “I totally agree that a food diary helps you to lose weight. Of course it is only as good as the person doing the journaling. It makes you conscience of what you are eating so maybe you won’t eat it if you think about it. I feel good when I look back to see how “good” I was all day. Then, I know if I can have that extra piece of cheese.”

Some say that keeping a food diary helps you to see how much junk food you eat and if it’s helping you to lose weight. Food diary enables you to improve your eating habits and thus, to lose more weight, up to the point of doubling your weight loss.

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