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Losing Weight, Keeping It Off Can Be Two Different Worlds
Date:7/11/2011

their diet plan."

According to study author Dr. Christopher Sciamanna, his group created the basis for their survey by recruiting and interviewing people who were successful in their weight-loss maintenance, which was defined as losing at least 30 pounds and keeping it off for at least a year.

The adults surveyed by phone were then asked about 36 strategies they might think about and do to accomplish losing the pounds and keeping them off.

Fourteen of the strategies were associated with either successful weight loss or successful maintenance, but not both, and the overlap between practices was not much higher than expected by chance, the study said.

The researchers found that 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.

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.

The study is published online July 5 and in the August print issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Kitchin noted that the study did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship between the practices and weight loss or maintenance, though she praised the research as "a novel way of looking at it."

"We definitely need more research to look at the different methods used by people who lost weight," she said. "We need to look at different strategies to see what works over the long run. We spend so much time talking about weight loss and don't really focus on weight maintenance."

Lichtenstein, also director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Lab at Tufts and a member of the nutrition committee of
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