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Weight loss research

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Weight loss research -

Have low-fat frozen yogurt or dark chocolate on Monday, and then hold off on any more sweets for a few days. The Mayo Clinic Diet is designed to help you lose up to 6 to 10 pounds 2. After that, you transition into the second phase, where you continue to lose 1 to 2 pounds 0.

By continuing the lifelong habits that you've learned, you can then maintain your goal weight for the rest of your life. Most people can lose weight on almost any diet plan that restricts calories — at least in the short term. The goal of the Mayo Clinic Diet is to help you keep weight off permanently by making smarter food choices, learning how to manage setbacks and changing your lifestyle.

In general, losing weight by following a healthy, nutritious diet — such as the Mayo Clinic Diet — can reduce your risk of weight-related health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep apnea.

If you already have any of these conditions, they may be improved dramatically if you lose weight, regardless of the diet plan you follow. In addition, the healthy habits and kinds of foods recommended on the Mayo Clinic Diet — including lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, beans, fish and healthy fats — can further reduce your risk of certain health conditions.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is meant to be positive, practical, sustainable and enjoyable, so you can enjoy a happier, healthier life over the long term.

The Mayo Clinic Diet is generally safe for most adults. It does encourage unlimited amounts of vegetables and fruits. For most people, eating lots of fruits and vegetables is a good thing — these foods provide your body with important nutrients and fiber.

However, if you aren't used to having fiber in your diet, you may experience minor, temporary changes in digestion, such as intestinal gas, as your body adjusts to this new way of eating. Also, the natural sugar in fruit does affect your carbohydrate intake — especially if you eat a lot of fruit.

This may temporarily raise your blood sugar or certain blood fats. However, this effect is lessened if you are losing weight.

If you have diabetes or any other health conditions or concerns, work with your doctor to adjust the Mayo Clinic Diet for your situation. For example, people with diabetes should aim for more vegetables than fruits, if possible.

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Request Appointment. Healthy Lifestyle Weight loss. Sections Basics Weight-loss basics Diet plans The Mayo Clinic Diet Diet and exercise Diet pills, supplements and surgery In-Depth Expert Answers Multimedia Resources News From Mayo Clinic What's New. Products and services. The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life The Mayo Clinic Diet is a lifestyle approach to weight loss that can help you maintain a healthy weight for a lifetime.

By Mayo Clinic Staff. Enlarge image Close. Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. Thank you for subscribing! Weight loss appeared to be punctuated with successes and failures, and problems and difficulties were balanced and combated with behaviours and strategies that fostered adherence.

The thematic framework Fig. Some of these facilitators were meta-cognitive strategies mindfulness , cognitive behavioural techniques self-monitoring , motivational states readiness to change , and environmental social support and educational knowledge strategies that participants experienced, developed or adapted to achieve their goals.

According to the theory of planned behaviour [ 19 ], if the balance between perceived barriers and facilitators of a behaviour change is biased towards facilitators, then the likelihood of lasting behaviour change is greater than if more barriers are perceived than facilitators.

The participants in this study identified more facilitators than barriers, possibly because four of the participants were in a weight-maintenance phase having already achieved and experienced weight loss, and that the rest of the participants were experiencing weight losses at the time of the interviews.

Participants in this research, therefore, had or were achieving weight-loss success at the time of the interviews. Interestingly, Burke et al. Indeed, high self-efficacy appears to be associated with long-term, successful weight management [ 1 , 6 ], and has been linked to successful weight-loss and weight-loss maintenance in empirical research elsewhere [ 24 ].

It is interesting to note that participants here articulated a mostly positive weight-loss experience, especially considering that large proportions of dieters are unsuccessful in achieving their weight-management goals [ 5 ], and that the participants were not obtained from intervention research.

Indeed, participants in this study self-initiated their weight loss endeavours, and so the experiences discussed in this research represent those obtained outside of an artificial research framework. It is possible, therefore, because participants self-initiated their weight management, that these participants possessed sufficient self-efficacy to develop the behaviours necessary to experience positive weight changes [ 21 ].

Within SCT behaviours are learnt through observational learning and modelling [ 20 , 21 ]. Self-efficacy therefore can be enhanced by helping individuals learn and model new behaviours, or, by modifying unwanted behaviours by changing the reinforcements of that behaviour [ 21 ].

Individuals with dichotomous thinking might interpret not achieving a weight-loss goal as evidence of absolute failure, and are less likely to maintain weight-loss-related behaviours due to a perceived lack of success [ 25 ].

When self-imposed eating restrictions become compromised, rigid restraint might then promote disinhibited eating, negative emotions, feelings of failure and the desertion of weight-loss dieting [ 27 ]. Participants in this research reported incidences of dichotomous thinking and rigid restraint, reflecting findings of similar research aligned to intervention studies [ 8 , 22 , 23 ].

Participants in this research, however, suggested that mitigating rigid restraint achieved via metacognitive strategies such as mindfulness reduced dichotomous thinking and disinhibited eating episodes, and improved emotional wellbeing and adherence.

Indeed, participants in this research articulated that successful weight loss could be a transformative experience, where newfound behaviours and lifestyles are developed and reinforced by changes to cognitions mindfulness , behaviour self-monitoring , and environments social support , synergistically.

Treatment strategies such as cognitive-behavioural therapy [ 28 ] and mindfulness-based interventions [ 29 ] might be useful tools to assist with the development of similar cognitive-behavioural changes, and foster improved weight loss for some individuals.

Environmental issues created problems for the group, and these ranged from work-related and lifestyle constraints, to the exposure to appetite-promoting stimuli in the home.

Environmental stability appears to be important for long-term weight management [ 6 , 30 ], and participants suggested that when stability became compromised, through issues such as erratic working hours, travel, poor food availability and scheduling problems, that consistency to weight-loss behaviours became challenging.

Stressful life events were revealed to be particularly problematic by participants in this research, and stress-related and emotional eating episodes manifested from difficult life circumstances. Research elsewhere highlights similar findings [ 10 ], and multiple sources of evidence indicate that successful dieters develop coping strategies that accommodate for difficult life circumstances [ 1 , 6 — 8 , 10 , 22 , 23 ].

The ability to cope and successfully navigate difficult life events might therefore be an important factor in successful weight loss, regardless of the research context underpinning its observation [ 6 ]. Social difficulties were encountered by all participants in this research.

Losing weight fostered alienation for some, where newfound weight-loss behaviours alienated individuals from valued peer and friendship groups, particularly during social activities, reflecting research elsewhere [ 7 , 31 ]. Eating out led to the perception that participants needed to make eating decisions that lead to the consumption of non-diet foods, or risk alienation from their social groups.

Social eating and drinking also exposed participants to stigma, where participants felt judged while eating out, which then led to feelings of self-consciousness, exacerbating the perceived need for isolation further.

Participants were vocal of the need to obtain social support to accommodate such issues and eliminate feelings of alienation, provide stability, and engender the perception of moral support. Social support was therefore sought from friends, family and spouses, and from work colleagues and slimming clubs, which reflects evidence elsewhere [ 1 , 6 , 7 , 26 ].

The perception of being supported appeared to be more important than the mode of support experienced however, which is complicit with evidence elsewhere [ 7 , 33 ].

Interestingly, these findings have also been reported elsewhere [ 7 , 34 ], and highlight that while significant others appear to play an important, facilitative role in dieting [ 1 , 6 , 7 ], they can be destructive also.

Mindfulness might also reflect the heightened vigilance articulated by participants in similar research aligned to intervention studies [ 7 , 10 , 36 ], where individuals experienced an intensified awareness of internal and external influences which challenge weight-loss consistency.

The need to be constantly mindful and recommit to weight loss was therefore revealed to be emotionally challenging by some participants, especially in the presence of negative life events and difficult life circumstances. Indeed, weight centeredness reflected, and was the consequence of, an all-encompassing and difficult weight-loss journey.

Participants suggested that improving knowledge enhanced autonomy and led to informed decision making, assisting weight-loss efforts. Research elsewhere has found similar findings [ 37 ], and increasing practical knowledge of food and recipes, and theoretical knowledge such as energy balance and nutrition, might assist weight-loss efforts, reflecting SCT and TPB [ 19 — 21 ].

Interestingly, one participant in this research articulated reservations about furthering their understanding of nutrition science as an aide to weight loss however. For this participant, understanding the scientific underpinning of nutrition depersonalised eating and led to confusion and exposure to conflicting information about appropriate dietary choices, conflicting with the hypothesis above.

Exercise was also found to play an important, beneficial and multi-faceted role in this research. Regular exercise reinforced dietary behaviours, was used as a tool to promote and enhance flexible restraint, and was a potent modifier of mood and self-esteem.

Importantly, exercise appeared to enhance self-regulatory behaviours, which appears to be consistent with empirical data [ 10 ]. Exercise also provided structure and routine, and becoming organised and developing structure was a formative experience that led to the perception of a greater internal locus of control, which was clearly articulated by participants here, and has been discussed in literature elsewhere [ 1 , 6 , 26 , 38 , 39 ].

While exercise was discussed as being unequivocally beneficial by participants, exercise was also revealed to have appetite-promoting effects by some, making dietary compliance challenging at times.

Indeed, empirical data indicates that exercise might have appetite-promoting or appetite-reducing effects depending on its mode and intensity [ 40 ], supporting this observation. Self-monitoring appears to be widely associated with successful weight management [ 1 , 6 , 22 ], was reported to be a facilitator of weight loss by participants in this research, and those in intervention-based experiential research elsewhere [ 8 , 22 , 23 ].

Participants tracked dietary intakes using electronic tools and devices, but also monitored exercise data and valued qualitative assessments of wellbeing. Participants explained that they used smart phone apps to complete food and exercise diaries to collect and tabulate data that they could use to monitor and assess their progress.

Monitoring and feedback appear to be important behaviour-change techniques [ 41 ], and participants in this research made use of mobile technology and online tools to assist their utilisation for weight-loss purposes. For participants in this research, and those in similar studies elsewhere [ 8 , 22 , 23 ], consistent self-monitoring appeared to be important aspect of a successful weight-loss experience.

However, despite the broadly positive role articulated, some participants also explained that self-monitoring might also promote obsessiveness about maintaining the behaviour , exacerbate dichotomous thinking if results are not achieved in-line with expectations , and lead to weight-centeredness if regular weighing and body measurements are the self-monitoring activities of choice , which were all unanimously described to be damaging by participants.

This offers an important counterargument to the utilisation of such techniques as weight-loss interventions in some dieting individuals, and partially reflects Burke and colleagues findings that self-monitoring interventions might not be universally agreeable [ 22 ], despite its widespread acclaim within literature [ 1 , 6 — 8 , 36 ].

While weight loss was revealed to be a complex problem, where physical, environmental, social and behavioural factors disrupt and assist weight loss, the homogeneity of the sample necessitates that further research might be needed to gain a broader insight into the weight-loss experience.

This mode of recruitment might have been insufficient to recruit participants from disadvantaged and black and minority ethnic backgrounds, who might not have access to these establishments.

A lack of diversity within the sample might mean that information relevant to the experiences of all social and ethnic groups is not fully-represented in this study.

The sample of this research was, however, sufficient to achieve data saturation, and this study therefore provides useful, in-depth information about living weight-loss experiences. Further research is required to explore the issues identified within this study in depth, and within wider social contexts.

This study explored real-life weight-loss experiences, as opposed to experiences captured within research environments. This study, therefore, offers information about the experiences of individuals who initiated and undertook weight loss in real-life contexts outside of a research framework, highlighting the barriers and facilitators that they experienced.

The findings of this study offer new information about the weight-loss experience, and should serve as a catalyst for further investigation. The results of this study highlighted that for participants in this research, weight loss was experienced as a difficult and enduring journey, with physical, cognitive, behavioural, social and environmental dimensions.

Weight loss was, therefore, a challenging journey that was punctuated with factors and experiences that either assist or disrupt the endeavour. Weight loss was assisted by mindfulness, knowledge, exercise, structure, readiness to change, social support and self-monitoring.

Weight loss was challenged by dichotomous thinking, environments, social pressures and weight centeredness. A deeper understanding of the breadth, complexity and interaction of factors implicit to weight management is essential for public health promotion, for educators, and for policy makers similarly.

Therefore, on the basis of this study, future research should look to investigate the effects of social alienation and spousal sabotage experienced as a consequence of weight-loss dieting, in a bid to further the development of interventions that ameliorate their effects. Similarly, the incorporation of flexible weight-management behaviours, based on cognitive-behavioural strategies which mitigate the perceptions of weight centeredness, dichotomous thinking and obsessive behaviour, which were identified as major challenges in this research, merit further investigation as potential weight-loss treatments.

All participants provided informed consent to undertake this research, which was performed in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki. The dataset supporting the conclusions of this article will not be shared publicly, due to information contained within the interviews that could be linked to participants.

Individual requests for data can be made to the corresponding author however. Stubbs RJ, Lavin JH. The challenges of implementing behaviour changes that lead to sustained weight management.

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Med J Nutr Metab. LiebeI RL, Rosenbaum M, Hirshc J. Changes in energy expenditure resulting from altered body weight. N Engl J Med.

Kraschnewski JL. Long term weight loss maintenance in the United States. Int J Obes. Elfhag K, Rössner S. Who succeeds in maintaining weight loss? A conceptual review of factors associated with weight loss maintenance and weight regain. Obes Rev. Hindle L, Carpenter C. An exploration of the experiences and perceptions of people who have maintained weight loss.

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Int J Ther Rehabil. Palmeira AL, Teixeira PJ, Branco T, Martins SM, Minderico CS, Barata JT, Serpa SO, Sardinha LB. Predicting short-term weight loss using four leading health behavior change theories. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. Article PubMed PubMed Central Google Scholar.

Bandura A. Human agency in social cognitive theory. Read on to learn more about what that healthy diet pattern actually looks like long-term, plus discover the weight-loss strategies to skip if you want to see a shift on the scale and take care of your ticker. To analyze the best and worst ways to lose weight, Ohio State University researchers looked at data from 20, American adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey between and Each participant was 19 or older, with an average age of 47, and reported their average hours of sleep , smoking status, physical activity levels, weight history, weight-loss strategy and what they had eaten during the past 24 hours.

The individuals also received health exams and lab tests to measure BMI, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and blood sugar. Using this data, the scientists were able to estimate each person's adherence to Life's Essential 8 , the American Heart Association 's core measures for lifestyle patterns that support and improve heart health.

They were also able to assess their diet quality via the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Regardless of weight changes, down or up, participants tended to maintain the same heart disease risk rate. It's important to note that genetics definitely play a role in your heart-health profile, as do some socioeconomic factors outside of your control.

Plus, not all of the eight factors relate to weight directly, including smoking and sleep. This is not a huge weight loss. It's achievable for most, and I would hope that incentivizes people instead of being paralyzed with a fear of failure," senior study author Colleen Spees, Ph.

This population also had a higher average BMI and fasting blood sugar level as well as fewer hours of sleep, which might be the factors that impacted this cohort's results on the Life's Essential 8 estimate. What is sustainable is changing behaviors and eating patterns," Spees said. This is a timely topic to address, she continued, since one analysis estimates that 1 in 2 adults will meet the criteria for obesity by Currently, the National Institutes of Health confirms that nearly 1 in 3 adults are overweight and more than 2 in 5 adults have obesity.

If medical professionals wait until their patients are at a place in which they're uncomfortable with their weight, she said, "this becomes quite overwhelming, and individuals may feel it's too late at that point.

Although this study proves that a balanced diet and physical activity can result in weight loss, some doctors translate that to advice like " eat less and move more ," which is not nearly specific enough and overlooks potential systemic barriers at play, like food apartheid and lack of a safe space to exercise.

Instead, Spees and her team recommend that medical professionals consider calling in a team of experts. This might entail writing "prescriptions" for regular visits with registered dietitians with training related to behavior change so insurance can help cover the cost. A new health study found that instead of a crash diet or " detox ," scoring enough physical activity and eating a varied diet with enough protein and low in added sugars and refined grains are the two common features of those who lose a significant amount of weight.

If you are trying to lose weight, check out the 1 habit you should break to lose weight, according to a dietitian before you get started. Then hit the road with our guide for how to walk off 10 pounds.

People respond to weight loss strategies Weighg different ways, but typical studies test only one intervention at a time. Reesarch you work out, Vegan meal delivery services you Weight loss research the Wfight or get so Weight loss research you only gain more? Are you one of those people who would benefit from a protein-rich diet, or should you cut carbs instead? Maybe you should add vegetables and other healthy options? Weight-loss researchers, as do all good scientists, prefer to tackle these questions one at a time. But Drew Sayer, Ph. Sayer is a pioneer in the field of SMART trials for weight-loss research.

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