New research from Dr. Christopher Sciamanna and a team of scientists from Penn State University (published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine) supports this thinking.
Their study analyzed whether two distinct sets of thought patterns and behaviors were associated with initial weight-loss (losing 10 percent of your body weight in one year) and long-term weight management (maintaining the loss for one year).
Their random phone survey of 1,165 adults they found little similarity between the two. People who followed a consistent exercise routine and/or ate plenty of low-fat sources of protein were more likely to be successful in weight maintenance but not weight loss. Those who did different kinds of exercises or meal planning were more likely to lose weight but not maintain the loss.
They observed that the 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. Yet, the 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.
So what is the answer to losing weight and maintaining weight loss?
According to the Griesels, “Focusing on optimal health and losing excess body fat along with improving your body composition, not simply “weight-loss” must be the first objective of any diet. Whenever the short-term and long-term method and goal are not the same, failure and frustration are right around the corner.”