The Impact of Weight Fluctuations on Long-Term Results
Studies indicate that people whose weight fluctuates early in a weight loss program have worse long-term results. Behavioral weight loss programs reliably produce clinically significant weight losses for most people. However, weight loss outcomes are variable, and those who lose a significant amount of weight typically regain it. When this occurs throughout one’s life, it is commonly referred to as yo-yo dieting, however the clinical term is weight cycling.
Weight cycling is associated with higher rates of negative psychological and physical issues such as depression, heart disease, diabetes, and musculoskeletal decline.
Failure to achieve meaningful weight loss early in treatment has repeatedly been associated with poor long-term outcomes. If you have a history of weight cycling, this is a clear red flag that your issues are more complicated than just the foods you eat and there are probably ingrained patterns of behavior that must be addressed.
Having the ongoing support and expertise of medical/behavioral professionals can help you achieve not only your weight loss goals but also long-term weight maintenance. At Keep It Off, we can provide early identification of individuals most at risk for smaller losses and/or weight regain, which can then allow for early intervention with more intensive or tailored treatments.
When you start a weight loss program, it is important you are fully committed to the process and prepared to prioritize your health. Your chances of long-term success are much higher if you can start strong and continue to lose weight consistently throughout the program. For example, people who lose four pounds in one week, regain two the next, and then lose one the next and so on, will likely do poorly compared to people who lose one to two pounds each week for the first six months.
Although losing ten pounds in a week can be a big boost of motivation for many people, it may not matter in the long run if your weight yo-yos the rest of the time. Our goal at Keep It Off is to give you both medical and behavioral support and accountability. We are here to help guide you through the process of both weight loss and weight maintenance/management.